Best Products For Gum Disease Treatment

Gum disease, encompassing gingivitis and periodontitis, is a prevalent oral health concern. Gingivitis, triggered by plaque bacteria, can be reversed when treated quickly, but it can rapidly progress to periodontitis, receding gums and tooth loss when not treated. 

If you have symptoms that suggest you have gingivitis or you’ve been diagnosed with periodontitis you may be wondering what products are available to help treat or prevent gum disease.

The good news is that there is an array of gum disease products you can buy off the shelf available and in this post, we’ll discuss them and give our opinion on which are the best.

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Products For Gum Disease

Here’s a list of all the products, off-the-shelf, over-the-counter and prescription-only available to treat and prevent gum disease.


When looking for the best toothpaste for gum disease, consider toothpaste that has ingredients known to combat plaque, gingivitis, and the bacteria that contribute to gum disease such as fluoride. 

Fluoride is a naturally occurring ingredient which can be found in many off-the-shelf toothpastes. Look for those that contain Stannous fluoride which has been shown to be more effective in fighting bacteria compared to sodium fluoride due to it’s antibacterial properties.

Interdental Tools

Interdental cleaning tools, like floss, and interdental brushes, play a pivotal role in treating gum disease. These tools specifically target the spaces between teeth and areas below the gumline that are often inaccessible to regular toothbrushes. 

Floss, for example, is effective in dislodging food particles and preventing the build-up of plaque between the teeth. 

Interdental brushes, which are particularly beneficial for those with periodontitis or larger gaps between teeth, offer a more rigorous clean, reaching into the spaces to sweep away debris and disrupt bacterial colonies. These brushes can effectively diminish the risk of gum inflammation, a precursor to periodontal disease. 

Together, these tools complement regular tooth brushing and provide a comprehensive cleaning regimen.

Single-Tufted Brushes

Whilst some single-tufted brushes, are specially designed to clean specific, localized areas, such as around crowns, bridges, or irregularly positioned teeth the gum pocket brush is able to disrupt plaque bacteria and clean food debris from deep periodontal pockets which develop as periodontitis progresses. 


Dentists often exercise caution when recommending mouthwash for treating gum disease for several reasons. Mouthwash is not a substitute for the mechanical removal of plaque achieved through brushing and flossing. While some antiseptic mouthwashes can momentarily reduce bacteria, they don’t provide a long-term solution and may even irritate inflamed gums. 

Mouthwashes offer no benefits to those with advanced gum disease as they don’t effectively penetrate the periodontal pockets which harbour harmful bacteria (it can only be manually removed). 

If you choose to use mouthwashes it’s recommended they are used at a different time during the day or before you brush. This allows the active ingredients in toothpaste to remain on the tooth surfaces for longer. 

Xylitol Products

Xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol popular in dental products, may promote oral health. Products like gums and lozenges with xylitol may counteract gum diseases by inhibiting Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium causing tooth decay. This bacterium struggles to metabolize xylitol, decreasing acid production, and promoting a neutral mouth pH. Regular use of xylitol products has been shown to reduce bacterial load, whilst Xylitol gum and lozenges stimulate saliva production, neutralizing acids which may aid in the prevention of gum disease.


Toothbrushes are fundamental tools in both the prevention and management of gum diseases. Regular and effective toothbrushing disrupts dental plaque, the biofilm of bacteria, that coats the tooth surface, greatly reducing the risk of gum disease.

The design, bristle quality, and size of the toothbrush also matter, as they should effectively clean without causing undue wear on the enamel or causing injury to the gums.

Electric toothbrushes have been shown to be more effective at removing plaque. 

Water Flosser

Water flossers, sometimes known as oral irrigators, are devices that use a pressurized stream of water to clean between teeth and along the gumline. They are often marketed as an alternative or supplement to traditional string flossing.

For those who find traditional flossing challenging, water flossers can be a more comfortable alternative. Whilst some studies suggest that water flossers can be effective in reducing bleeding and gingivitis when combined with regular brushing dentists don’t recommend them.

