Blackmores gum disease gingivitis

Gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis)

6759 views 1 min to read

Gum problems such as gingivitis and periodontal disease are extremely common, and affect most people at some point in their lives, becoming more prevalent with age.


  • Gingivitis is early stage gum disease, and involves a band of red, inflamed gingiva (gum tissue) around one or more teeth. The gums tend to be swollen and to bleed easily (for example, after brushing the teeth).
  • In periodontitis, swelling and inflammation become more severe and the disease progresses to tissues below the gum margins, including the covering of the root of the tooth, the ligaments that connect the roots to the bone, and the bones themselves.
  • In addition to swollen and bleeding gums, symptoms of periodontitis may include receding gums, loose teeth, bad breath, and a bad taste in the mouth. The underlying bone is sometimes destroyed.
  • Gum disease is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.


Gum disease is caused by an accumulation of plaque on the tooth surface at the junction between the tooth and the gum. The plaque hardens to form tartar, or calculus, on the teeth, and as it thickens, the gums start to recede, allowing pockets to form below the gum margin. As the condition progresses, the tissues below the gum margin become more susceptible to disease and destruction.

In addition to poor dental hygiene, other factors that may contribute to the development of gingivitis and gum disease include:

  • Improper brushing technique  
  • Poorly fitting fillings and dental prostheses 
  • Smoking, which significantly increases the risk of gum disease   
  • Chronic ill-health (e.g. gum disease may be a symptom of coeliac disease, HIV/AIDS or cancer)
  • Genetic factors 
  • Hormonal changes (e.g. menopause, pregnancy and puberty) 
  • Stress 
  • Some prescribed medicines (including some heart drugs and antibiotics) 
  • Tooth grinding 
  • Diabetes (due to an increased risk of infection)  
  • Excessive consumption of sugar or alcohol  
  • Deficiency of key nutrients, including vitamins A, C and folic acid, and the minerals zinc, iron and calcium.

Natural therapies

  • Take a broad-spectrum multivitamin and mineral to help prevent dietary deficiencies
  • Vitamin C may help reduce gum damage and gum bleeding, improve healing and support resistance to infection . For gum disease, some natural health experts recommend taking 3-5 grams of vitamin C per day in divided doses. Taking bioflavonoids at the same time may also be beneficial. 
  • Vitamin A is important for wound healing, immunity, and the integrity of the mucous membranes, including those of the mouth. Cod liver oil is a rich natural source of vitamin A.
  • Zinc may also be beneficial in periodontal disease, and works with vitamin A in many processes.
  • Preliminary evidence suggests that coenzyme Q10 may be beneficial for sufferers of periodontal disease, and it has additional benefits for cardiovascular health.

Diet and lifestyle

  • See your dentist if your teeth are loose or your gums are swollen or bleeding, as well as for regular check-ups and professional tooth cleaning.
  • In some cases, the only treatment necessary is improved dental hygiene, but if infection or tissue destruction is present, antibiotics and specialist dental treatment may be required, sometimes including surgery.
  • Brush your teeth after each meal or snack with a soft, small-headed toothbrush. Pay particular attention to the junction of the gum and the teeth – even at times when the gums are bleeding and sensitive.
  • Use dental floss daily too. It helps prevent the build up of plaque.
  • Mouthwash may also help to prevent plaque. 
  • Stop smoking.

Important notes

  • Gum disease can be associated with heart disease - make sure you have regular medical check-ups.
  • Consult your dentist if your gums bleed easily or regularly, or if you experience symptoms that may indicate the presence of infection, such as fever or pain.