Oral health counts-in as an essential component of personal hygiene. Not just because it is the favorite party site for the bacteria, but more of due to the unease that arises from regular irritation, pain, and swelling in the gums. If your gums are turning from pink to red, wake up! This might be your gums’ call for help!
Causes for Swollen Gums
You may probably be thinking why me? Even after maintaining best of the healthy practices, why are my gums sensitive, swollen and often painful! Well, there might be a number of reasons and believe us, there’s nothing serious to stress so much.
- One of the most common causes is gingivitis and tartar buildup might be the hidden culprit. Tartar is nothing but hard deposition of the bacterial film on blood vessel filled thick tissues of gums and teeth.
- Another cause can be a hormonal imbalance that comes with the event of pregnancy. A sudden increment in certain levels of hormones may direct the blood flow towards the gums, making it swollen and more prone to infection.
- Finally, the old story-malnutrition! Your plate might be lacking vitamin B and C which are essential to maintenance and repair of gums, thereby making them easy targets of infectious microbes.
- And since gum swelling is the key symptom to many of the problems associated with the mouth, even dental decay adds on to the misery.
But why worry when doctor ‘nature’ has cured to all the problems. And when it’s about swollen gums, nature’s lap is more welcoming than ever with its amazing tips and tricks to relieve from the pain, irritation, and inflammation. Have a look at some of the easy-to-do home remedies and say a goodbye to troublesome gums.
Best Home Remedies
Apple Cider Vinegar for Swollen Gums
This is the easiest of the list and laziest of the lads would do happily! All that needs to be done is dilute a tablespoon of fresh raw apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water and use this solution for gargling or rinsing the teeth followed by regular brushing with toothpaste.
The solution smartly acts on the affected part and restores the natural condition by removing the biofilm or the bacterial stain that forms on the gum tissue and teeth.
This one comes right from the book of old and gold tricks. It has been long since the antibacterial property of salt was recognized. Antibacterial property! So no more bacteria! You got the trick. Right?
So if a bacterial infection is what causing the gums to turn reddish and uneasy, you got to mix half a tablespoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm or normal water and rinse your mouth well and the silent killers are gone!
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide
Baking soda is a proven caretaker of oral health. Simply take a pinch of baking soda and brush your teeth and gums with it. Do it twice a day or more depending on the severity of the condition.
You may also add hydrogen peroxide to the baking soda to form a paste. Apply this on the gums for 1 minute or so and then rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water.
If inflammation and pain also persist, add some black pepper too to the clove oil and massage the swollen gums gently. Note: Clove oil could sometimes irritate your skin, so use a diluted version in that case. There is not enough research available on clove oil’s effectiveness against swollen gums, but it is considered as one alternative home remedy.
Tea Bags for Swollen Gums
Traditional tea, green tea, black tea, this tea, and that tea! Love for tea is irresistible. And do it yourself tea bags makes things much simpler. How about reusing the tea bags for gum’s health after they have been employed to steep tea? Great idea! Isn’t it?
Tea, especially strong black tea has tissue healing and bacteria repelling properties. And both of these are important for fighting against bad gums. So, instead of throwing the tea bag away after steeping it in hot water let it cool down and apply them to the affected area for about ten to fifteen minutes followed by rinsing the mouth with warm water. Do not drink or eat anything immediately, let the effect sustain for some time. The downside is your teeth may look stained(wiki).
Aloe Vera for Swollen Gums
Who isn’t aware of the wonders of this super herb Aloe Vera! This time, make use of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to prevent the growth of bacteria that lead to plaque growth in the mouth and soothe the affected gums. Research says aloe vera is very effective against gingivitis, swollen and bleeding gums ( nature’s healer)
Access the aloe vera gel by cutting and opening its leaf and massage your gums gently with this gel for about 2 minutes, followed by rinsing the mouth with warm water. Keep repeating the trick in regular intervals many times till you feel a better oral condition.
There’s hardly any home remedies’ list complete without the mention of this multipurpose compound, turmeric. Its antioxidant, as well as anti-inflammatory properties attributed to the presence of curcumin, enables it to act on swelling, pain, sensitivity, and inflammation of the gums. A turmeric mouth pack could help ease the periodontal disease.
Make a paste of turmeric by addition of water as required and apply on the swollen gums for 5 minutes. Massage for 1 minute after this to get the best of its potential and do not forget to rinse the mouth well with warm water afterward. Do it twice a day for a week or more to get rid of the problem completely.
Lemon for Swollen Gums
Oil pulling for Swollen Gums
All you need to do is take a tablespoon full of sesame oil and swish it thoroughly around your mouth for about 15-20 minutes. Do not swallow the oil or gargle with it. Spit it out after and rinse your mouth with warm water followed by brushing of teeth with the toothpaste.
Follow this every morning until you get your gums back in good health. The research concludes that oil pulling is effective against plague and helps in gingivitis effect of oil pulling
Tea Tree oil
Tea Tree oil is another quick relief remedy for treating inflamed gums. To a glass of warm water, add a few drops of tea tree oil and your mouthwash is ready for the day. But make sure that you do not take in this solution as it may contribute to stomach related problems.
It is also advisable to go for a toothpaste rich in tea tree oil if discomfort in gums is a regular problem.
