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 Herbal Medicine: Periodontal Disease 

Remedies for Oral Health
Botanical preparations can be of great benefit to oral health programs, and are both easy-to-use and inexpensive. Herbal extracts which are introduced into your water pic (as a mouth wash) or used with the rubber gum stimulator, can aid in maintaining healthy gums. The herb Hawthorn (Crataegus species), which is high in bioflavonoids, actually has a "tightening" effect on the gum if used over a period of time. Extract of Echinacea (E. angustifolia and E. purpurea), which is used for its anti-microbial properties, can detoxify oral bacteria and prevent infection. Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) may be both beneficial and soothing to the gums and tissues of the mouth. You may even want to consider Listerine, which contains a natural anti-bacterial called "thymol" and is derived from the herb Thyme (Thymus vulgaricus). Thymol has been shown to reduce gingivitis and is also excellent for use in the water pic.

In taking on a more mainstream approach, you might consider Chlorhexidine. Also known as Peridex, this blue mouthwash kills bacteria in your mouth. It is a prescription drug that has strong anti-plaque and anti-inflammatory properties. Chlorhexidine and Listerine are the only two "drugs" that have received the seal of acceptance from the American Dental Association for the control of plaque and gingivitis.

Nutritional Supplements for Periodontal Disease
Folic acid, which is used topically and taken internally, has been shown to significantly reduce gingival inflammation. It reduces bleeding and plaque. Chewing folic acid tablets or using it as a mouthwash is as effective as taking it internally. Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to help heal receding gum lines, and may be taken on a daily basis to combat periodontal disease. Finally, the anti-oxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, selenium, and zinc) have all been shown to enhance oral health.

Step by Step Approach to Taking Care of Your Mouth
Your basic purpose here is to set up a healthy environment in your mouth; one that is not favorable for the proliferation of bacteria. The following is a simple program that may be helpful in both treating and preventing periodontal disease. You should see improvement after three months of following this procedure. The gum stimulation process should be conducted twice each day. The whole procedure will only take 10 to 15 minutes and the reward, in what may seem at times to be a tedious affair, should be a clean, bright and healthy mouth.

  1. Proper diet: Avoid refined sugars, eat plenty of fiber, and thoroughly chew your food so that you stimulate your gums.
  2. Water pic: Use lukewarm water and clean between your teeth. You may include Hawthorn, Echinacea, Aloe vera, Listerine, or hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Floss daily.
  4. Brush your teeth daily (consider an electric toothbrush).
  5. Gum stimulation: Mix one to two teaspoons of baking soda in a glass dish with one to two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide, zinc sulfate, folic acid, Hawthorn, Echinacea, and Aloe vera herbal extracts. Use some or all of these ingredients-- find what mixture suits you best. Mix this into a paste and apply to the gums, both inside and out. Use a rubber tip stimulator between your teeth.
  6. Rinse your mouth with your favorite mouthwash or any of the above mentioned herbs and water.
  7. Nutrition: Use the nutrients folic acid and coenzyme Q10.
Gingivitis is often the first sign of periodontal disease. By cleaning your teeth and maintaining a healthy mouth, you can control the accumulation of bacteria and prevent oral disease. There are many home remedies that can be used on a daily basis to help strengthen your gums and teeth. What you do each day can help keep your teeth where they belong-- in your mouth.
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 About The Author
Janet Zand LAc, OMDJANET ZAND, O.M.D., L.Ac. is a nationally respected author, lecturer, practitioner and herbal products formulator whose work has helped thousands of people achieve better health....more
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