How to get rid of gingivitis?
Can you treat gingivitis at home?
Do bleeding gums mean gingivitis?
The first thing we do, once we wake up, is probably brushing our teeth. And yet oral hygiene is not something all of us take very seriously.
Maybe you woke up late and have to get to work on time, maybe you have to get your kids ready for school or prepare and pack your husband’s lunch. These are the standard excuses a mom can come up with for neglecting or not devoting enough time to oral hygiene.
When I say poor oral hygiene, I am not just talking about the teeth, the gums are also included. They are the foundation on which our teeth stand, so they have to be strong as well. But even those of us who take care of our teeth might forget about the gums.
Today’s post is about gingivitis and how it can affect your teeth. We will also tell you how to cure gingivitis with easy home remedies.
But before we talk about gingivitis let us look at some common oral problems.
Common oral problems:
One day you realise that all the neglect has finally snowballed and given you something to worry about. It could be anything from teeth that would look believable in a ‘before’ part of a toothpaste advertisement, cavities, gum problems etc.
The most common problems that we are prone to are-
This is the most common oral problem. This occurs when you don’t clean your teeth properly. The main culprit here is plaque, the coating that forms of the teeth.
When you don’t brush, this coating that is formed due to bacteria, will harm the teeth.
- Tooth infection
If you have cavities and haven’t sought treatment then the next stage is teeth infection. Here the nerves inside the tooth get infected.
- Enamel erosion
If you think that enamel erosion occurs only due to rough brushing, you are wrong.
Too much of sodas and colas can also rip the enamel away.
- Dry mouth
Age, excess coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol, certain medication and lack of adequate water intake can cause dry mouth. This is a condition where the flow of saliva is low.
Saliva helps to wash the bacteria away, lack of it can cause a lot of dental problems.
This is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. The symptom of thrush is a whitish residue on the inner cheeks, tongue, and roof and back of the mouth.
Apart from this there is – Gingivitis and Periodontal disease. We will see what causes these as well.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a disease where the gums get inflamed. This is caused due to the layer of bacteria that accumulates on the teeth (plaque).
While gingivitis is non-destructive, the lack of care can cause it to turn into a severe form called Periodontitis. Here gum starts to recede and form small pockets leading to food getting accumulated there.
The bacterial activity here can secrete toxin which starts to destroy the bone and tissue. This can cause you to lose your teeth.
While there are a few causes of gingivitis, the most common one is poor oral hygiene.
Symptoms of gingivitis:
While gingivitis will not cause much serious damage, leaving it untreated can cost you your teeth! To avoid that we need to tackle gingivitis as an when you pop up.
To know if you have gingivitis, take a look at the symptoms listed below so that you can relax/seek treatment.
The symptoms of gingivitis are as follows.
- Constant bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath or halitosis
- Plaque or tartar on teeth
- Swollen and tender gums
- Gums appear red instead of pink
- Receding gum or teeth appears larger
- Teeth feel loose
- Bleeding gums
Do not think that all symptoms of gingivitis have to show up before you start treatment.
The moment you realise there is something amiss, start taking a long hard look at your oral hygiene steps and make necessary changes.
Diet for healthy teeth and gums:
If you want healthier teeth and gums, or suspect that you may have a gum disease, change your diet! A few changes can actually help your teeth become stronger and even reduce plaque. Some may look like no-brainers but I have still added them to the list because when it comes to our health, we tend to take it easy. This is just a way of reminding you to eat healthy.
- Calcium – You know that this mineral is vital for the health of our teeth and bones. So add more sources of calcium. Don’t forget to discuss with your doctor to see if you need a supplement.
- Vitamin D- Wherever there is calcium, there is vitamin D too. Vitamin D will help to keep your gums healthy.
- Vitamin C – This vitamin will keep you healthy and will help your body in a variety of ways. This antioxidant will also keep your mouth healthy.
- Add some crunch- Fruits and vegetables that are crunchy will help the flow of saliva. This will also help to keep the bacteria away. You can eat apples, carrots etc.
- Cranberry juice- Drinking cranberry juice will hamper bacterial activity as they can prevent the bacteria from sticking to the teeth. For best results stay away from artificially sweetened variety.