If you have blood pressure problem, you may swap normal salt with Epsom salt, which is chemically magnesium sulfate and does not interfere with your blood pressure. It has amazing properties to keep your smile shiny and gums healthy.
Just prepare a solution of Epsom salt by adding 2 tablespoons of this salt in a cup of warm water and use it twice a day for best results. Note that there have been debates about using this solution for gargling. So do not go for that, simply wash your mouth with it followed by rinsing with warm water.
You may have been listening to the stories of using raw coconut oil for teeth brushing purposes. It’s actually worth following the old trend, especially when the talk is about problems associated with gums and teeth.
Gently rub the coconut oil on the affected gums and experience the instant relief from pain and inflammation. You may also add baking soda so as to make a paste and apply for 10 minutes or so but the effectiveness of pure coconut oil is unmatchable. A research also concludes that coconut oil is effective in controlling and plague and plague induced gingivitis.
Warm and Cold Compress
To begin with, the warm one, soak a clean cloth or a thin towel in warm water, followed by wringing out the excess liquid. Do not directly apply the cloth on gums but hold it against your face right above the affected area for about 5 minutes.
Next is the cold compress. For this, wrap some ice cubes or frozen peas in a cloth or thin towel and hold it again against your face till the affected area turns numb. Repeat this cycle as and when needed.
Garlic for Swollen Gums
Similar to turmeric, garlic also has a key compound named Allicin which accounts for its exceptional healing, anesthetic and antibacterial properties that can be utilized well for curing the gum diseases.
There are a lot many options available to use garlic as a remedy. One is to make a mouthwash by adding about 4-5 cloves of garlic (do not forget to crush them) into a cup filled with hot water and a tablespoon of salt. Mix the ingredients well by stirring and as the solution cools down, use it for washing the affected area thoroughly.
You may also go for direct application of garlic powder on affect gums or simply chew the garlic cloves to benefit from the healing properties of the juice.
Best foods for swollen gums
As mentioned before, Vitamin C has a crucial role to play in maintenance and healing of the tissues and it’s, therefore, essential to add Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables such as orange, lemon, grapefruit, red bell peppers and strawberries in the plate to aid the healing process. Also, deficiency of Vitamin A results in swollen and bleeding gums. So the trick is to sprinkle apricots on fruit salad or add carrot, spinach, and other beta-carotene rich food articles.
Certain juices such as that of cucumber, spinach, cabbage, carrot, and lettuce also work on bringing back the acid imbalance in the mouth.
So try consuming these foods more and more to reduce the risk as well as eliminate the cause of swollen gums. And do not forget to drink plenty of water to keep the microenvironment in the mouth stabilized.
Foods to avoid
Swollen gums often come clubbed with sensitivity, irritation, inflammation, and pain. And high end hot or cool foods and beverages may worsen the sufferings. Therefore, say NO to ice cream, hot coffee or tea, and hard or crunchy chips and fast food that put pressure on gums, else the inflamed gums may get aggravated.
We know resisting this part of your diet is bit tough so each time this food lure your tongue, remember that swollen reddish gums spoil the charm of your smile!
Any first aid for swollen gums
Swollen gums are common and often may not require medical consultation until they are bleeding severely. There’s a lot that you can do on an immediate basis to get instantly relieved.
- Very first thing is to apply gentle pressure on the affected gums with some cotton soaked in chilled water. This will soothe the inflamed gums and stop the bleeding if any.
- You may then go for one of the quick tricks mentioned above such as gargling and rinsing with warm salt water or lemon juice.
- To avoid further episodes of the problems associated with gums, take good care of oral health by brushing regularly with the toothpaste that has the right composition to suit your condition.
FAQ on Swollen Gums ( Sore Gums)
How long does it take to for swollen gums to heal?
Be it swollen gums or any other health issue, the problem builds up slowly and silently and goes away even slower. Same goes true for swollen and inflamed gums. The silent killers-bacteria keeps on forming plaque layer by layer and one day you discover that you have swollen gums! As long as healing is concerned, there are many factors that contribute to defining the period.
One is the severity of the condition. This, in turn, is linked to how early you diagnose that something is wrong with your gums. The early you wake up, the less is the condition on severity scale and faster is the recovery. Another factor is the home remedies or the medication and other treatments you are taking. Combination of some home remedies and apt medication can bring back the gums’ health in a few days while others may take a while.
On an average, 3-4 days are good enough for gums to recover back if they aren’t bleeding. But if none of the home remedies are working and it has been a week or more, you must consult a dentist and go for the treatment immediately.
Is Listerine good for Swollen Gums?
Rinsing the mouth with Listerine is a healthy habit that keeps the oral hygiene in good shape. Its powerful antiseptic property eliminates the risk of bacterial growth that silently builds up the plaque. But if you are already suffering from problems such as swollen, inflamed and painful gums, Listerine mouthwash may not be of great help.
There’s no harm on using Listerine while having mild swelling or redness in gums but professionals and dentists suggest that it’s better to go for a checkup than struggle with shortcuts! When it’s the initial stage of bacterial infection or plaque formation, Listerine might aid by killing the surface bacteria and masking the odor but this isn’t the permanent solution as the army of bacteria, residing beneath the gums will still be silently working towards building up the tartar and causing gingivitis.
Long story short, Listerine is good for gums but it cannot alone cure the disease or eliminate the cause, especially when the condition is severe.