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Beyond Brushing and Flossing: Four Other Things You Can Do to Prevent the Spread of Gum Disease

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If you believe you have gum disease, the only way to cure it is to go in for dental treatment. However, while you wait for your appointment, there are a number of things you can do to stop the spread of gum disease and reduce its symptoms. The most important treatment is brushing and flossing to reduce the amount of plaque that's in your mouth, but beyond that, here are some other options to consider:

1. Consider oil pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient dental care technique that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Reportedly, the practice helps to draw bacteria and impurities out of your mouth, preventing those things from worsening your gum disease. It has also been linked to plaque reduction and tooth whitening.

To pull oil, you simply pop a spoonful of oil in your mouth, swish it around for 5 to 10 minutes and spit it out. Adjust the amount of oil you use so that it's comfortable for your mouth, and consider spitting into the rubbish bin so your drain doesn't get clogged with oil.

2. Drink green tea

Recent research suggests that green tea or other foods or drinks full of antioxidants may help to stall the spread of gum disease. In particular with gum disease, a pocket often forms between the gums and the margin of the tooth. This space tends to fill with black coloured bacteria including Porphyromonas gingivalis, and antioxidants from green tea can help to eliminate these bacteria.

3. Boost your vitamin C intake

If green tea and oil pulling don't appeal to you, try to boost your daily intake of vitamin C. Unfortunately, low consumption of vitamin C has been linked to periodontal or gum disease. To address that issue, boost your vitamin C levels by drinking more orange or cranberry juice, eating more tomatoes or taking a vitamin C supplement.

4. Use mouthwash

In addition to trying alternative methods or changing your diet, you may also want to invest in some new mouthwash. In particular, look for mouthwash that is designed to treat gingivitis. If you have trouble brushing due to bleeding or painful gums, mouthwash can be especially advantageous because it lets you simulate the effects of brushing without all the pressure. If possible, speak with your doctor or dentist about getting a prescription for extra strong antimicrobial mouthwash.

To get more tips on how to alleviate the spread and symptoms of your gum disease, make an appointment with your dentist.