Red, swollen, or bleeding gums are more than just uncomfortable, they are a sign that you may be developing gum disease. If left alone, gum disease can progress and create serious dental problems. Thankfully, it’s usually possible to treat gum disease when it’s caught early. Often, simple home remedies can take care of the problem, leaving you with clean, healthy teeth and gums.
What is Gum Disease?
An inflammation of the gum line is known as gum disease. As it progresses, it can damage the bone that supports and surrounds your teeth. There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis is generally reversible with proper treatment. Because it’s so important to catch and treat the disease early, keep an eye out for these signs and symptoms of gum disease:
- Gums that are swollen, tender, or red
- Bleeding gums
- Gums that pull away or recede from teeth
- Persistent bad breath or unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Pus around teeth and gums
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease is preventable with proper oral care; the key is to remove the plaque-producing bacteria that cause the inflammation. Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time, floss once a day, and visit your dentist for a professional cleaning twice a year. Taking care of your teeth and gums is the best way to prevent gum disease and keep your mouth healthy and fresh.
Treating Gum Disease
The first step in treating gum disease is to establish a routine of good oral care. Consistent dental hygiene can help irritated gums recover in as little as a few days. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush can also help reduce irritation. Dental cleanings help treat gum disease because professionals are equipped to better remove bacteria and plaque. In addition, there are a number of home remedies that can be made out of ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. These natural remedies can help speed your recovery and provide relief.
Safely Using Home Remedies
Home remedies are simple, natural, and inexpensive. Don’t swallow the remedies, even though they contain natural ingredients, since they can pick up harmful bacteria from your mouth. They are generally safe to use, but avoid trying treatments if you have had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients they contain. You should also check with your doctor first if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a medical condition. Remember that home remedies are never a substitute for proper oral care; rather, they complement your regular dental hygiene routine.
1. Sea Salt Water Rinse
Sea Salt is a natural way to help your body heal itself because it is a disinfectant. This makes it a great choice for treating inflammation during the early stage of gum disease. In addition to helping heal the gums, salt water may also provide other benefits, including:
- Help ease pain
- Soothe gums
- Reduce harmful bacteria
- Remove food particles
- Relieve bad breath
Make your own sea salt water rinse by mixing ½ to ¾ teaspoon of sea salt with a cup of lukewarm water. Swish the rinse around in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Rinse with salt water two to three times per day. Overuse of salt water rinse can negatively impact the tooth enamel. The acidic properties of the rinse can eat away at tooth enamel with long-term use, so stick with rinsing for 30 seconds, two to three times per day, and stop using the rinse when your gums clear up.
2. Turmeric Paste
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice with a peppery taste; it commonly gives curries their distinctive flavor. It also appears to have some impressive health benefits, and can be used to help heal inflamed gums. Make a paste by mixing one teaspoon turmeric with half teaspoon salt and half teaspoon mustard oil. Apply the paste to your gums twice a day to help reduce inflammation.
3. Aloe Vera Mouthwash
Reduce plaque and fight gum disease with aloe vera. It’s easy to use because it doesn’t need to be diluted or mixed with anything, just make sure you have 100 percent pure aloe vera juice. Swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit. Use aloe vera two to three times per day. Always follow the directions printed on the label and buy aloe vera from a reputable source. Just like all of these home remedies, if you have had an allergic reaction to aloe vera in the past, don’t use it as a mouthwash.
4. Sage Mouthwash
Sage can lower the number of plaque-producing bacteria in your mouth. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that may help heal swollen gums and treat infection in the mouth. This makes it a great choice for fighting early gum disease. Make a sage mouthwash by bringing one to two cups of water to a boil; add 1 teaspoon dried sage or two tablespoons fresh sage to the boiling water and simmer for five to ten minutes. Remove from heat, strain, and allow the mouthwash to cool. Swish it in your mouth for up to 60 seconds, two to three times per day.
5. Coconut Oil Pulling
The lauric acid found in coconut oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that provide many benefits to oral health. Coconut oil pulling is a great way to help treat gingivitis, and to improve overall oral health. It may also:
- Reduce plaque
- Freshen breath
- Whiten teeth
- Relieve tension and headaches
- Clear sinuses
Do a coconut oil pull by putting one to two teaspoons of liquid coconut oil in your mouth. Swish it around, pulling it through your teeth and avoiding the back of your throat, for 20 to 30 minutes. Spit out the oil, rinse with water, and spit out the water. Then drink a glass of water and brush your teeth. As you begin practicing coconut oil pulling, it may be helpful to start with a shorter period of time and build up to 20 to 30 minutes. Or swish twice a day for a shorter amount of time.
6. Clove Topical Application
The antiviral and antioxidant properties of cloves give them the potential to prevent plaque, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. You can apply cloves topically by mincing a teaspoon of cloves and dipping a damp cotton ball into them. Use the cotton ball to gently rub the minced cloves on your gums, then let them sit for a minute. Swish with water to gather the cloves, then spit them out. Cloves should be used with care, and not for long periods of time or in large quantities.
Gum disease is a serious oral problem, but catching it early can help you treat it effectively. Proper oral care is key, but home remedies can help clear up inflammation more quickly, leaving you with a healthy, clean mouth. You can also look for toothpaste and other oral care products that contain these natural ingredients that promote overall oral health.