Proper care and hygiene for your gums is important to the overall health of your oral cavity. The gums constitute of sturdy pink tissue that provides a covering for your jawbones.
This tissue is packed with fiber-like cells that ensure it remains strong. Additionally, gums have concentrated blood vessels.
As a result of this structural makeup, gums are naturally prone to getting swollen. Swollen gums are also referred to as gingival swellings.
Other symptoms that accompany swollen gums include tooth sensitivity, irritation of the gum and bleeding during teeth routines such as flossing and brushing. There are different causes of swollen gums.These include gingvitis which is a disease that manifests through the irritation and swelling of the gum, viral and bacterial infections as well as malnutrition.
Pregnant women may sometimes suffer from swollen gums thanks to the surge of hormones and the increase in the amount of blood pumped to the gums.Poor oral hygiene is also one of the causes of swollen gums. Below are some of the home remedies that are applicable whenever you need relief from a painfully swollen gum.
1. Salty Water Mouth Gargle:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 1 teaspoon of table salt, and a glass of warm water.
Rinsing with salty water is a time-old remedy and one of the most efficient options in dealing with swollen gums. Salt is preferred because it is a natural disinfectant and therefore helps get rid of infections within the oral cavity. The infection-causing microbes cause the gums to swell and get inflamed. By getting rid of these microbes, the swelling should reduce significantly on its own.
- Place the teaspoon of salt in a glass and pour the warm water over it.
- Mix the two well to ensure that the salt is completely dissolved.
- Sip some of this warm salty water and swish in your mouth for a minute or so. The very action of swishing is mechanical, so it helps to get rid of microbes rooted at the gum-tooth point.
- Spit this mixture and repeat the swishing once more. It is important that you do NOT swallow the mixture as it contains the microbes you are trying to get rid of in the first place.
- You may use this remedy thrice daily or as and when the need arises.
2. Cold Compresses:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: A cold compress which is, essentially, a bag of frozen peas, or ice cubes wrapped in a clean piece of cloth.
Cold compresses are a quick and easy way of getting relief from swollen gums. Due to their low temperatures, the compresses are the perfect way to numb the affected gum. This also has the capacity to reduce the swelling and make the pain far more manageable. Though transient in providing relief, cold compresses make for a great accompaniment if you discover that your gums are swollen.
Note that this cold compresses are not to be placed in direct contact with the swollen gums. Instead, the cold compresses are held against your face on the side of the affected jaw. This is important because the gum’s tissue makeup is remarkably different from that of the skin, and as such, the former is more susceptible to frost bite, not to mention the risk of re-infection.
- Wrap the frozen vegetables or ice cubes using a clean piece of cloth. This, as mentioned above, is to prevent frostbite.
- Place the wrapped compress against your face until you feel that the area surrounding the affected gum is numb.
- Rest for a couple of minutes before repeating the procedure. Use this remedy thrice daily or when the need arises.
Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of turmeric powder, 3 tablespoons of water (used to prepare the turmeric paste) and warm water to rinse. You may include cotton wool for application purposes.
Turmeric is one of the best remedies for swollen gums. It has a high concentration of a compound known as curcumin. This compound is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. As such, when it is made into a paste and applied on the gum it helps reduce the pain and inflammation. Turmeric has also been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of bacteria responsible for infections in the oral cavity. Add this remedy to your list of must-have natural remedies if you are predisposed to swollen gums.
- Add a little water to the turmeric in a small bowl. The idea here is to create a paste with the desired consistency (preferably one that is not too thick or too thin) so that it is easy to apply on the swollen gum.
- Once your paste has the proper consistency, clean your hands well before scooping some of the paste and applying it on your swollen gum.
- In case you are concerned about this, you can always use cotton wool to scoop and apply the paste.
- Let the paste remain on for a couple of minutes before rubbing the gum gently for a minute or two for complete absorption of turmeric’s goodness.
- Use the warm water to rinse your mouth. Repeat this remedy thrice daily for a period of a week and note whether there are any improvements.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (written as H2O2), 1/2 cup of warm water, and a teaspoon of baking soda (optional).
Hydrogen Peroxide is a befitting natural remedy for a number of conditions affecting the oral cavity. this is because the compound helps fight off infections, therefore making it easy to manage the swelling. Hydrogen peroxide’s anti-inflammatory properties make it easy to prevent the gum from getting inflamed.
