Gum diseases can be treated and reversed in their initial stages very easily. By getting the accumulated tartar and plaque removed by a dentist, there is a chance that they can get better without much ado.
The mouth is the first organ that takes the brunt of smoking. The teeth, lips, cheeks, tongue are all affected by smoking. While most are worried about the discolouration of the teeth and lips, the damage is actually quite deep-rooted literally and figuratively. The harmful effects of smoking reach the roots and eventually lead to tooth loss.
Let us look at some ways of how smoking affects the teeth.
1. The black stains that are the tell-tale signs of a smoker are a major source of irritation to the teeth, especially along the gum line. On one hand, they do not allow proper cleaning of the gums and on the other, they are a constant source of irritation leading to inflammation. The result is there is damage beneath that layer of black stains, which does not become visible unless the signs of infection become evident pain, redness, swelling or even pus formation in some cases.
2. Smoking conceals the gum disease from becoming evident, thereby, reducing the chance of identifying and treating the disease at an early stage. This progresses to more severe periodontal disease, where the bones and supporting tissues that hold the tooth in place are infected and gradually the tooth weakens.
3. The nicotine in the smoke also promotes the growth of bacteria that lead to plaque formation and thereby worsen the pace at which gum disease happens.
4. Another aspect is that in smokers, the ability of the gums to heal is reduced drastically, thereby, leading to progressive incremental damage and eventual tooth loss.
5. Nicotine reduces the amount of minerals in bones and especially in postmenopausal female smokers, the bones are quite weak and the incidence of periodontal disease is also quite high.
To summarize, for smokers, the risk for gum disease is higher and the recovery of gum disease is delayed. The duration and number of cigarettes has a direct effect on gum disease. Of note, the effects are more severe in females, compared to males.
The good news however, is that quitting smoking (and other forms of nicotine) can show immediate results, including complete reversal of the damage. Other ways to manage include:
1. Regular brushing and flossing, twice a day at least
2. Rinsing after each meal with either a medicated rinse or plain water
3. Clinical cleaning including scaling and root planing if required at regular intervals
4. Minor surgery if required if there is root exposure and/or deep periodontal pockets
5. Abstain from tobacco in any form
Smoking affects the gums and periodontium severely, tooth loss has a strong and direct correlation with smoking. Not many would have thought about the adverse effects of smoking on the dental system. While they sound very alarming, there is definitely hope, with the first step as quitting it.
Mouthwash has become an essential ingredient of one's oral hygiene kit. Though not a substitute for flossing or brushing, it offers additional oral protection.
Due to a host of ingredients, such as alcohol, chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, menthol, methyl salicylate, fluoride, antibacterial enzymes, hydrogen peroxide, essential oils, zinc chloride and other herbs and natural ingredients, mouthwash has a number of benefits.
Alcohol is the basic ingredient in all of them. While fluoride protects against decay, chlorhexidine protects against gum diseases. Hydrogen peroxide produces a mild bleaching effect. Herbs and essential oils produce a freshening effect.
Benefits of using a mouthwash -
Types of Mouthwash -
The cosmetic one is usually for freshening up the breath and is not regulated by the FDA. The therapeutic ones contain active ingredients aimed at addressing one of the issues like plaque formation, bad breath, dry mouth, or decay. They kill bacteria, reduce plaque, fight gingivitis, and control decay. They are not a substitute for brushing or flossing but supplement these two very well. These are approved by the FDA and are proven in terms of safety and efficacy. Rinses with zinc chloride are effective against bad breath, those with fluoride are useful in people who are cavity-prone, and chlorhexidine helps prevent gum disease.
Choosing a mouthwash - This depends on the oral health condition, and it is always advisable that the dentist prescribes the right rinse for you.
When and how to use mouthwash - When you are done with your brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with a capful of the mouthwash liquid. Swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds and spit it out. Avoid brushing, drinking water, or rinsing your mouth after using a mouthwash for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will give sufficient time for the active ingredients in the mouthwash (especially if it is a therapeutic one) to act in the mouth. Brushing after mouthwash removes all the effect of the rinse.
What is Pyorrhea?
