Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums and periodentitis is the inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissues that can eventually result in loss of bone support. Symptoms are gums that are red, swollen, and bleed easily. They often recede and bad breath may be present. A good diet and proper oral hygiene are essential in preventing gum disease. Sugar significantly increases plaque formation while adversely affecting white blood cell function. Toothpaste or mouthwash containing sanguinarine, an alkaloid from the herb bloodroot, helps prevent plaque formation and has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Centella extract, 30 mg twice daily, a triter-penoid from gota kola, has effective wound healing properties especially effective for severe gum disease and after surgery.
TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome) can also cause a loss of bone support. Ear and jaw pain and difficulty in opening the mouth are symptoms, often a result of underlying muscle tension. Bruxism, or grinding of teeth, is usually a part of the syndrome. Calcium, 1 g, and magnesium, 350 mg, taken twice daily can relax muscles. Acupuncture, biofeedback, imagery, and craniosacral osteopathy are therapies that can bring relief.
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