- Cheese and yogurt- Apart from being rich sources of calcium, these two can also help to bring down the bacteria in your mouth.
- Avoid sweets- They can make your mouth a playground for bacteria.
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How to get rid of gingivitis with these simple home remedies?
So you have neglected your teeth and now your teeth and gums are revolting. It ok, if it is still mild, you can use a few home remedies to cure it. It will help provide you with the much needed relief and will prevent any further damage.
That being said, if you feel your teeth are already loose, then visit a dentist asap.
Otherwise these 25 home remedies should do the trick.
#1. Salt water rinse
Apart from making food taste good, salt is also an effective antibacterial and antiseptic agent. So salt can help you if you have gingivitis.
All you have to do is to mix ½ tsp in one glass of warm water. Gargle and rinse with this solution twice a day, for relief.
#2. Salt and mustard oil paste
Make a paste of some salt and mustard oil. Massage the gums for a minute or two.
Rinse with warm water. Repeat till you find relief. This is also a good way to ease the swelling and clear out the abscesses.
#3. Mustard oil massage
If you feel that the mixture of salt and mustard oil is making you want to throw up, you can use only mustard oil to massage your teeth and gums.
Mustard oil is also known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Post this you can rinse your mouth with some lukewarm water and salt.
#4. Oil pulling – Coconut oil
This is an effective method for curing dental problems. It is really simple and you can do it for curing gingivitis and reducing plaque.
All you have to do is take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swirl it around the mouth for around 15 mins. Spit and rinse the mouth with lukewarm water.
#5. Oil pulling – Sesame oil
Apart from coconut oil, you can also use sesame oil to do oil pulling. In the procedure mentioned above, substitute the coconut oil with sesame oil.
#6. Oil pulling- Olive oil
You can also use extra virgin olive oil to do oil pulling.
A teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil will also help clear the infection. You have to do this 2-3 time a day for best results.
#7. Turmeric paste
Make a paste of some turmeric with some water. Use this to brush your teeth in the morning and night.
Due to a compound present in turmeric called curcumin, it becomes an effective remedy against swelling, pain and inflammation. It can also bring down plaque formation as it has anti-bacterial properties.
#8. Turmeric massage paste
Massaging your gums with turmeric will also help. To increase the effectiveness of this paste, take one teaspoon of turmeric powder, half a teaspoon of salt and mustard oil.
#9. Guava leaves
Guava leaves have been used by our ancestors to brush their teeth. It is due to an anti-plaque agent present in the leaf.
Make a paste of the leaves, massage your gums with this paste. Apart from clearing plaque, it will also make your mouth smell fresh. You can even chew a few tender leaves.
#10. Guava leaf mouth rinse
Boil two cups of water with a few guava leaves. Wait till the water reduces to one cup. Once the water cools down, strain the leaves.
Use this water to rinse your mouth.
#11. Mango leaf
Take two cups of water and boil it.
Once it boils add one or two mango leaves. Cover and let this cool. Once it can cooled down you can use this to rinse your mouth.
The babool bark was one of the things people used in olden days before toothbrushes took over. It helps to treat swollen gums and will make the infection disappear.
Take an inch piece of babool bark in two cups of water. Boil till it reduces to half the quantity.
Let it cool and use it as a mouth wash twice or thrice a day.
#13. Ajwain and mustard oil paste
Take a teaspoon of ajwain / carom seeds and roast it. Take care not to burn the carom seeds while roasting them. Once it has cooled down, powder it.
Mix this with a few drops of mustard oil. Use this paste to massage your gums and teeth.
# 14. Aloe vera
If you can get your hands on some aloe vera, then take the gel and apply it on your gums. Do this twice a day, daily till the symptoms subside.
#15. Chew cloves
The anti-bacterial and analgesic properties of cloves can help treat a lot of dental problems, including gingivitis. Chew a clove daily for treating gingivitis.
#16. Clove oil
Take a cotton ball, add a few drops of clove oil on this. Massage the teeth and gums with this.
Remember not to add a lot of oil as it can be strong and you may end up irritating your gums. 3-4 drops are good enough to fight the infection.
#17. Baking soda paste
Baking soda has the ability to create an environment that makes it difficult for bacteria to grow. They do this by balancing the pH levels.
