Periodontal Disease

Related Terms

Gum Disease; Gingivitis

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums. It can result in swollen gums, bad breath, and pain when chewing.

It is treated with good oral hygiene and dental cleanings. Medicine, deep dental cleaning, and surgery may be needed by some people. Some people use natural therapies to ease pain. They should not be used in place of standard care.

Natural Therapies

Likely Effective

Probiotics are good bacteria that are likely to control gum health.A3, A8, A9, A10

May Be Effective

These herbs and supplements may be effective:

  • Grape seed extract A2
  • Green tea catechin may ease symptoms when used with standard dental procedures.A5
  • Melaleuca alternifoilia is a small tree in the myrtle family.A7
  • Melatonin is a hormone made by the body to help regulate sleep.A4
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that can be taken as a supplement. They are best for periodontal disease when taken with aspirin.A1
  • Vitamin CA6
  • Vitamin DA6

Phytotherapy is the use of plant-derived medicines to treat disease. It may provide benefit.B1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.


Herbs and Supplements

A1. El-Sharkawy H, Aboelsaad N, et al. Adjunctive treatment of chronic periodontitis with daily dietary supplementation with omega-3 Fatty acids and low-dose aspirin. J Periodontol. 2010;81(11):1635-1643.

A2. Rayyan M, Terkawi T, et al. Efficacy of grape seed extract gel in the treatment of chronic periodontitis: A randomized clinical study. J Investig Clin Dent. 2018;9(2):e12318.

A3. Ikram S, Hassan N, et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis of double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials using probiotics in chronic periodontitis. J Investig Clin Dent. 2018;9(3):e12338.

A4. EL-Sharkawy H, Elmeadwy S, et al. Is dietary melatonin supplementation a viable adjunctive therapy for chronic periodontitis? -A randomized controlled clinical trial. J Periodontal Red. 2019;54(2):190-197.

A5. Gartenmann SJ, Weydlich YV, et al. The effect of green tea as an adjunct to scaling and root planing in non-surgical periodontitis therapy: a systematic review. Clin Oral Investig. 2019 Jan;23(1):1-20.

A6. Varela-López A, Navarro-Hortal MD, et al. Nutraceuticals in Periodontal Health: A Systematic Review on the Role of Vitamins in Periodontal Health Maintenance. Molecules. 2018 May 20;23(5). pii: E1226.

A7. Casarin M, Pazinatto J, et al. Melaleuca alternifolia and its application against dental plaque and periodontal diseases: A systematic review. Phytother Res. 2018 Feb;32(2):230-242.

A8. Matsubara VH, Bandara HM, et al. The role of probiotic bacteria in managing periodontal disease: a systematic review. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2016 Jul;14(7):643-655.

A9. Martin-Cabezas R, Davideau JL, et al. Clinical efficacy of probiotics as an adjunctive therapy to non-surgical periodontal treatment of chronic periodontitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Periodontol. 2016 Jun;43(6):520-530.

A10. Gruner D, Paris S, Schwendicke F. Probiotics for managing caries and periodontitis: Systematic review and meta-analysis. J Dent. 2016 May;48:16-25.


B1. Moro MG, Silveira Souto ML, et al. Efficacy of local phytotherapy in the nonsurgical treatment of periodontal disease: A systematic review. J Periodontal Res. 2018 Jun;53(3):288-297.


C1. Kulkarni V, Bhatavadekar NB, et al. The effect of nutrition on periodontal disease: a systematic review. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2014 May;42(5):302-311.

Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC

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