Many people don't come to know that they have a gum infection as it does not show early signs. In severe cases of infection or if the gum disease is left untreated, it may lead to tooth loss.
Gums, also known as 'gingiva', are fibrous tissues that form the base of the teeth and support them. One of the most common types of gum infections is gingivitis. If it is not treated during the early stages, there are chances of it leading to periodontitis. Nutritional deficiencies, alcohol, smoking and use of tobacco can lead to gum infections. Taking oral contraceptives or steroids increases the risk of gum infections. Those on cancer medications are also at a high risk of developing infection in the gums.
Identifying a gum infection is quite difficult as symptoms are not easily seen. However, when a person has a gum infection, he/she is most likely to experience symptoms like swollen gums, painful chewing, loose teeth, gum abscesses, chronic bad breath, redness, tenderness and bleeding from gums, and toothache. Teeth may appear longer due to receding gums. In case symptoms like these are observed, it is important to consult a dentist immediately, and seek the right gum infection treatment. As a supplement to prescribed medicines, a few home remedies like the ones mentioned below, may help relieve the gum infection symptoms.
Home Remedies for Gum Infections
Gum infections, if left untreated can lead to serious dental problems. Here are some remedial measures for gum infections. Apart from alleviating the infection symptoms, they also help maintain good oral health.
Gargling or rinsing your mouth with saltwater is a great way of relieving the pain caused by a gum infection. Take a glass of lukewarm water, add two teaspoons of salt to it and swish the solution in your mouth. Do this twice daily till the pain subsides completely.
Tea contains tannic acid which works effectively to relieve gum infection. Applying a tea bag to your gums works more than gulping tea down. Put a tea bag in boiling water. Remove it and let it cool. Hold the tea bag on the infected area of your gums and keep it there for five minutes. Repeat the process a couple of times and you will find relief.
Honey being a natural antibacterial agent, can be used to treat infected gums. After brushing your teeth, take a small amount of honey on your finger and rub it on the infected area. Apply it only on the gums and not on the teeth. The antibacterial properties will work and heal the infection.
Cranberry juice helps in treating gum infections. It prevents the bacteria from sticking to the teeth. Buying unsweetened juice is better.
Lemons help in keeping gum diseases at bay as they are rich in vitamin C. All vitamin C-rich foods are remedial for gum infections. Including papaya, strawberry, oranges and grapes in your diet can help you keep the gums healthy. Vitamin C being an antioxidant can help in tissue growth as well as bone regeneration. Foods containing vitamin C help prevent the occurrence of gum ailments and aid in improving oral health.
The use of baking soda is not a treatment. Rather, it's a preventive measure. It neutralizes the acid in the mouth and reduces the probability of tooth decay and gum infections. After brushing your teeth, take some baking soda and mix it in warm water to form a paste and brush your teeth with it. Make it a regular practice, and gum infections will be kept at bay.
Clove Oil or Cinnamon Oil
Clove oil as well as cinnamon oil, is said to be a great remedy for gum infections, especially for the pain caused. You can apply one of these oils on the affected area of the gum. Applying a paste made of clove oil and peroxide can also help. If you do not have clove oil, chewing on clove can also help in reducing the pain. Drinking warm water with a little cinnamon added to it, is one of the natural remedies for gum infections.
Just like clove, even garlic is said to be a natural painkiller. It will help in reducing the pain considerably. To use this remedy, you have to first crush a garlic clove, add a bit of rock salt to it and apply it on the affected area.
Even pepper along with clove oil can bring much relief. If swelling occurs due to gum infection, applying an ice pack will help in reducing not only the swelling, but also the pain as ice is said to work as an anti-inflammatory agent.
You can use hydrogen peroxide (3% concentration) powder to fight the causative agents of the gum infection. Take ½ teaspoon peroxide powder and mix it with ½ cup of water and rinse your mouth with it. Other than this, baking soda can also give relief from the pain and swelling caused by a gum infection. Mix baking soda with water to make a paste and apply it lightly on the gums.
Another way of treating gum infections is with the help of a lemon. Take a teaspoon of lemon juice in a small dish, add salt to it, and apply it on the infected area of the gum. Drinking lemon juice made in warm water helps in reducing gum pain.
Aloe vera has several health benefits, including the ability to cure gum infections. Take some aloe vera gel and massage it smoothly on the infected area. Consuming aloe vera juice is also an effective way of treating gum infections.
Experts say that eating apples is also a good way of curing infections, because they have certain nutrients that make the gums stronger and firmer. Hence, include apples in your daily diet as they improve oral health and help prevent gum problems.
Drinking basil tea thrice a day helps cure gum infections. Not many people drink basil tea. However, it's healthy as well as tasty. In order to make basil tea, purchase a packet of sweet basil. Rinse the basil leaves and carefully pat them dry on paper towels. Add basil leaves and stems to a cup of water and bring it to a boil. Allow the tea to steep. Then using a sieve, filter the tea and add some sugar to sweeten it.
Rubbing a few eucalyptus leaves or its paste on the gums, can help alleviate the pain associated with the gum infection. This is because eucalyptus has numbing properties, thereby being able to numb the pain. The swelling in the gums is also alleviated.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil consists of naturally occurring organic chemicals called terpenoids, which have antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is suitable for gum infection treatment. However, before using tea tree oil, do consult your dentist. You can add a drop of tea tree oil to your toothpaste before brushing. Do not swallow the oil; it should be used only for gargling.
Tepid chamomile tea when used as a mouthwash or just sipped as it is, can help provide relief from gum infection. It reduces the inflammation and also speeds up the healing process. To prepare this tea, just add chamomile flowers in a pot of boiling water (1 cup) and allow it to steep. Your chamomile tea is ready.
These were some of the home remedies that you can use for gum infections. You should take good care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing regularly. Home remedies reduce the symptoms. But they cannot substitute the treatment measures prescribed by a dentist. Only professional help can cure a gum infection completely.Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.