Pyorrhea, also known as periodontitis, is inflammation and destruction of the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth. Periodontitis mainly begins with gingivitis. Gingivitis refers to inflammation of gums as a result of plaque formation due to poor oral hygiene. Gingivitis, when left untreated, leads to periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder form of the disease and in gingivitis, no irreversible changes take place. However, persistent gingivitis leads to formation of deep pockets between the gums and teeth. These pockets get filled with plaque and bacteria over time and start to damage the tissue and bone surrounding and supporting the teeth. Eventually, the teeth lose their grip and fall off.
Symptoms of Pyorrhea:
Symptoms of pyorrhea include swollen gums, pain and tenderness of gums, red/purple gums, bleeding gums, spitting of blood after brushing, bad breath, metallic taste in the mouth, receding gums and loose teeth in sockets.
Treating Gum Disease With Homeopathy:
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat gum disease but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat gum disease that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of gum disease:
Merc Sol: This is one of the best homeopathic medicines for pyorrhea. It is used when symptoms such as swollen, bleeding, and tender gums are experienced. The gums are likely to turn bluish red. A metallic taste in the mouth and foul breath are also indicated. An increase in saliva is another likely symptom, along with loosening of teeth in the sockets.
Carbo Veg: This homeopathic medicine is used for treating pyorrhea, especially in cases where there is gum bleeding after cleaning the teeth. The gums are receding and become blackish in color. Toothache is also experienced, which worsens when you chew food. A sour, bitter taste may be felt in the mouth.
Kreosotum: This medicine is effective for treating teeth and its surrounding structures in case of pyorrhea. It is ideal for use when symptoms such as puffy, bluish gums, and foul odor from the mouth are observed. Bleeding of dark blood is also indicated. Teeth may become decayed or turn dark and crumbly. Kreosotum is beneficial in treating such symptoms associated with pyorrhea.
Phosphorus: This is another important homeopathic medicine used for the treatment of pyorrhea. It is useful in cases of pyorrhea when gum bleeding occurs easily. It is an effective anti-hemorrhagic medicine. Gum pain and soreness are also likely in such cases. The pain worsens by both heat and cold. Pain in the teeth may also occur along with gum pain.
Lachesis: This medicine is used for curing pyorrhea when there is a swelling of the cheeks along with other symptoms. The gums become dark purple in color and swell up immensely. Burning along with a coppery taste in the mouth is also experienced, which is a unique symptom. The tooth pain is likely to extend into the ears.
There are homeopathic medicines meant for curing pyorrhea occurring from various factors, with different symptoms. However, it is important for you to consult a homeopathic practitioner before taking any of these medicines. This is because homeopathy does not work the same for all people, in spite of similar symptoms, and only a licensed doctor will know about the best medicine that will suit your purpose.
Bad breath is a condition that usually results from poor oral health or digestive problems. Bad breath may also cause social awkwardness and self-esteem issues. The practitioner first carries out a diagnosis to detect the symptoms and prescribes a remedy accordingly.
The various causes of bad breath are:
1. Irregular brushing habits
2. Tobacco consumption
3. Consuming certain foods like onion and garlic may result in a foul smell
4. Yeast infections in the mouth
5. Dry mouth where saliva production is minimal
6. Illnesses such as kidney problems may cause bad breath
Homeopathy focusses on providing a holistic treatment rather than a symptom based treatment.
The various homeopathic remedies for bad breath are:
If you have bad breath along with dry mouth, Pulsatilla can be an effective remedy. Pulsatilla is a very effective treatment for getting rid of bad breath along with dry mouth.
2. Merc sol
It is very effective in treating bad breath along with increased production of saliva. If your salivary glands are overactive and have a moist mouth, then this remedy is recommended. It is also useful in getting rid of bad breath that occurs from dental cavities.
This remedy is recommended for bad breath that results from dental caries. It may lead to bleeding from your gums due to teeth decay.
7. Nux vomica
Nux vomica is used for treating symptoms of bad breath along with cold. This also relieves symptoms of indigestion and constipation.
You can exercise for healthier gums as well. Gently bite down so as to make sure that your teeth make a clinking sound when they meet. Repeat this 30 to 40 times continously. This exercise will stimulate the flow of blood and will keep your gums healthy.
You can exercise for healthier gums as well. Gently bite down so as to make sure that your teeth make a clinking sound when they meet. Repeat this 30 to 40 times continuously. This exercise will stimulate the flow of blood and will keep your gums healthy.