Some of the home remedies for gum diseases or periodontal diseases include regular oral hygiene, regular brushing and flossing of the teeth, using clove and mint, using an antimicrobial mouth wash, massaging of the gums, and quitting smoking.
Healthy gums play a major role not only for your dental health, but for your overall health as well. Gum diseases may cause irritation, redness, and inflammation of the gums, which is very painful for individuals experiencing it. It is important to take care of your gums and teeth regularly. Home remedies provided here will help you prevent gum diseases easily and provide relief from the pain caused due to those gum infections.
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Types of Gum Diseases
Gum diseases can be divided into two types, namely gingivitis and periodontitis. If left untreated for a long time, these may cause major damage to the bones and soft tissues that support our teeth. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease where the gums become swollen, red, and may bleed easily. Generally, gingivitis makes its way into the least orally hygiene mouths. Untreated gingivitis leads to periodontitis. The cause of most gum diseases is the presence of bacterial plaque. This plaque is a sticky and colorless film that easily attaches itself to the teeth.
The incidence of periodontitis is high in comparison to gingivitis. According to Merchant, et al, 2002, the incidence of periodontitis is very high. It is estimated that 1 in 3 people in the United States suffer from periodontitis. On the other hand, gingivitis is less prevalent, with an incidence of 5%-15% of the population suffering from the disease.
Gum disease develops when plaque is allowed to build up and affect the gum line. These films of plaques are formed by bacteria when they mix with the mucus and other particles present in the mouth. If this plaque is left untreated for a long duration it forms ‘tartar’. Most gum diseases may not show up until a person is in the age group above 30 or 40. According to the Ontario Dental Hygienists’ Association (ODHA), 75% of adults over the age of 30 may suffer from gum diseases. It is one of the most common diseases for people all over the world.
Causes of Gum Diseases
Gum diseases can occur for many reasons, bacterial infections being the most common. Some of the other reasons include the following.
Poor Oral Hygiene: In case brushing and flossing are not done regularly, gum disease can find a perfect place to develop.
Wrong Brushing Techniques: In the quest to keep their teeth healthy, people sometimes over do the brushing of their teeth. Overly vigorous brushing of teeth might actually cause damage to the gums, since they are very soft and sensitive. There are many people among us who use the back and forth styles of brushing, which can irritate and damage the gums, causing a recession in the gum line, as well as increasing the frequency of bleeding gums.
Chancre Sores or Mouth Ulcers: Mouth ulcers can develop anywhere inside the mouth. Many times, they appear on the gums as well. They appear with red edges and a whitish center. Sores could be either viral or bacterial in origin. These sores could worsen the infection in your gums.
Chemotherapy: Swollen and painful, bleeding gums could be an unpleasant side effect of chemotherapy. People undergoing chemotherapy may suffer from stomatitis which gives rise to painful sores and ulcers in the mouth and on the gums.
Hormones: Gum problems are experienced by some women during times such as puberty, menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy. Blood flow to the gums is increased during puberty, causing them to become sensitive, red, and swollen. This type of problem related to the gums might subside after the period begins. Gingivitis is likely to happen in the second or third month of pregnancy and can continue until the eighth month. During this phase, the gums become red, swollen, and might even bleed.
Smoking and Tobacco: Using cigarette and tobacco products is extremely bad for your gums. A study in the Swedish army revealed that soldiers who smoked were more susceptible to oral diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis than those who did not. Smoking in this study was also associated with bone loss.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Diseases
Look for signs and symptoms before the gum disease becomes highly troublesome or medically serious. Some of the noticeable signs of a progressive gum disease include swollen, red, or tender gums, bleeding in the gums, receding gums, and acute pain caused while chewing. The teeth may appear to be long and can become loose and sensitive to heat and cold. Make sure you visit your dentist whenever you see any of these symptoms. Symptoms that persist for a long time will require serious attention.
Home Remedies for Gum Diseases
The primary objective for a person should be to control and reduce the infection that has already been caused. The treatment options would vary depending upon the type and severity of the gum disease you are suffering from. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene and careful periodontal monitoring is very important when people notice changes in their mouth. Changes in lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking and chewing tobacco also become important to improve the results of simple home remedies.
Some home remedies include the following:
According to NIDCR, brushing the teeth twice a day is suggested. It is more beneficial when there is fluoride content present in the toothpaste that you use. The suggested brushing time of teeth should be from 30 to 60 seconds. Ensure proper brushing of the gum line as well, since most of the plaque that can cause infections is present there. Also, use good toothpaste that reduces plaque and the development of gingivitis.
Flossing your teeth regularly may help in reducing gingivitis. By simply sliding the floss up and down between the teeth, you can reach those places that are difficult for a brush to reach, thereby removing the plaque.
Clean Your Tongue
Cleaning your tongue is as important as brushing your teeth! Plaque also gets deposited on your tongue, so proper scraping on the surface of the tongue is recommended after every meal. This will remove the excess bacteria and prevent them from forming plaque on the teeth. Use a good quality tongue cleaner and scrape from the back to the front of your tongue 5 to 10 times to ensure a clean, bacteria-free tongue.
The use of antimicrobial mouthwash is beneficial in preventing and reducing gingivitis and plaque. Consider recommendations from your dentist before choosing a specific mouthwash.
Cloves are excellent for gum health. Using cloves is an age-old and easy home remedy for any kind of dental problems. Clove oil, being an analgesic and having antiseptic properties, is highly effective in both relieving the pain caused by the gum disease and healing the infection at the same time.
Michael Tierra, co-author of “The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs”, highlighted that turmeric contains strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it an effective and excellent medicine for gum problems. Being an antiseptic, turmeric reduces inflammation caused due to bacterial infections. Ayurvedic tooth powders can be made with turmeric, black pepper, salt, and alum.
Due to its germicidal properties, mint stops harmful bacteria from growing inside the mouth. It also helps to keep the teeth and tongue clean. Mint is used in almost all mouth fresheners.
Concentrated extract from neem or azadirachta indica is known to be beneficial in both prevention and treatment of gum diseases. Neem twig is an all-round dental cleaning mechanism and it has been used in India for many centuries. Neem extracts possess antimicrobial properties that are perfect for dealing with oral bacteria.
Massage your Gums
Massaging your gums after brushing will help to increase blood circulation. An increased amount of circulation will strengthen the gums and prevent them from bleeding.
Regular Dental Checks
Visit your dentist at least twice a year. This will help in reducing dental problems in the long run. Regular checkups will also ensure the early detection of major problems and, in turn, early treatment can be ensured. Consider seeing a dentist regularly.
Smoking increases the severity of the infections caused by gum diseases. Consider quitting smoking for healthier teeth and gums.
Stop Chewing Tobacco
Chewing tobacco can also exacerbate infections and might worsen the condition of gum diseases. It can be an irritant and can cause gum cancer. Stop the use of tobacco if you are serious about having healthy gums.
These are a few of the remedies that can help you prevent gum diseases or give you relief from the pain caused by any bacterial gum infection. It is recommended that you consult a dentist in case the problem lasts for any extended amount of time, as well as to get an early diagnosis, which makes treatment easier. Finding a permanent solution for any problem should always be the first priority.