What Are the Risk Factors of Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition marked by an excessive presence of harmful oral bacteria in the mouth. Although we tend to think that all bacteria are harmful, the majority are not. Of the 350 bacteria species present in the average healthy mouth, over 95% are either harmless or beneficial.1 However, when the balance of oral microorganisms is disrupted by an increase in bad bacteria, plaque begins to form on the teeth and along the gumline. Plaque accumulation causes inflammation of the gums and frequently results in swelling, redness, soreness and bleeding. This initial stage of gum disease is called gingivitis—and it’s entirely reversible with proper care. If left untreated, however, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, which is much more serious, and difficult to treat. So, what are the biggest risk factors associated with the development of gum disease?


The choices we make in our daily lives affect the way our bodies function. When we make healthy choices, such as maintaining a nutrient-dense diet, exercising, avoiding tobacco, and limiting alcohol consumption, the immune system thrives. Conversely, neglecting these healthy habits creates an environment that is ripe for disease. Long-term alcohol abuse is highly destructive to oral health, while smoking is the biggest preventable risk factor for gum disease.2 Other contributing factors to periodontal disease include an unbalanced diet and psychological stress.2 When it comes to preventing gum disease, a healthy lifestyle, combined with regular brushing, flossing, and routine trips to the dentist, is the best defense.


Though gingivitis often affects teenagers, the onset of gum disease is most prevalent in adults 35 and older.2

Female hormonal changes

Women experience hormonal changes throughout their lives. Hormone fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause all affect oral health. Gum sensitivity increases during these times, making it easier for an inflammatory response to occur.3

Medical conditions

Research indicates systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and HIV/AIDS increase the risk for developing gum disease. Weakened immune systems are far more susceptible to infection.4 Many medications that treat these and other conditions also have side effects that adversely affect oral health.5


People with family members affected by gum disease are at an increased risk of developing it at some point in their lives.2

Reversing gum disease through natural oral care

In addition to healthy lifestyle choices and regular visits to the dentist, herbal mouth care products can help to ensure optimal oral health. Extensive research has shown that harsh chemical antimicrobial and antibiotic agents are not necessary for clean teeth, and that people with particularly sensitive gums often experience irritation with these products. Herbal extracts, such as those used in Truly Natural® Dental Herb Company products, have therapeutic value, and act as a natural remedy for gum disease; they are as gentle as they are effective. Due in large part to their gentle efficacy, the popularity of all-natural toothpastes and mouthwashes has steadily increased.

Dental Herb Company products contain five pure essential oils (not derivatives or synthetic equivalents) and two alcohol-free organic herbal extracts, which work synergistically to help reduce oral bacteria, soothe oral irritation, and condition and rebuild gum tissue. The formulae for the Tooth & Gums System took two decades to perfect and it is this dedication to creating a powerfully effective all natural alternative that has earned the company a reputation for excellence with patients and dentists alike. For more than a decade, Dental Herb Company products have been used and trusted by thousands of dentists. Now you can order the same professional strength products directly from the Dental Herb Company.


  1. Periodontitis (Causes).” Nytimes.com. New York Times, 11 Mar. 2013. Web.
  2. Periodontal Disease.” Umm.edu. Ed. Harvey Simon, MD. University of Maryland Medical Center, 11 Mar. 2013. Web.
  3. Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.” Nidcr.nih.gov. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Aug. 2012. Web.
  4. Chi, Angela C., DMD, Brad W. Neville, DDS, Joe W. Krayer, DDS, and Wanda C. Gonsalves, MD. “Oral Manifestations of Systemic Disease.” Aafp.org. American Family Physician, n.d. Web.
  5. Oral Side Effects of Medications.” WebMD.com. WebMD, n.d. Web.

Medications that Affect Oral Health

During the past decade there has been a significant increase in the number of people taking prescription medications. A recent study by Mayo Clinic and Olmstead Medical Center researchers states that nearly 70% of Americans take at least one prescription drug regularly—and more than half of those take two prescription medications or more. Twenty percent of all patients take five or more prescription medications, according to the findings published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.1

The five most commonly prescribed classes of medications are antibiotics (17%), antidepressants (13%), opioids (13%), lipid-reducers (11%), and vaccines (11%). Women and older adults receive more prescriptions than men and younger persons; people younger than nineteen are most commonly prescribed vaccines, antibiotics and asthma medications.1

While all medications have potential side effects, over 400 drugs (spanning nearly every class) list potential adverse oral side effects such as dry mouth,gingivitis and canker sores.2 According to the manufacturers of these medications, dental problems can occur as a result of taking the following classes of drugs:

  • Antihistamines
  • Chemotherapy medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Seizure medications
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Narcotic pain relievers
  • Antipsychotics
  • Lung inhalers
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Heart medications
  • Acne medications
  • Anti-nausea medications
  • Antibiotics
  • Diabetes medications
  • Blood thinners
  • Statins
  • Rheumatoid arthritis medications
  • Thyroid medications
  • Stimulants

If you are taking a medication that may have an adverse affect on your oral health, you can reduce the potential for future periodontal disease treatment by taking a few simple precautions.

