A double-edged sword in the fight against gingivitis & periodontitis
Hydrogen peroxide against gum disease
A 3% (or lower) solution of hydrogen peroxide can do wonders for your gums if handled with caution but can do serious damage in the opposite case. It may also be a question of individual sensitivity...
Many people have reported positive experiences with using (3% strength or lower) hydrogen peroxide for oral problems such as bad breath, mouth sores, stained teeth as well as various gum problems, with successes ranging from healing bleeding gums and recurring gingivitis all the way to the most serious gum issues (see e.g. Hydrogen Peroxide and baking soda cured periodontitis) and firming up loosening teeth.
Some simple testimonials
"I have been using 3% hydrogen peroxide for years whenever my gums started bleeding. I rinse with it twice a day as many days as it takes for the bleeding to completely stop. I hold it in my mouth for two minutes, spit and rinse with water."
"I have been using hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse for several months now and during my last checkup, my dentist congratulated me - he couldn't find any inflamed gums anymore and even my loose teeth had firmed up. I can't tell how hydrogen peroxide affects amalgam fillings, however. "
Hydrogen peroxide has worked for animals' gingivitis too
(found on amazon.de) Here hydrogen peroxide 3% was used in combination with a product called "Dentisept" (a Chlorhexidine-based antiseptic paste formulated for cats and dogs to inhibit oral bacteria and fungi). A 6 year old cat had suffered with chronic gingivitis for years. At his wit's end, the vet had planned to pull the animal's teeth.
A cotton bud was dipped into 3% hydrogen peroxide and once a day for a week this was passed over the cat's teeth and gums which loosened the tartar and disinfected the pockets. The following two weeks the "Dentisept" paste was applied every other day (according to the instructions given by another pet owner who reported successfully fighting their pet's gingivitis).
At the time of reporting, this cat's gingivitis was greatly improved and while not completely healed, there was no more talk of having his teeth pulled.
Negative example - an interesting case reported on amazon.de.
This user bought the 3% hydrogen peroxide product after reading the positive reviews regarding hydrogen peroxide producing healthier gums and whiter teeth (which latter effect she was trying to achieve).
She had used the product for four days before bed according to instructions (the bottle actually stipulated to further dilute the 3% hydrogen peroxide five to ten times) when she noticed her teeth whitening somewhat. But when inspecting her mouth more closely, she also noticed a reddening of the gingival margins around all of her molars and a light pain in the area.
When by the same evening, her symptoms had worsened, she decided to stop the treatment.
To her dismay, her gums continued to worsen and started to visibly recede around some of her teeth. The dentist she consulted in great alarm commented that hydrogen peroxide was a bleach, i.e. very aggressive, and should never be applied to the gums and the oral mucosa. In her case it had triggered gingivitis.
This dentist of course is incorrect insofar as many people have used diluted hydrogen peroxide successfully to combat various oral diseases and the pathogens responsible for them.
I assume that this particular user was hypersensitive, i. e. it was a question of individual oversensitivity - or that she simply failed to rinse her mouth with water after each treatment.
- Safety issues relating to the use of hydrogen peroxide in dentistry.
"...low concentrations neither damage oral hard or soft tissues, nor do they pose a significant risk of adverse long-term effects."
- The effects of hydrogen peroxide rinses on the normal oral mucosa.
This study did find significant mucosal abnormalities and numerous subjective complaints in 35 individuals who used 0.75% or 1.5% hydrogen peroxide four times a day for two weeks.
Some dental, oral and other home uses of hydrogen peroxide
- use it to regularly clean your toothbrushes
- spray (highly diluted!!) hydrogen peroxide into your nostrils to stop a cold in its tracks
- rinse (highly diluted!!) to soothe a sore throat
- apply to itching insect bites
- use (highly diluted!!) as a reliable bad breath fighter (thanks to its antibacterial/disinfecting action).
If you have access to it, ozone can also be used to kill bacteria in periodontal pockets.
A word to the wise
As you can see from the above, using hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous and I personally would only use it after trying other less risky approaches to no avail. A similar Warning also applies to using hydrogen peroxide for brushing teeth.
For many gum healing tips see these related pages
- Herbal Gum Infection Home Remedies (note that the suggested gum treatment using honey also makes hydrogen peroxide)
- Curing periodontal pockets: healing periodontitis naturally (incl. psychological issues in gum disease)
- On psychological issues creating gum disease
- Herbs for strengthening teeth and gums
- Commercial herbal and similar products that may help teeth and/or gum problems
and of course the amazing gum healing reports featured under
- Dramatic dental real-life stories of DIY tooth, gum and oral healing.