Do you suffer from inflammation in the gums? Maintaining proper oral hygiene is very important in order to prevent oral diseases. And tooth decay is not the only disease that we can find in our mouths.
When microbes and bacteria accumulate in the mouth is when we can experience some conditions such as caries, periodontal diseases, and swollen gums. Gingivitis is a common ailment that involves inflammation of the gum area causing them to even bleed or cause severe discomfort.
If it is not treated in time, the situation can get worse and it can turn into a more serious disease that is known as periodontitis and which can cause the loss of one’s own tooth. In this article, we are going to discover the home remedies for swollen gums that will help you to show a perfect and healthy smile.
What Are Swollen Gums?
Swollen gums (gingival swelling) are very common and can be the result of many different causes including gingivitis, gingival recession, an overactive immune system, and low saliva secretion. Swollen gums can be painful, itchy, and can interfere with eating and talking. There is always an underlying cause for swollen gums and therefore treatment usually includes relieving the pain and swelling while simultaneously treating the underlying condition. It is estimated that over 90% of the population will suffer from swollen gums at some point in their life and that over 20% suffer from chronic swelling of the gums.
What Causes Swollen Gums?
As mentioned, swollen gums can be caused by myriad underlying conditions. Below is a list of common causes of swollen gums, which will be explained in detail.
- Infections and viruses
- Overactive immune system
- Lack of saliva production (also called dry mouth or xerostomia)
- Dentures, retainers, or other oral hardware
- Certain toothpaste, mouth rinses, alcohol or tobacco use
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Infections and viruses, particularly in the mouth, can cause the gums to swell or recede. When the immune system detects an infection or virus, it sends white blood cells to defend the body and the area affected. If enough white blood cells are sent, the area becomes inundated with them, causing a whitish swelling. The same swollen gum symptoms can be found in people with overactive immune systems where the body mistakenly detects a foreign molecule and sends white blood cells to defend the area, causing inflammation. Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that can cause swollen gums as well as bleeding and receding of the gums. Gingivitis is usually caused by the excess build-up of bacterial plaque which triggers the immune system and creates inflammation, or swollen gums.
Malnutrition can also cause the gums to swell; in many cases, the swollen gums are bright red in color (as opposed to whitish) and usually recede. This is directly related to a lack of vitamins in the bloodstream. Vitamins such as Vitamin C for example, are important for many functions of the body including healthy teeth and gums. Severe lack of Vitamin C, such as in the case of Scurvy, teeth can actually fall out due to the excessive recession, swelling, and the separating of tooth and gum.
Xerostomia, or dry mouth, can also be the root cause of swollen gums. When your glands do not produce enough saliva, which maintains a balance of bacteria in your mouth, foreign bacteria multiply and can cause infections and inflammations. By using a product such as OraMoist, one can greatly reduce the occurrence of swollen gums.
Dentures, retainers, or any other dental hardware can irritate the mouth and cause swollen gums. Again, with irritation comes inflammation, so having your hardware refitted while using a gum health product can completely eradicate swollen gums.
Other causes of swollen gums can include allergies to certain mouth rinses or toothpaste. Changing your oral hygiene products could help reduce chronically swollen gums. Pregnancy has also been linked to swollen gums – in which case a natural product can reduce swelling and promote healthier gums during or after pregnancy.
Swollen Gums Symptoms
When your gums begin to swell, they may feel hard and less sensitive to touch. As they start to swell, and pressure mounts, they may start to itch as well. Swollen gums can either be whitish in color or bright red. In some cases, the gums will separate from the teeth (gingival recession) or bleeding gums will occur (especially when irritated by brushing your teeth or eating).
As the gums swell more and more, they usually become painful. Eating, talking and oral hygiene become unbearable in extreme cases. Swollen gums may also be accompanied by swollen glands in the throat, signifying an infection or inflammation of the glands.
Swollen gums are fairly easy to diagnose, given the obvious symptoms. Usually, like most inflammations, when the gum is pressed by a finger, the indent remains for some time. If your gums are swollen, bright red or white, are separating from the teeth, or receding, gum treatment is probably needed for fast healing and the promotion of healthier gums. Below is a list of treatments for swollen gums.
