Generally known as gum disease, gingivitis begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and ends with tooth loss. It affects almost everyone, but the initial symptoms are so mild that many people do not realize there is anything wrong.
Gingivitis is an oral infection, characterized by tender, swollen gums that bleed easily and have begun to recede from your teeth. It is caused by plaque buildup, and plaque is microscopic wads of bacteria, mucus and food particles that form in your mouth every day and stick to your teeth. It makes your breath stink, and if you don't get it under control, it develops into a more serious condition called periodontitis. At this stage, the bacteria are underneath the gum, and they attack the soft tissue and bone that support teeth, which can cause tooth loss. This bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause additional health effects, including heart disease and lung and respiratory problems.
Symptoms are: Redness, swelling, puffiness of the gums; soft and bleeding gums; bad breath; loss of natural gum structure and color, and bleeding especially while brushing or flossing.
Causes are: Poor dental hygiene, diabetes, intake of certain medications, weakened immunity due to underlying medical conditions, hormonal fluctuations such as those which occur during pregnancy or menstruation, poorly fitted dentures or dental restorations, etc.
Sea salt solution – Dissolve a small amount of sea salt in a cup of warm water. Swish a sip of the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds and spit it out. Repeat several times. Salt water will reduce swollen gums and draw infection out of any abscesses.
Tea bags – Steep a tea bag in boiling water, remove and allow it to cool until you can handle it comfortably. Hold the cooled tea bag on the affected area of your gums and keep it there for about five minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag can work effectively to relieve gum infection.
Aloe Vera – It is helpful in soothing inflamed gums. It also reduces inflammation, destroys bacteria and promotes quicker healing. You can apply the gel of aloe vera leaves to the gums and then gargle with water. Repeat this treatment until the condition subsides.
Honey – Honey has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties, so you can put it to work treating your infected gums. Once you brush your teeth, rub a small amount of honey on the problem area of your gums.
Baking soda – It is a popular gingivitis remedy. Add a small quantity of water to baking soda and apply to the gums using your finger. This will help to get rid of bacteria.
Lemon paste – Make a paste from the juice of one lemon and some salt. Mix it well and apply to your teeth. Let it sit for a few minutes and gargle with warm water to rinse it off.
Clove – It is one of the best-known gum inflammation home remedies. Take a clove and rub it gently along the gums. You can also place a couple of cloves near your gums and leave them there for some time. Clove oil is also beneficial in treating inflamed gums.
You can make an effective spice treatment for gingivitis by combining 1/8th teaspoon of clove powder, two teaspoons of white oak powder, 3/4th teaspoon of peppermint leaf powder and one teaspoon of herbal powder. This mixture may be applied to the gums daily.
Sage – The herb sage has anti-bacterial properties. Add a tablespoon of sage powder to water and boil for a few minutes. Then add a pinch of salt and pour the solution into a bottle. You can store the bottle in the refrigerator for later use. It can be used to soothe infected and irritated gums after brushing.
Good Dental Hygiene Practices
Gargle twice a day by a home made saline solution by putting a pinch of salt in a glass of lukewarm water. This will reduce the swelling in your mouth.
Visit your dentist for regular professional cleanings
Replace your toothbrush after every four months
Brush after meals
Floss at least once every day
Use dental picks to clean the crevices between the teeth
Avoid smoking as it can worsen the inflammation in the gums and allow the disease to progress. Also try to manage stress effectively as it can weaken your immune system and make you susceptible to diseases
Avoid eating foods that are rich in sugar as bacteria thrive on sugars. The sugar that gets lodged between the teeth provides an ideal breeding ground for the bacteria. Therefore cut down on white flour, sweets and fruit juices.
Reduce stress. Studies show there is a link between stress and your dental health. People under stress have a compromised immune system that makes it harder for them to fight off the bacteria that causes periodontal disease and makes them more prone to gum infection.
Increase your intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties, so be sure you are getting enough of this vitamin when you're trying to heal swollen gums and prevent the condition from reoccurring. Older adults should particularly take note of this vitamin.
Use an antiseptic mouthwash, if recommended by your dentist.