If you suffer for years with gingivitis and you don’t treat it or see the symptoms persist, then there is a great chance that it will develop into periodontitis! What is periodontitis, how serious is it and how we deal with it?
Periodontitis: What is it?
Periodontitis is an advanced gum infection that results in the destruction of the gums and the bones that surround and support teeth. It is an inflammatory disease of the gums and primarily is the development of chronic gingivitis. It is a very serious condition and if not treated can lead to tooth loss and other health problems.
The symptoms of periodontitis are quite intense and make their presence noticeable. The sooner you see them, be sure to visit a specialist so the situation does not get worse. The most characteristic symptoms of periodontitis are:
- Gingival bleeding
- Bad breath and a sensation of metallic taste
- Bright red or purple gum color
- Gingival Swelling (Swelling of the Gum)
- Periodontal pockets, meaning a gap between gums and teeth
- Tooth mobility or turning
- Teeth do not touch each other as before
- Puss in gums (gum rust – abscess)
- Gaps between the teeth
- Gum reatreat and bone appearance
Periodontitis and herbal therapy?
Certainly when periodontitis occurs, a visit to the dentist is necessary, as it is the only specialist who can guide us. But can herbs help us in this endeavor?
Although pathogenic bacteria are a major causative agent for periodontitis, research has recently turned to oxidative stress and its role in the progression of the disease. More specifically, several studies have shown correlation of tissue damage by active oxygen species and the severity of periodontitis. Thus, many herbs with antioxidant properties began to be studied for their contribution to the treatment of periodontitis (1).
Green tea coming from the leaves of Camellia sinensis has a dominant position among the herbs that can help us. It contains a very high concentration of antioxidants, known as polyphenols. Green tea polyphenols are catechins, which appear to have a very good effect on the pathogenic bacteria of the oral cavity.
In addition, catechins (EGCG) are suggested to suppress bone resorption induced by inflammation, such as those found in periodontal diseases (2). A clinical trial showed that green tea mouthwash had a comparable effect against the plaque with chlorhexidine mouthwash (basal therapy) over one week’s use (3).
It is an alkaloid found in black pepper (Piper nigrum) and long pepper (Piper longum), which appears to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. Studies in mice with periodontitis have shown that piperine reduced dental bone loss as well as the extent to which inflammation progressed in soft tissues (4).
Tea tree oil
Topical application with teal tree oil appears to have beneficial effects on people with chronic periodontitis (5).
Aloe vera is known for its antimicrobial and soothing properties. It appears that topical application of aloe gel to the periodontal pockets often created in periodontitis improves the condition and reduces the depth of the pockets, which are the voids created between the gums and the teeth (6).
Periodontitis and toothpaste
How important is toothpaste in periodontitis? Very much! Take care of its ingredients to see among them the previous herbs as well as Neem, Echinacea, Ginkgo biloba, Pomegranate or even Turmeric, well – known for their contribution to oral hygiene!
Significant help can also be given by chewable probiotics that balance bacteria in the mouth!
Periodontitis: Is it contagious?
In general, there is a transfer of germs among couples where one has periodontitis, but it has not been shown that this can cause the disease to the other person as well.
So take care of your oral hygiene and visit a specialist if you find out the worrying symptoms of periodontitis. Put in your daily life fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, reduce smoking and see your smile shine again!
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