Almost everyone has experienced the unpleasant feeling of sore gums at least once. While there may be many reasons why your gums hurt, if they’re red, swollen, and bleeding, there’s a chance you have periodontal (gum) disease. Its most common form is gingivitis.
Most of the time, gingivitis appears when teeth are not brushed and flossed regularly. Caught early, gingivitis can be treated with proper oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash. In case that doesn’t do the trick, home remedies are a cheap and effective way to treat this oral disease and to prevent its progress to periodontitis, which can result in tooth loss.
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to treat sore gums.
1. A good toothbrush
The first step in fighting gingivitis starts with having a good toothbrush and proper tooth brushing technique. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush with long bristles and a head small enough to get into hard-to-reach places. A toothbrush that has really done a great job for many of our patients is the eco-friendly humble brush due to its very long and soft bristles. Be sure to throw away old and worn toothbrushes as they harbour bacteria. We recommend buying a new toothbrush every 1 - 3 months, once the bristles become frayed.
2. Sage mouthwash
Sage is a common remedy for oral inflammation, either of the gums or tooth cavity. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that helps to treat the infection. You can make your own sage mouthwash, all you need is:
- 2 cups boiled water
- 2 tablespoons of fresh or 1 teaspoon of dried sage
Add the sage leaves to the boiled water and let stand about 10 minutes. Be sure to let the water cool completely before using it. You can use the solution to rinse your mouth two to three times a day.
3. Oil pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient practice that involves swishing oil in your mouth to remove bacteria and promote oral hygiene. It is often associated with Ayurveda, the traditional medicine system from India. Studies suggest that oil pulling can kill bacteria in the mouth and improve dental health. Some alternative medicine practitioners also claim that it can help treat several diseases.
Oil pulling is a very simple and cost-efficient method because most of the time, you probably have either coconut, sesame or olive oil at home - and that’s all you need. This technique is recommended first thing in the morning. Just put a tablespoon of one of the above oils in your mouth and swish it around the entire oral cavity for 5 - 20 minutes, and spit the oil into the trash once you’re finished.
Neem is a natural antimicrobial remedy that helps to counter bacteria that can cause cavities, inflammation and gum disease. There are several different ways that neem can remedy gum diseases, as it comes in different forms: leaves, powder and oil. If you have neem bark powder at home, you can either replace toothpaste all together with the powder or mix some into your toothpaste. You can do the same thing with neem oil - just add a few drops to your regular toothpaste and that’s it.
"Turmeric is a spice with a warm, peppery taste that gives curry dishes their distinctive flavor. Recent studies, according to the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, suggest it has also some impressive health benefits, including the healing of inflamed gums. To treat gums, the journal reported that researchers recommend applying a paste made of one teaspoon of turmeric, half a teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon of mustard oil, and this paste should then be applied to the gums twice a day." - Colgate
These five simple ideas will do the trick in most cases when gingivitis is in the early stages. However, if you’re experiencing severe symptoms, such as pain or bleeding and these home remedies don’t work, please see your dentist as soon as possible. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious health problems, such as periodontitis and tooth loss.
To prevent this from happening, be sure to:
- Brush twice daily
- Floss at least once daily
- Use a natural mouthwash once or twice a day
- Have regular dental check-ups twice a year