Take the time to carefully read the information supplied by the pharmacy with your prescriptions, and if you are taking any drugs that have potential negative oral side effects, talk with your pharmacist and your dentist about ways to minimize them. Some of the most common oral problems associated with medications are:

Dry mouth

Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth is a medical condition that carries the highest risk of developing adverse oral health problems. Because saliva is necessary for keeping teeth clean and preventing plaque buildup, if the amount of saliva in the mouth decreases, the risk for oral irritation and gum inflammation increases. Dry mouth also raises the risk of developing cavities and gum disease. To help alleviate the discomfort of dry mouth, choose gentle oral care options such as natural toothpaste and alcohol-free mouthwash. Sugarless gum and artificial saliva products can help relieve discomfort and possible damage to teeth and gums.3 In addition, the botanical extracts used in natural oral care products provide hydration to help soothe and condition sensitive oral tissue.  

Fungal Infection

Certain steroidal inhalers used in the treatment of chronic asthma can encourage the growth of yeast in the mouth, a condition known as oral candidiasis. Rinsing the mouth out with water or a natural oral rinse after using the inhaler can help prevent infection.

Gingival Overgrowth

This condition occurs when gum tissue becomes swollen to the point that it begins to grow over the teeth, thereby allowing harmful bacteria easier access to the underlying tooth structure. Practicing good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist can help reduce the chances of developing this condition.


A common side effect of chemotherapy, mucositis is an inflammation of the oral lining and digestive tract. It can result in mouth and tongue swelling, pain, bleeding and mouth sores. Sensitive mouths should avoid potential irritants such as alcohol, tobacco, and spicy foods. Oral care products containing harsh chemicals such as alcohol can exacerbate dryness;  toothpastes containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) can increase the potential for canker sores. Choosing alcohol-free, SLS-free all natural oral care products can reduce the risk of developing mucositis.

Natural treatment for periodontal disease

Herbal remedies have been used in oral care regimens for centuries. Because they are as gentle as they are effective, choosing natural dental care products when taking medications is a great alternative. Dental Herb Company makes high quality oral care products from pure essential oils and organic herbal extracts. Each product in the system is designed to offer cleansing and therapeutic benefits without harsh chemicals.  For your convenience, all Dental Herb Company Truly Natural® professional strength products are now available for purchase online.  Avoid oral discomfort and gum disease by treating your mouth with the high quality care it deserves.


  1. “Nearly 7 in 10 Americans Take Prescription Drugs, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center Find.” Mayoclinic.org. Mayo Clinic, 19 June 2013. Web. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2013-rst/7543.html>.
  2. “Oral Side Effects of Medications.” WebMD.com. WebMD, n.d. Web. <http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/oral-side-effects-of-medications>.
  3. “Medications and Oral Health.” AAP Patient Page 2 (July-Aug. 2001): n. pag. Perio.org. American Academy of Periodontology. Web. <http://www.bradentonperio.com/Downloads/medication_and_oral_health.pdf>.

The Benefits of Herbal Dental Care Products: Using Ancient Herbs for Oral Health

Dental Herb Company uses the power of essential oils and organically grown herbal extracts in its professional strength herbal dental care products to promote and maintain good oral health. In addition, their formulas relieve gum inflammation while helping to rebuild connective tissue and neutralize halitosis. Regular dental visits, proper oral care, and effective all natural herbal dental products are key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils (EOs) are distilled liquids extracted from flowers, leaves, bark, stems, roots, shrubs and trees. The effectiveness of EOs lies in their exceptional ability to penetrate human tissue and provide therapeutic benefits. EOs contain varying numbers of tiny aromatic molecules that rapidly absorb into skin and travel through the body via blood capillaries and the circulatory system. When placed on the foot, EOs will be distributed to every cell within the body in under 21 minutes.1 The interaction between the EOs’ properties and the body’s natural chemistry result in physiological changes that include repairing damaged tissue, relieving pain and enhancing circulation.2 When used in herbal dental care, EOs are absorbed deep into gum tissue where their potent antibacterial properties provide valuable benefits in the treatment of gum disease.1

Dental Herb Company’s unique formulation of herbs for dental health

Developed by a dental researcher over the span of two decades, Dental Herb Company formulae contain pure essential oils (not their derivatives or synthetic equivalents) and alcohol-free extracts of organically grown herbs. Although botanicals have been used for centuries to treat ailments, modern clinical research has demonstrated the antimicrobial benefits of Dental Herb Company’s natural oral care products. The formulae contain five essential oils and two herbal extracts which work together synergistically to provide excellent oral health.

