Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
Can you offer some advice for treating gum disease?
A: Periodontal disease begins with gum inflammation and progresses to pockets of infection, bone loss, and loosening of the teeth. It is present in 90% of individuals over the age of 65.
The best treatment for gum disease is prevention, which includes regular flossing, using mouthwash that contains extracts of the herb thyme (such as thymol, found in Listerine), and using special tooth brushing appliances that help you reach all areas of your mouth.
It has also been suggested that cranberry juice might be useful for treating or preventing gum disease.