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My gums seem to bleed when I brush my teeth.

Q. Dear Terry, “Lately, my gums seem to bleed when I brush my teeth. I’ve switched to a softer toothbrush and recently started oil pulling. Any other tips for things that might help?” — Vanya S., Kirkland, WA

A. Dear Vanya, When it comes to dental health, I highly recommend keeping your dentist in the loop. Dental issues can lead to more serious complications, like cardiovascular disease, if not properly addressed. With that being said, I think I have some natural options that can help.

To help keep the gums and mouth healthy, I recommend concentrated plant oils of cinnamon, thyme, clove, and oregano. The specific kind of plant oils I recommend are “fingerprinted” to ensure purity and safety.

Now, not all plant oils should be taken internally, but these ingredients have been proven to help destroy harmful bacteria without impacting the beneficial bacteria. Concentrated plant oils are up to 100 times stronger than ordinary dried herbs, and they’re extremely safe. 

Cinnamon is a great antibacterial and antifungal, and was actually worth more than silver in ancient Rome. One of the most potent compounds in cinnamon, called cinnamaldehyde, has even been shown to inhibit Staphylococcus aureus.

Thyme is one of the best concentrated plant oils to fight bacteria. However, this variety of thyme is a different species than you may use for cooking. The variety of thyme I recommend for oral health is Thymus satureioides.

Clove has strong antibacterial properties for yeast and oral pathogens like Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia, which are both linked to periodontal disease.

Lastly, oregano is one of my favorite botanicals because it is such a potent antimicrobial for bacteria, fungi, parasites, and more. Oregano is also a great anti-inflammatory which makes it very useful for oral health.

I would take these four plant oils internally two to three times a day, or after each meal.

You may also want to consider adding a purified propolis that is free of beeswax. Propolis is another excellent antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and more. I would take propolis once or twice per day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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