Gum Disease

Dentistry has been at the forefront of preventive medicine during the past decades when other branches of western medicine only concentrated on prescribing pharmaceutical medications and invasive procedures. Our dentists actively teaching us how to brush our teeth and floss so that we can avoid cavities, bone loss, and periodontal disease; those recommendations remain relative and should be followed. Additionally, there are many natural therapeutic protocols that can helps to prevent gum disease and address underlying causes of gingivitis and teeth loss. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), many internal imbalances can cause gum disease also. These are the main patterns of imbalance, but one should note that more than one of these issues often presents in each individual patient at the same time, and multiple imbalances often combine to create complex patterns:

Stomach Heat and Gum Disease
The acupuncture Stomach channel begins on the side of the nose and descends to the gums; typically, the Qi flows down the channel. However, if the Stomach becomes overheated and begins to function improperly, one may experience Rebellions Qi traveling in the wrong direction. Heat can ascend through the Stomach channel to impact the gums causing inflammation. The Stomach loves moisture and is injured by dryness. Poor diet, alcohol, and spicy foods can contribute to Stomach Heat. This pathogenic Dryness leading to Heat will consume Stomach Yin. Indications would include dry lips, redness and swelling of gums, and constant hunger. More about Stomach Yin Deficiency Here!

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Kidney Yin Deficiency and Gum Disease

The Kidney is the origin of Yin for the entire body. Chronic Kidney Yin Deficiency may lead to Stomach Yin Deficiency. Symptoms may include afternoon/night sweats, loose teeth, and lower back achiness. More on Kidney Yin Deficiency Here

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Liver Qi Stagnation and Gum Disease

Liver Qi Stagnation is another possible source of pathogenic Heat or Fire in the body, as the Liver tends to heat up when constrained by ongoing emotional stress, or prolonged exposure to toxins or drugs (pharmaceutical, over-the-counter, or illegal). The Liver tends to strike out and “attack” other weaker, more vulnerable organs as it becomes agitated; the Stomach is a common target. More about Liver Qi Stagnation Here

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Spleen Qi Deficiency and Gum Disease
The Spleen is in charge of containing Blood in the vessels. Gums that bleed easily may be an indication of Spleen Qi Deficiency; indications would include pale gums, fatigue, poor appetite, a tongue with teeth marks on the sides. This is one of the more common patterns associated with poor gum health. More on Spleen Qi Deficiency Here

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Kidney Yang Deficiency and Gum Disease

This pattern is common in the elderly, but may be seen at any age. Indications would include coldness of the body and limbs, pale tongue and gums, receding gum line, and tooth loss.

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Fire Toxins and Gum Disease

This is most commonly referring to acute infections that are best treated with an anti-biotic. However, the tendency towards and infection may be due to underlying deficient conditions as noted above. Indications would include redness and pain of gums, pus and blood, and bad breath.

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Large Intestine Heat and Gum Disease

The Large Intestine acupuncture channel runs from the hand up to the teeth; acupuncture points on the hand are needled and stimulated with electricity during dental procedures and tooth extractions to numb the pain with great effectiveness. More on Large Intestine Disorders Here