Many dentists believe they are ineffective at dislodging sticky plaque, which is the main culprit behind gum disease and cavities. Traditional flossing physically scrapes off this plaque, which water flossers might not effectively do. Additionally, there have been some reports of the water reservoirs growing mold, which of course you would not want to squirt into your mouth. 

If you choose to use a water flosser, it’s generally recommended to use it in conjunction with regular flossing and brushing to ensure optimal oral hygiene.


Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic agent used in various oral care and medical products due to its effectiveness against a broad range of microorganisms. In the treatment of gum disease, chlorhexidine is particularly effective in managing gingivitis. Chlorhexidine products available include mouthwashes, toothpaste, gels, peri chips and oral sprays. Also, some products specially formulated for cleaning dental implants contain chlorhexidine to prevent peri-implantitis.

In some regions, chlorhexidine is available without a prescription as an over-the-counter treatment, but in others, it is a prescription-only medicine.

Whilst buying Chlorhexidine products around the world varies, mouthwashes (not daily varieties if available in your region), gels and PerioChips should only be used as part of a broader treatment plan and when advised by your dentist or healthcare provider. It should only be used for short periods as long-term use can lead to staining of the teeth.

Prescription Medicines

There are a number of medicines for gum disease such as antibiotics and some items containing Chlorhexidine which are only available if you have a prescription from your dentist or healthcare provider. These products are only used in a limited number of treatment plans. Seek further guidance from your healthcare provider.

Disclosing Tablets

Disclosing tablets are a great product to use if you want to ensure that you are cleaning your teeth properly each day. They highlight plaque so you know if your technique is efficient and effective.

What Makes A Product Effective At Treating and Preventing Gum Disease?

The most effective way to reverse gingivitis and control periodontitis is by disrupting bacterial plaque at least twice daily with good oral hygiene. By consistently removing this plaque with proper brushing techniques and interdental cleaning tools, individuals can greatly reduce the risk of gum diseases. Moreover, for those already experiencing gum conditions, first-class oral hygiene is a cornerstone in treatment protocols to halt disease progression and maintain oral health.

The Best Dental Products For Gum Disease

As we just highlighted the most effective way to treat and control gum disease is by disrupting bacterial plaque. Dental products which are most effective at doing this are:

  • Electric toothbrushes 
  • ADA-recommended toothpaste containing Stannous Fluoride
  • Interdental brushes – you may also these in combination with dental floss
  • The gum pocket brush to clean periodontal pockets

Other products like mouthwashes, water flossers and Xylitol may also be useful in some cases. Only use mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine when advised or prescribed as part of a long-term treatment plan.

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Other Treatments

Living A Healthy Lifestyle

As well as OTC treatments, in combination with professional treatments where appropriate a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, is crucial for preventing and treating gum disease. Good nutrition strengthens the immune system and reduces inflammation while avoiding harmful habits like smoking prevents further gum issues. Stress management also plays a role in maintaining gum health. Overall, a wholesome lifestyle is key to defending against gum disease.

Natural Remedies

For centuries, natural remedies like warm salt water rinses, homoeopathic treatments, green tea, aloe vera gel, and oil pulling with tea tree oil have been explored for gum health support.  However, there is no reliable evidence to support their use as a treatment for gum disease.  

While these natural remedies can be supportive, they should not replace conventional self-care routines using the dental products mentioned above. 

When To Seek Professional Help

Dental products are the cornerstone of all treatment protocols to halt disease progression and maintain oral health. But for those with advanced periodontal disease professional gum health treatments may also be necessary. A trained dental professional can provide a thorough assessment and advanced cleaning.

If you don’t have access to a dentist take a look at our post on curing gum diseases at home without a dentist


Sharon Fyles image

Written by Sharon Fyles

Periodontitis Expert & Writer

Sharon Fyles, BSc (Hons, SW), MSc, Dip,  is a Manchester-based expert dental writer specialising in periodontal diseases and their treatment.


Medically Reviewed and Verified by Dr. Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons), MFDS (RCPS Glasgow)

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