Periodontal disease is the scientific name for all gum disease, ranging from gingivitis to periodontitis. Gingivitis is inflammation and swelling of the gums; periodontitis is the last stage of periodontal disease when the ligaments that attach a tooth to bone are inflamed and infected as well as the bone itself, usually resulting in tooth loss.
According to the mainstream dental community, there is one cause and one treatment path for periodontal disease. This is their take on it:
- Our mouths are full of bacteria
- Mucous that covers our teeth mixes with bacteria to form plaque
- If plaque is not brushed and flossed away each day, it turns into tartar
- Tartar attracts more bacteria, resulting in more tartar
- Tartar and bacteria cause infection of the gums
- Pockets form in the gums, gums recede and/or no longer adhere to teeth
- Tartar cannot be brushed away; it must be removed by a dentist.
- Oral hygiene and dental cleanings are the only defense against gum disease
They tell us, while gingivitis can be reversed with better oral hygiene and regular dental cleaning, untreated gingivitis can (and probably will) result in periodontitis. As the infection spreads under the gum line, pockets form between the gums and the teeth and the gum line recedes. In time, the infection breaks down bone and connective tissues. Conventional treatment for periodontitis includes deep cleaning, antibiotics taken orally and or packed into the gum pockets, and surgery (bone grafts and tissue grafts for advanced cases.)
One Body, One Source of Disease
While other causal factors are discussed (smoking, hormonal changes, genetics, diabetes) there is little to no recognition of the mouth being one part of an entire system. We know that the balance of good vs. bad bacteria and keeping Candida in check in our gut is essential to health. Most of us know the same is true of our skin. Why would the inside of the mouth be any different? Why isn’t an infection in our mouth considered a failure of our immune system or our bacterial balance rather than our dental care?
This conventional, accepted theory of periodontal disease and tooth decay and its treatment mirrors conventional medicine—symptoms are treated rather than the cause. But through the work of Weston Price, we have known for more than seventy years that isolated populations who did not practice oral hygiene but ate healthy, indigenous foods were free of dental disease—both tooth decay and gum disease. When the Western diet was introduced, dental disease followed.
Today, we are re-learning that simple truth. When it comes to health, in every part of the body, nutrition is the key.
The bottom line is that nutrition is the one cure for anything that ails you. It’s a little more complicated than that, but not much. Our bodies were made to fight disease, to maintain a balance between good bacteria, bad bacteria, and yeast. The common Western diet does not support this balance. Nor does the Western diet give us the nutrition (vitamins and minerals) we need to promote health and maintain a strong immune system.
A healthy mouth requires a healthy body. In a healthy body, bad bacteria do not run rampant, causing infection and disease. The immune system does not become overwhelmed and incompetent when faced with a minor gum infection.
Though it would not be advisable to avoid the dentist, it would be advisable to research the use of fluoride and other chemicals before using them to treat your periodontal disease. One article touted the efficacy of a particular antibiotic used to pack gum pockets, claiming its use resulted in shrinking gum pockets by one millimeter. Natural solutions have been known to shrink pockets by 3 millimeters or more.
A healthy diet is a must. If you suffer from periodontal disease, your mouth is telling you to feed your body right.
- Avoid all artificial ingredients: colorings, flavorings, preservatives, and GMOs
- Avoid processed foods
- Avoid pasteurized dairy
- Eat organic as much as possible, especially the “dirty dozen” and animal protein
- Soak or sprout beans, nuts, and grains to release enzyme inhibitors
- Eat at least 80% raw, focusing on a variety of foods with lots of green leafy vegetables
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of healthy fats
- Drink a gallon of pure spring water daily
- Stop eating refined sugars
If you supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals, make sure they are not synthetic. Choose whole food vitamins and minerals so your body can properly assimilate them. Vitamin D, vitamin C, and B vitamins are essential to dental health.
