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Alternative Medicine, Nutrition, and Gum Disease

Gum disease is an inflammation caused by plaque build up in the spaces between the teeth and gums. The plaque build up on teeth will harden into a calcanus material known as tartar. If an individual has excessive tartar build up between the gums and teeth, deep pockets may form around teeth causing loss of bone known as periodontitis. If periodontitis is left untreated, an individual's teeth may fall out over the years due to loss of bone or they may have to be extracted due to acute infections.

The most common gum infection that results from poor oral hygiene is gingivitis (if left untreated, gingivitis may evolve into peridontitis). Additionally, some conditions encourage gingivitis infections such as pregnancy and uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.

What are the symptoms of gingivitis? Symptoms of gingivitis might include shiny gums, bright red or purple gums, mouth sores, swelling, soreness of gums, or gums that bleed easily with flossing or light brushing.

How can gum disease such and gingivitis be avoided? The first line of defense against gum disease is routine daily brushing and flossing of teeth. However this is not enough to prevent gingivitis or peridontitis. In addition to good daily dental hygiene, most individuals with healthy periodontuim require periodontal debridement (teeth cleaning) every six months.

Of course, if you have had more severe dental problems such as peridontitis, dental professionals suggest periodontal debridement every three to four months in an effort to prevent more damage to the gums.

A variety of sources indicate that the following micronutrients, supplements, and/or herbs may potentially be helpful for this condition. However, it may be wise to consult with your physician prior to taking nutritional supplements and this is certainly recommended for individuals with a diagnosed condition, particularly those who take prescribed medication.

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