Home Remedies For Swollen Gums
There are several remedies to mitigate this condition, here we mention those that we consider to be the fastest and most effective.
- Aloe Vera
One of the plants that best antioxidants and antiseptics have is aloe vera. It is a very useful plant, especially with cuts, but also with many diseases. Its leaves have a gel that has all its properties, and this is applied to the wounds to heal them.
However, inside the mouth, one of the best ways to use it is to drink it. But not drinking the gel itself but taking one of the many drinks of aloe vera that exist. These can be purchased on different surfaces. However, if you have an aloe vera plant, extract a little of the gel that is in the leaves and rubs it through your gums. When you finish, rinse your mouth thoroughly to remove the gel.
Salt is one of the natural elements that best help fight infections thanks to its antiseptic properties. It is a very useful ally when it comes to fighting swollen gums, both to reduce inflammation to eliminate bacteria that have accumulated in the mouth.
All you need to be able to use it is a little salt and a glass of warm water. The salt is diluted in the water and a small amount of the solution is taken to make mouthwashes. Gargle for 30 seconds and spit out the mixture. The process must be repeated at least 3 times a day.
Leaving aside the rinses and intake, there are also remedies for inflamed gums like curcumin. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and there are even some studies that indicate that it helps fight plaque.
Thanks to all these properties, curcumin is a remedy to take into account when dealing with this problem.
To use it, add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a little water. After doing so, mix until it becomes a paste. To apply the remedy you will have to take some of this paste and apply it gently to the swollen gum. Keep it for 5 minutes and rinse your mouth well.
Tea is an incredible remedy for inflammation of any area of the body. When it comes to external sites, when you have to soften the mucosa, you usually use the tea bag. However, in problems such as gingivitis, drinking tea can help to reduce inflammation and fight infection, all thanks to the tannic acid it has.
In order to enjoy the healing properties of tea, we will have to boil water for 10 minutes next to a tea bag. When it has boiled, remove the water from the fire, place it in a cup and add a little honey, to enhance its antibacterial properties.
Finally, we must wait until the mixture cools a little, until it is lukewarm, to be able to consume it without affecting oral health. This mixture is perfect to use after brushing.
- Sodium Bicarbonate
Like salt, baking soda is an excellent remedy for dealing with bacterial plaque. It has great antiseptic properties and is a cheap, easy-to-use remedy that can be obtained at any supermarket.
Take a teaspoon of baking soda and add it to a glass of water. Stir well so that the bicarbonate is diluted in the water. Gargle with a small amount of the solution for about 30 seconds. Repeat the process a couple of times a day.
Fruits can be a good ally to deal with many diseases, including gingivitis. The apple is one of them. In order to help you fight the disease, you only have to eat an apple after each meal. Make sure you cut the apples well and eat them in pieces. Biting a whole apple can cause pain when the gums are inflamed.
Preventing Swollen Gums
Preventing swollen gums is fairly simple, which is why prescriptions and surgery are usually not necessary. Even if you already have swollen gums, once you reduce the swelling you can immediately start using preventative measures to eradicate swelling indefinitely.
Here are some preventative measures:
- Using a natural healthy gum promoter significantly reduces the chances of swollen gums, canker sores, inflammation, bleeding or receding gums, and other related symptoms.
- Good Oral Hygiene – Having a good oral hygiene routine does not necessarily mean brushing several times a day. It is recommended you brush three times a day, but be careful not to brush too hard. If your gums are sensitive, brush lightly with a mild toothpaste, and use mild mouth rinses.
- Diet – Again, diet cannot be stressed enough. By making sure you are practicing good eating habits, you can significantly reduce the number of mouth-related issues including swollen gums. If you do not get all your required vitamins with your current diet, make sure to take vitamin supplements.
In many cases, swollen gums are the result of an underlying issue. Xerostomia (dry mouth) is one such condition. By eradicating dry mouth, you can significantly reduce the frequency of swollen gums. This goes for any underlying cause; if you treat it while treating your gums, you will have a healthy smile in no time.