If you smoke, stop. If you smoke anything—stop. Smoking cigarettes or marijuana introduces free radicals and other toxins that damage the gums and therefore encourage and promote periodontal disease. Obviously, chewing tobacco products is even worse.
If you are eating 80% raw, chances are you will be eating an alkaline diet. If your diet is acidic, it will promote disease. Sugar creates an acidic pH. In order to self adjust the pH of the bloodstream, the body will pull minerals, such as calcium, out of bone and tissue to regain the proper pH. Sugar is your enemy. You want to heal bone, not degrade it.
How to Treat an Acute Gum Infection
If you smoke, you need to stop smoking. Enough said.
Your diet is key, especially when you have an acute infection. No sugar! Stop eating it now! Sugar feeds bacterial infections and feeds yeast infections. When your gums are infected and you eat candy, your gums will hurt more. If the infection is severe, they will hurt a lot more—now and later. You just fed the infection.
Now, what else can you do for immediate relief and healing?
Keep your mouth clean. Brush after eating. Get a new toothbrush and brush correctly, not just the teeth, but the gums as well.
Stop brushing your teeth with toxic chemicals. Buy good natural toothpaste or make your own.
Chew raw garlic. This is not for the faint of heart. Raw garlic has a very strong taste and it burns when you chew it, but it works. Eating raw garlic may take practice. Chew as long as you can and try to chew it a little longer each day.
Doc Shillington makes a wonderful solution called Tooth and Gum Formula that aids in healing gum disease. His patients report that their checkups amaze their dentists due to the reduction of deep pockets. We can attest to the power of this formula. Check out Heal Cavities, Gum Disease, Naturally with Organic Oral Care – Toothpaste recipes included for the recipe.
Take a good whole food vitamin. If you are vitamin deficient, one or two days of taking a really good vitamin supplement will make a world of difference. Your gums may stop bleeding and hurting with a day. Total Nutrition – Make your own Homemade Multivitamin and Mineral Formula.
Add oil pulling to your daily routine. Two of the best oils to use are coconut oil and sesame oil. You just put a little oil in your mouth and swish it through your teeth for 20 minutes the first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything. (See link below). If you want to kick it up a notch, add some neem oil, peppermint oil, clove oil, or oil of oregano to the coconut or sesame seed oil. This will obliterate infection, but if you thought chewing on garlic was uncomfortable…
Oil pulling will get in between your teeth and deeper within your gums to help eliminate bacteria and Candida in ways that nothing else can, without causing damage like conventional treatments.
If you have a infection, this infection can drain into the teeth and gums. Shillington’s Herbal Snuff is perfect for clearing up a sinus infection. It’s also good for sore throats, and other infections in the mouth. You can snort it (only a tiny bit needed, and it burns, but it works), or place it directly on infected area of mouth, or directly on the tonsils. This stuff works amazingly well, but it’s not pleasant.
- Don’t smoke
- Eat a healthy, nutrient dense diet
- Use a good, soft toothbrush and healthy toothpaste
- Take whole food supplements, paying special attention to your need for vitamin D, vitamin C, and B vitamins
- Buy a new soft toothbrush (stop tearing up your gums with rough toothbrushes)
- Avoid conventional toothpastes (buy a good natural toothpaste, or make your own)
- Help heal your gums with natural solutions that promote gum health
- Chew raw garlic
- Practice oil pulling
- Shillington’s Herbal Snuff
- Shillington’s Tooth and Gum Formula
- Shillington’s Total Nutrition Formula
- Earthpaste Spearmint Toothpaste
- Total Nutrition – Make your own Homemade Multivitamin and Mineral Formula.) If you are vitamin deficient, one or two days of taking a really good vitamin supplement will make a world of difference. Your gums may stop bleeding and hurting within a day.
- Heal Cavities, Gum Disease, Naturally with Organic Oral Care – Toothpaste recipes included
- This article also has a recipe for the most powerful natural gum treatment I know, Shillington’s Tooth and Gum Formula, and it also addresses and instructs with oil pulling.