Note: You are advised to food grade 3% hydrogen peroxide solution as more concentrated hydrogen peroxide will only create a burning sensation in the already inflamed gums, thus causing additional irritation. Baking soda is loved for its anti-microbial properties as well as for creating white teeth.
Method 1: Hydrogen peroxide and water paste
- Mix the hydrogen peroxide and warm water in equal ratios (that is H2O2: H20 is 1:1).
- Swish the peroxide solution in your mouth for a couple of minutes, making sure to concentrate your efforts around the affected gum.
- Spit the mixture before you repeat the procedure once more. Note that you must NOT swallow this toxin-laden solution.
rinse your mouth with warm water. For ease of use, you may opt to incorporate this remedy in your daily oral hygiene routine.
Method 2: Hydrogen peroxide and baking
- Alternatively, place a teaspoon of baking soda in a shallow bowl before adding a little of the hydrogen peroxide solution to create a paste.
- Wash your hands once more to allow you collect some of the paste on your fingers and directly applying it to the affected gum.
- Rub this paste gently and firmly before allowing it to stay for a minute or two.
- You will then rinse using warm water to get rid of any residual pastes in the mouth.
5. Aloe Vera:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Freshly cut aloe vera leaf, warm water to rinse, and a Q-tip (optional).
Aloe vera is an effective way to deal with swollen gums naturally. Not only does the gel from the fresh plant have super anti-inflammatory properties, it is also effective in keeping infections at bay thanks to its rich antibacterial properties. This is integral because when your gums swell, they become more predisposed to the proliferation of bacteria that causes plaque on the teeth. Best of all perhaps, is the soothing effect that the cool gel has on the inflamed gums.
- Slice the aloe vera leaf to allow you collect the gel.
- Pick some of the gel using a clean finger. You may opt to use Q tips to make the application process easier.
- Use the gel to massage the swollen gums for a couple of minutes, making sure you do this as gently as possible.
- Repeat the massage process twice to get relief from the pain and inflammation as well as to reduce the swelling.
- Rinse your mouth using warm water.
- Use aloe vera gel until the swelling subsides.
6. Lemon Water:
Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: 1 Lemon, a juicer, and a glass of warm water.
Lemon water has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that help ease the pain that characterizes swollen gums. In addition to the reduction of inflammation, one of the benefits of using lemon water is that lemons are packed with nutrients that boost your immunity, and more notably Vitamin C, Vitamin A as well as a host of mineral salts.
Lemon water is also alkaline in nature and this comes in handy because it reduces acidity in the mouth as well as creates a harsh environment for microbes to survive. Add to this lemon’s excellent anti-bacterial properties and it is easy to see why this is your go-to home remedy for the natural treatment of swollen gums. You may want to consider adding lemon water to your everyday oral hygiene routine.
- Wash the lemon well and chop it into two.
- Use the juicer to extract the lemon juice from the two halves. If you are concerned about the high acidity levels, you may want to use just half the lemon before increasing the amount of lemon juice gradually as your swollen gums continue to heal.
7. Clove Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of olive oil, 3 drops of clove essential oil, cotton ball, and warm water to rinse.
Clove oil has long been used as a natural remedy for the treatment for swollen gums and toothaches. The reason for this remedy’s efficiency is attributed to the presence of eugenol. This is a volatile oil whose excellent anti-inflammatory properties help deal with the pain and inflammation within the swelling in the gum region. Eugenol is also an effective antioxidant. The olive oil added to this remedy is used as a carrier oil to make it easy to apply this remedy.
- Place the olive oil in a shallow bowl and add to it the clove oil.
- Mix the two oils well before soaking the cotton ball.
- Press this soaked cotton ball against the affected gum.
- Let the oil remain on the gum for about 10 minutes to allow its proper action.
- Use mouth water to rinse after using this procedure twice. Remember to use this remedy thrice day, preferably after your normal oral hygiene routines.
Other remedies that have been shown to be effective for the management of swollen gums include alum, thanks to its antiseptic and astringent properties, mustard oil which contains glucosinolate (a naturally occurring anti-microbial agent) as well as castor oil. Castor oil not only has antibacterial properties, it also has great analgesic properties hat help deal with the pain. Castor oil has also been shown to improve the body’s immune system, making its response faster and hastening the healing process. Overall, swollen gums require great oral health care, so remember to incorporate proper cleaning procedures.
While there are several natural remedies that you can use to treat swollen gums, it is important to know when to book a dentist appointment. As a general guide, you should see your dentist when the swelling on your gums persists beyond a fortnight as this allows your dentist to get a clearer picture of what’s really happening in your body.