Healthier gums mean healthier teeth and a healthier body. Are there ways to help your gums be as healthy as they can be?
The answer, as with most things in dentistry, is a bit complicated. There is no guarantee these suggestions will help you. They are more likely to help if you have gingivitis or an early stage of gum disease. They are not recommended if you have severe gum disease (6 mm pockets or higher) or have lost teeth because of gum disease. The items below have been pulled from a variety of sources.
Remember, it is best to get vitamins and minerals naturally from foods rather than from supplements.
Soft, spongy gums may benefit from increasing Vitamin C and decreasing grains in your diet.
Out-of-whack body chemistry may influence plaque formation (At least one source feels poorly digested animal proteins contribute to plaque formation on your gums.) Your blood calcium levels, particularly the calcium/phosphorus ratios in your body, may influence how much tartar or calculus forms on your teeth. (Plaque is the soft substance that is easily moved around with your toothbrush and floss. Tartar or Calculus is hardened plaque that cements itself to your teeth.) According to one study higher blood calcium than blood phosphorus means calculus forms; higher blood phosphorus than blood calcium leads to irritated gums.
Fat-soluble Vitamin D raises calcium and decreases phosphorus as well as protecting the alveolar bone around your tooth socket. Fat-soluble Vitamin A seems to assist gum development. Finding good sources of these for your diet may help your gums.
Some brushing methods may push plaque to your gumline where it later hardens into tartar/calculus and irritates your gums. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist to show you methods that will minimize pushing plaque toward your gumline. Using an oral irrigator (such as a Waterpik—any machine that shoots a stream of water out toward the gums) or blotting your gums may help (for a video on the correct blotting method go to www.curetoothdecay.com/blotting (Note: the link takes one to a holistic dental store that wants to sell you their brushes—you will need to scroll down to see the video referenced above)). My guess is that if you spent this much time on your teeth as is recommended with the blotting method, you will see results, so I don’t think blotting is the “miracle” they want to make it out to be.
Warm water with sea salt or a comparable high quality salt can be used in the oral irrigator and seems beneficial to gums. (Some sources do not recommend table salt.) Another possible beneficial rinse for gums is 1-2 tsp. apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water.
Again, these ideas are probably most helpful if your gums are in the gingivitis (inflammation with no bone loss around your teeth) or early gum disease (4mm pockets around teeth or only slight bone loss around your teeth) than they will be for severe gum disease or for those who have already lost teeth to gum disease. These methods alone will not heal your gums. You still need to keep up with your brushing and flossing and professional dental visits as recommended by your dentist.
You can learn more about gum disease in the Dear Doctor section of my website: Periodontal (Gum) Disease, Professional Teeth Cleanings, Ultrasonic Cleanings, Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment, Oral Systemic Connection, Loose Teeth & Bite Problems
*Note: The information in this article is not meant to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare professionals
Disclaimer: Jennifer G. Robb, DMD has no material interest in the parent companies or products mentioned in this article except for her own dental office listed below.
PLEASE NOTE: Dr. Robb's office address will change to 1320 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053 starting 12/5/19.