A pinch of baking soda mixed with two to three drops of water makes an excellent toothpaste. Use this paste to brush the teeth and rinse the mouth with some warm water. Do this every 2-3 days only.
#18. Baking soda mouth rinse
You know that baking soda can make your mouth unfit for bacteria to thrive. Apart from using it as a paste, you can also make a mouth rinse with the baking soda.
Take a teaspoon of baking soda and salt. Add it to a cup of water and use it to rinse the mouth. You can do it every morning.
Vitamin C in lemon helps to bring down the swelling and also helps to accelerate the healing process. The juice of a lemon mixed with a glass of water can be used every morning after you brush.
This mouth rinse will give you lemony breath and heal the gingivitis.
#20. Tea tree oil
The essential oil derived from tea tree oil is said to cure gingivitis. Since the oil is very strong, mix a drop with your toothpaste and brush your teeth as you would normally do.
You can also use a drop of peppermint oil to spruce up your toothpaste. Be careful though, too much can irritate the gums further.
Apart from peppermint, sage is also effective in treating gingivitis. You can add half a teaspoon of dried sage leaves to a cup of boiling water. Take it off the heat, cover and cool.
Add some salt and use this to rinse your mouth. Use this 2-3 times a day.
Alum is good to purify water but did you know that it could help you in your fight against gingivitis? It helps to eliminate the bacteria and also reduce the swelling.
A teaspoon of alum powder mixed with a glass of water, makes a great mouth rinse. Use this twice or thrice for best results.
#24. Apple cider vinegar
A homemade mouth wash made of apple cider vinegar can help fight gingivitis. You can prepare this mouth rinse by mixing a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water.
Use this mouth rinse every morning, this way you can get rid of gingivitis.
#25. Gargle with triphala powder
Mix some triphala powder with water and rinse your mouth with this solution. It may taste bitter but will help you fight many dental problems.
NOTE: Use these remedies for mild gingivitis only.
If you don’t see the symptoms subsiding, do visit a doctor. It could be a sign that the infection is not a mild one and needs to be checked by a doctor.
Tips to prevent gingivitis:
It is quite easy to prevent gingivitis or any minor dental problem for that matter. All you have to do is take care of your teeth.
A few good habits of yours can go a long way in keep those teeth strong and healthy. Let us now shift our focus to how we can prevent gingivitis.
- Visit the dentist regularly
At times, you might not be able to spot any issues, but your dentist can. Go to the dentist twice a year even if you feel your teeth are healthy.
- Use a soft toothbrush
Yes, a hard bristled toothbrush can wreak havoc on gums and enamel.
- Don’t forget to change your toothbrush
Every 3 months, you need to change your toothbrush. This is so that your toothbrush can be an effective tool in keeping dental problems at bay.
- Use a good toothpaste
A good toothpaste can also keep bacterial activity minimal.
- Don’t forget to floss
But do it right, excessive and harsh flossing can also create pockets.
- Avoid excessive coffee and tea
Too much of coffee or tea can contribute to dryness in the mouth, which in turn leads to bacterial activity.
- Say no to smoking and chewing tobacco
Your entire body will thank you if you do this.
- Don’t neglect the tongue
Brush your tongue gently to clean it. If you are unsure about cleaning the tongue, ask your dentist.
- Use mouthwashes or rinses
Doing this daily will help bring down plaque and tartar.
- Wash your mouth after the meal
This will help to remove any food particle sticking to the teeth and helps to keep your mouth clean. Also drink water after meal. Apart from cleaning your mouth it will also ensure that your mouth is not dry.
Dear mommas, just like your family needs your care, your body needs it too. All you need to do is to brush, floss, and gargle every day without fail.
Remember, no short cuts. Take your time!
If you are over enthusiastic about your dental hygiene make sure you aren’t over doing it. Rough handling of your teeth and gums can also lead to dental issues.
Gum disease happens to be the leading cause of adults losing their teeth, so let it not take your away from you.
Hope you liked this post on how to get rid of gingivitis at home and found it helpful. Do you have any home remedy for gingivitis? Let us know, we are all ears!
Till next time, take care and keep smiling!