• 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 C A6
  • Vitamin D A6

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.

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

REFA1 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.

REFA2 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.

REFA3 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.

REFA4 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.

REFA5 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.

REFA6 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.

REFA7 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.

REFA8 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.

REFA9 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.

REFA10 Gruner D, Paris S, Schwendicke F. Probiotics for managing caries and periodontitis: Systematic review and meta-analysis. J Dent. 2016 May;48:16-25.


REFB1 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.


REFC1 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.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 11/2019
  • Update Date: 06/12/2020