Gingivitis, Periodontitis, Pyorrhea and White Oak Bark

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A Gum Surgeon’s Worst $2.65 Nightmare—White Oak Bark Powder for Gingivitis

   By Dr. Denice Moffat 

Gingivitis, Periodontitis, Pyorrhea

I saw a husband and wife in for their occasional recheck. The husband had suffered from a case of severe periodontitis (sick, bleeding, infected gums that had come away from the teeth) with pyorrhea (pus coming out of the gum). His dentist wanted $1600 to do gum surgery on him to cut the pockets away from the teeth. Ouch! Painful in more ways than one!

I had sent him home two months previous with $2.65 worth of White Oak Bark Powder. I asked Bruce how his gingivitis was coming along…

“Take a look.” He offered. Looking into his mouth I saw pink healthy tissue and the gums had re-adhered to the teeth. Not even a sign of gingivitis. Perfect. “I can’t believe it! And I thank you SO much for saving me all that money!”

He was very pleased and I was not at all surprised. I have seen this product work its magic many times over in the years of my practice.

White Oak Bark powder

So, how do you use White Oak Bark, and where do you get some?

As I tell my clients, “You know those TV commercials advertising Copenhagen chew? Just a little between the teeth and gums? Well, you apply the White Oak Bark about the same way.”

Apply the dry powder (about 1/8th teaspoon to each infected area; rinse your tongue off of all the extra powder, then sleep with it on your gum line. I have one of those hand-held sprayers used to rinse the dishes that most people have at the kitchen sink. I just put my head over the sink, stick out my tongue and hose it off. The next morning, spit and rinse. Repeat nightly for 30 days. It doesn’t taste that bad, and it works GREAT. (Note: White Oak Bark does NOT work for receding gums.)

Also, increase the amount of Vitamin C in your diet for a couple of months. If you have any kind of stomach problems, your best choice is Ester C. Don’t get the cheap stuff with Ascorbic Acid in it. That is a man-made vitamin C that is only one of the four molecules of vitamin C and your body doesn’t assimilate it very well.

All health food stores carry Ester-C product, but you may have to have them special order the White Oak Bark Powder. I sell it in bulk form, but you can also find it in capsule form—I’ve seen it in Nature’s Way brand. It’s a bit of a hassle disassembling the capsules to get enough powder, but you can do it that way.

White Oak Bark tincture won’t work because you’ll swallow it giving you nice, tight intestines instead of gums, although I suppose you could use it as an herbal mouthwash for prevention of gingivitis. I get mine in bulk through Starwest Botanicals out of California ( . The postage is more than the treatment costs. Amazing stuff.

How does it work? White Oak Bark is astringent and has lots of calcium in it. It sucks the infection right out of the gum line and removes the pockets where food can get trapped making the problem worse. The calcium in it strengthens the periodontal fibers and helps the gums stick back onto the teeth.

© 2006 by Dr. Denice M. Moffat updated 2/7/23

Client Testimonials and Questions:

Question: How long does it take to see results? 

  • Answer: About a month, usually no longer than that.

Question: If I swallow some accidentally, will it hurt me?

  • Answer: No. It is considered an astringent herb. It may help to tone up your guts over a long period of time, but other than that you should be very safe.

Question: Will it stain my teeth?  

  • Answer: It doesn’t seem to, but I haven’t had any clients use it more than a month (that’s all they needed it for.)

Question: I’m 69 years young, white, O-positive. I live in Tennessee. I have a question about the White Oak Bark powder. You didn’t comment on concerns about removal of the plaque by “scraping” all teeth roots under the gum line. Doesn’t this still need to be done, at least in the case of some people?     Thank you, Lynne

  • Answer: Dear Lynne: Sometimes it’s just better to apply the oak bark after a cleaning. It doesn’t remove plaque. And at your age, sometimes it’s best to take something in the antibiotic field (even Goldenseal and Echinacea) for a few days before and after the cleaning. The plaque has bacteria in it that gets in the bloodstream and directly attacks the heart valves often causing mitral insufficiency (it does this in young people as well) I see it all the time in the animal world and I definitely wear a mask when I do dental work on an animal. Thanks for writing and good luck!

