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18 June 2018

The internet is awash with them, but do they really work?

Gum disease is a common problem in the UK, and most of us will probably have it, to some degree, at various stages in our lives. If we are ill, for example, and let our oral health care slip, bacteria are likely to multiply and potential problems start.

There are two main stages of gum disease; gingivitis and periodontitis. Most patients accept that when periodontitis takes hold, there is a need for professional treatment, but when mild gum disease is present, some turn to the internet for home solutions instead. But is this a good idea?

Homemade mouth washes

A quick search on the net will throw up a number of recipes for homemade mouthwash. These include lemongrass oil, tea tree oil and even sage, as ingredients. On their own, these are harmless, but will probably only have a minimal impact on your gum health. In fact, even adding a shop bought mouthwash to your regime may not be sufficient to correct the problem.

Oil pulling

The popularity of this treatment seems to be on the wane a little. The idea is that you swill the coconut oil around your mouth for several minutes before spitting. This should, so it is claimed, pick up bacteria from between the teeth, reducing gum disease. Some of our Surbiton patients have told us that they tried it but the taste and sensation made them feel sick. If you want to try something additional that has a similar effect, sugar free chewing gum should work just as well.

So, do they work?

It is possible that some of the more sensible home gum disease treatments do have a small effect. In our opinion though, the time spent making and applying these products would be better spent learning how to brush your teeth correctly, making sure to clean the gum line as well as the teeth. Mastering dental flossing too would be much more beneficial. As with many things, short cuts rarely work.

Whilst it is true that minor early stage gingivitis can be reversed with better home oral care, you should always do so under guidance and monitoring by one of the dentists at the Confidental Clinic. Better still, make an appointment to see our hygienist who can provide a professional clean which will remove hardened bacteria and help to get your teeth and gums back to a good state of health, where you can start to maintain good practice to keep them that way.

No dental problem is too small for us to check. We can offer advice to help you improve your home teeth and gum care, and provide professional treatment where necessary.

To contact us about any dental problem, to see the hygienist at our Surbiton practice, or simply to make a check up appointment, please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8399 1291.

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