The essential oils:

Red Thyme

The oil from this herb has been used extensively in medicine as a powerful antiseptic and disinfectant. Additionally, its antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and stimulating properties help treat oral inflammation and infection, making it a powerful additive to herbal dental products.3

Cinnamon Bark

The high aldehyde content of this oil makes it a strong antimicrobial and antiseptic.  High in tannins, cinnamon bark is an astringent, which in turn provides valuable benefits. Astringents contract, firm and strengthen oral tissue, reduce surface inflammation and irritation, and create a protective barrier from infection. Cinnamon oil is widely recognized as a painkiller and has long been used to soothe toothaches.4

Truly Natural® Ingredients


An essential oil that helps boost circulation and speeds the healing process.


Indigenous to Australia, eucalyptus has one of the most widely recognizable aromas.  It is commonly used as the active ingredient in vapor rubs because it aids respiratory function. In addition, eucalyptus boasts antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and stimulant properties, which boost circulation and speed up the healing process.  It is ideal for combating oral infection and mouth ulcers.5


Widely used for its skin healing properties, the oil from this highly aromatic flower offers antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic and stimulant properties in natural dental remedies, making it a strong ally for good oral health. Lavender is effective against halitosis, helps heal damaged tissue and provides soothing relief from mouth pain6. Its pleasant aroma is also a powerful sedative which helps to calm the nervous system and decrease stress. While this may not seem relevant to mouth care, emotional stress is strongly linked to gum disease, because it impairs immune function and lowers the body’s natural defenses.7


The oil from this plant provides antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, sedative and stimulant properties. While peppermint flavoring is one of the most common additives used in commercial toothpaste and mouthwash, the majority of these products do not contain the essential oil itself. Rather than using essential oils as active ingredients, the majority of mouth care products typically use synthetic derivatives. When peppermint essential oil is used in natural oral care products it offers protection from oral infection, pain relief and enhanced blood circulation.8

The herbal extracts:


This herb is best known for helping the body to fight off microbial infections. It is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and is an immunomodulator, which reacts with and aids the immune system. Studies have shown Echinacea to be effective in preventing infection, repairing damaged tissue and regenerating connective tissue.9

Truly Natural® Ingredients

Gotu Kola

An herb that has been used for centuries to aid in wound healing.

Gotu kola

Used as a medicine for its healing properties, gotu kola has been shown to stimulate blood vessel growth in connective tissue, stimulate wound healing, and act as a powerful anti-inflammatory.10

Natural dental remedies for a healthy lifestyle

Dental Herb Company offers a unique line of Truly Natural® oral care products which help promote and maintain optimal oral health. With formulations rooted in both modern science and with thousands of years in medicinal use, you can trust the excellence of every product in the Tooth & Gums System. Talk to a dental professional on your next visit about the many benefits of using natural herbal dental products.


  1. Foster, Cynthia, M.D. “Essential Oils.” Drfostersessentials.com. Dr. Foster’s Essentials, n.d. Web. <http://www.drfostersessentials.com/store/intro_oils.php>
  2. Gladstar, Rosemary. “2. A Prescription for Life.” Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub., 2008. N. pag. Print.
  3. “Thyme, Red Essential Oil.” Mountainroseherbs.com. Mountain Rose Herbs, n.d. Web. <http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/eo/redthyme.php>.
  4. “Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil.” Mountainroseherbs.com. Mountain Rose Herbs, n.d. Web. <http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/eo/cinnamonbark.php>.
  5. “Eucalyptus Essential Oil.” Mountainroseherbs.com. Mountain Rose Herbs, n.d. Web. <http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/eo/eucalyptus.php>.
  6. Hoffmann, David. “Materia Medica.” Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts, 2003. 561-62. Print.
  7. Warner, Jennifer. “Stress May Wreak Havoc on Your Mouth.” WebMD.com. WebMD, n.d. Web. <http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20070813/stress-may-wreak-havoc-on-your-mouth>.
  8. Hoffmann, David. “Materia Medica.” Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts, 2003. 567-68. Print.
  9. Hoffmann, David. “Materia Medica.” Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts, 2003. 544-45. Print.
  10. “Gotu Kola.” Yourhealth.com.au. YourHealth, n.d. Web. <http://www.yourhealth.com.au/information-on-natural-medicine-herbs-detail.php?name=Gotu%20kola>.