Garlic and Gum Disease

Over the years, garlic has been a part folklore, ancient myth, and household remedies. By looking back into history we can apply some old world uses of garlic for new ways to improve oral and overall health. On National Garlic Day, Ankeny dentist, Dr. Amanda Foust will call to attention ways that garlic can treat gum disease.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition which is caused by poor oral hygiene that leads to plaque buildup along the gum line. When plaque and bacteria infect the gum tissue it can cause your gums to feel sensitive, look inflamed, and often bleed during brushing. These are all signs of the earliest form of gum disease, called gingivitis. If gingivitis goes untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. In these stages, periodontal pockets begin to form, separating your teeth from your gums. Eventually, these infected pockets will deteriorate your jawbone, making your teeth loose in their sockets.

How is gum disease treated?

Scaling and root planing is often called deep cleaning because it involves using dental instruments to clean around the tooth and gum line and below the gum tissue around the tooth root. This is the most effective treatment of gum disease, which combined with antibiotics, stops the infection from spreading. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings will prevent gum disease from reoccurring.

How is garlic related to gum disease?

The antibacterial properties in garlic have been found to reduce some of the bacteria which infects gum tissue and creates periodontal pockets. Some scientists have found that liquid garlic can seep into the infected pockets and treat some of the harmful bacteria buildup. In fact, garlic has been used in the past to prevent scurvy. Characterized by gum disease, scurvy was caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene and severe Vitamin C deficiency. Because garlic is high in Vitamin C and contains antiseptic properties, its benefits for scurvy treatment are two-fold.

How can garlic improve my health?

Some studies suggest eating garlic regularly can help prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. The herb’s blood thinning properties have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions. In the distant past, garlic was cited for many uses including fighting off the “Black Death” in Europe, increasing stamina in Egyptian pyramid workers, and discouraging vampires and antagonistic nymphs.

Treating Gum Disease in Ankeny

While garlic can be beneficial for your health in many different ways, do not depend on this herb for complete gum disease treatment. If you have gingivitis or periodontal disease, have your condition treated as soon as possible. Dr. Amanda Foust offers deep cleaning and dental checkups to help you reclaim your oral health and maintain healthy gums. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our Ankeny dentist office at (515) 965-0230. We proudly serve patients from Bondurant, Elkhard, Polk City, Alleman, and the neighboring communities near Ankeny.