Question: More clarification on gum disease – I want to use the white bark powder to get rid of the infection before any dental work.  But I’m trying to understand if I definitely need to go to the periodontist and have the plaque scraped off my teeth [a depth of – 8 mm]. This is like minor surgery and a lot more than a general dentist is trained for.  From your experience, If the gums are healed and the plaque covered up [not removed], is that usual, and therefore okay?      Thanks so much.  Lynne M

  • Answer: Lynne:  It’s better to use the White Oak bark AFTER doing the subgingival curettage (I know it hurts!) but if you close the gums up around the tarter and plaque, it just sits there and festers and eventually causes great systemic problems. The plaque has a special affinity for the heart values and inside of the heart and can cause heart murmurs in humans and animals. And the sequestered bacteria can also eat into the teeth causing the need for root canals (which you really don’t want if at all possible). Denice

Dear Dr. Moffat, I am writing to let you know how much I’ve appreciated reading the information on your website particularly that regarding dental health!  I have had a long history of temperamental gums and bone loss.  It hasn’t been until I almost had to have one of my back molars pulled that I really started taking care of my teeth!  I am 53!  Eeeegaads!

I was spending $20 an ounce for a tooth and gum formula that works pretty well but have been interested in making my own and was checking out different websites on making tinctures and came upon yours.  I so appreciate your giving people the simple inexpensive way to save their teeth and gums.  I wish more dentists would do the same!  I have just received the Oak Bark Powder in today’s mail and am anxious to try it.  I am also making a tincture of essential oils and oak bark powder to use in my water pick!  Gotta try it all!  Thanks again,  Rae

Question: Hello, I wanted to know if when using the white oak bark powder, do you wet it before applying? Have you other testimonials to the effect of this powder on gum disease? Also, how long before patient sees significant improvement? Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Sincerely  B. N. Doctor of Homeopathic Medicine

  • Answer: Dear Dr. N.: No, I’ve never wet it before putting it into my mouth because it falls apart and doesn’t stick together. The saliva moistens it. I get testimonies every month on how well it works. I’m kind of tired of including them in my newsletters!

It seems to take 30 days to clear up most cases. Has not worked in every case. . .just most cases. I figure there must be something else terribly wrong with the mouth or it’s just too far gone if they don’t see at least some results. It’s cheap, easy, fast and safe. Good enough for me! Thanks for writing.  Denice 

Question: Hello, Dr. Moffat.  When using white oak bark powder for pyorrhea, is it supposed to burn like hell?  I’m extremely sensitive to everything, so I don’t know if I can’t tolerate it or if I have to suffer to get better. Sounds like you’ve had a lot of experience with this. I’d really appreciate your response. Other things I’ve tried, also burn, but not as much. Thanks M.T.

  • Answer: Dear M.T.: Gee, that doesn’t sound right at all. There must be something else wrong. Have you thought about scheduling a phone consult? Maybe we could hit it from another angle (perhaps homeopathics and/or cell salts) and maybe you are allergic to oak? Sounds like you have some work to do. I’d love to help. And what brand of oak bark are you using? Is it in powder form?  Denice

Question: Greetings from Canada, I came across an article you wrote on White Oak Bark and its healing effects for people with loose teeth or unhealthy gums. I was delighted to read about your inexpensive solution to my dental nightmare since I do have two loose front teeth (one upper, the other lower) and am currently so poor that I can not possibly see a dentist.

So, I bought the white oak bark, and faithfully applied it on my gums and around my loose teeth every night for over a month. Aside from the fact that the oak bark has visibly stained my teeth, I can see no other visible change to my loose teeth. (I mean to say no TIGHTENING effect). I am wondering whether it would be harmful to my teeth if I were to prolong this treatment for yet another month? Thanking you in advance. R.S.  

  • Dear R.S.: I was under the impression that the White Oak Bark is astringent and would pull toxins out of the gums (which would make them tighter as a result). I would think that nutritional support for the bones, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue would be in order for your situation. We can help you with supplements there, but I would need to first evaluate what you are currently doing, taking, eating and your history as well to determine what the best supplements would be for you.

I’m testing that you should not continue for another month with the White Oak Bark. Thanks for writing and I hope to hear from you soon if you feel inclined to make an appointment for a phone consultation. Denice

Hi Denice. Very good to hear from you! Things are good. Hope you are well, also. From your newsletters, it sounds like you do not have any spare time. I’m very impressed – you are doing lots of good things (but I never expected any less).  No gum problems anymore – I used the white oak bark powder for about two weeks, and the problem areas cleared up completely. I’ll probably continue to use it a couple times a month as a preventative, although I have not used it for 6 months or more.

Part of the problem was in the way I brushed my teeth. I was always making an initial thrust to my gums at the same place every day, and I came to realize that the first stroke was harder than the rest. That point was a little sore and sometimes would bleed after I started using an electric toothbrush. Now I have no problem at all after changing how I brush and using the white oak bark powder. I think the powder really helped my gums heal and strengthen. –Jim

Helpful Links and References for White Oak Bark and Gingivitis: