A gum disease like gingivitis can indicate that you have not been particular about cleaning your teeth or gums. It is when you do not follow a healthy regime of oral care, you catch such infectious diseases as gingivitis. Before knowing how to get rid of gingivitis, lets know what is it so that you may understand it better.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a gum disease caused due to a bacterial infection. When bacteria build-up in your gums, you may suffer from gingivitis. This bacteria is nothing but the common plaque. Plaque is not only made up of bacteria but also mucus and food particles that are not cleaned properly from inside the mouth. When you regularly brush your teeth, say once or twice a day, you are saved against this plaque. If, however, you don’t do so, you are at a risk of developing gingivitis. It is when you don’t brush your teeth for continuous two days that the bacteria starts building a wall between your teeth and gum tissue. This is commonly known as tartar. The first signs of gingivitis include red swollen gums and bleeding around the gums and teeth. There are many other symptoms of gingivitis.
What are the Symptoms of Gingivitis?
The most obvious gingivitis symptoms include inflamed, red gums that bleed easily. Pain is a rare sign of gingivitis. You won’t feel any pain until your gingivitis becomes quite old or may feel it occasionally. Here is the list of some peculiar signs of gingivitis.
- Inflammation in gums. You can see or feel puffy gums inside your mouth.
- Soft gums. Healthy gums are tighter. If you suffer from gingivitis, you can feel the softness of your swollen gums.
- Receding gums. More of the lower part of your teeth becomes exposed.
- Bleeding gums. In fact, it is the condition when your gums start bleeding too easily, most often when you brush or floss.
- Reddened gums. Healthy gums are always pink in color. Whenever they turn red, you might conclude that something is wrong with your gums. If redness of gums accompany other signs of gingivitis, you can be sure about what it is!
- Bad breath. Where there are bacteria, there is a foul smell.
- Sore gums. It is not a regular symptom of gingivitis but occasionally you can have a sore tender gum.
How to Cure Gingivitis
When you go to your dentist, he can use surgical or non-surgical treatments to cure your gingivitis. If, however, you have been able to identify your gum disease as gingivitis at an early stage, you can cure it yourself with home treatment options. Unless your plaque becomes tartar, there are all chances of your gingivitis to be cured at home. There are many home remedies for gingivitis that you can follow and get rid of this gum disease.
Use Salt to Get Rid of Gingivitis
Salt, commonly found in every household, can be the first and the most effective treatment for gingivitis. Salt makes the environment inside your mouth hostile for bacteria by changing its pH level and they cannot survive there. Salt has excellent anti-microbial properties. It is not in vain that salt is used as a preservative. Salt is also soothing to the mucous membranes and thus help reduce swelling of gums. Use salt to wash your mouth. You can also make a paste with salt.
1st way to use salt- Wash your mouth with saline water
- Salt- ½ tsp
- Lukewarm water- 1 glass
- Add salt to lukewarm water and mix well.
- Wash your mouth with this water.
- Do this 2-3 times a day.
2nd way to use salt- Make homemade paste with salt and oil
- Salt- ½ tsp
- Mustard oil- few drops
- Warm water – 1 cup
- Take the salt and add few drops of mustard oil to this, just enough to get a paste like consistency.
- Rub your gums gently with this salt-oil mixture for about 1-2 minutes
- Now wash your mouth with warm water.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day.
Learn Oil Pulling to Treat Gingivitis
Oil pulling is not only a cure for gingivitis and other infections of mouth but also a very good remedy for teeth whitening. When you do oil pulling, all the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes as well as toxins get washed away from inside your mouth. What more, oil pulling not only makes your oral health better but also boosts your immunity by detoxifying your body.
How to do oil pulling?
- Coconut or sesame oil- 1-2 tbsp
- Warm water- 1-2 cup
- Put some oil inside your mouth.
- Swish it around in your mouth, ensuring that each and every corner of the mouth comes in contact of the oil.
- Initially, you might be able to do this only for a minute or two. Gradually increase the time of pulling oil.
- You should aim to pull oil for about 15-20 minutes at a stretch.
- After pulling oil in your mouth, spit it out and wash your mouth with warm water. Don’t swallow this oil as it has all the microbes that you want to get rid of!
- Oil pulling is best done every morning before you brush your teeth.
Use Baking Soda to Cure Gingivitis
Baking soda has this amazing quality of balancing the pH level of your mouth. Either acidic or alkaline, baking soda can neutralize the pH of any environment. This makes it impossible for bacteria and other microbes to grow and survive in your mouth.
1st way to use baking soda- Brush teeth with it
- Baking soda- ¼ to ½ tsp
- Warm water- few drops
- Combine few drops of warm water and baking soda to make a paste like thing
- Brush your teeth with this mixture for about 1-2 minutes
- Wash your mouth.
- Do this only once in 2-3 days
2nd way to use baking soda- Make a Homemade Mouthwash
- Baking soda- 1 tsp
- Salt- 1 tsp
- Water- 1 cup
- Mix baking soda and salt with water.
- Rinse mouth with this water.
- Do this once a day, preferably in the morning
Use Lemon Juice to Get Rid of Gingivitis
For many people, lemon juice is also effective in treating gum infections. This might be due to the vitamin C content of lemon juice which makes it an exceptionally well anti-inflammatory agent.
Rinse your mouth with Lemon water
- Lemon- 1, medium
- Warm water- 1 glass
- Cut the lemon in two halves and squeeze out its juice into the glass of warm water.
- Mix well and rinse your mouth with this water.
- It is best done after brushing your teeth in the morning.
- If you cannot stand the acidic taste of lemon, use only half of lemon with one glass of water.
Apply Clove Oil to Get Rid of Gingivitis
Cloves are one of the best friends of teeth and gums. They have been used since ages in different parts of the world to treat oral infections like toothache, swollen gums and other gum diseases. While the analgesic properties of clove make it a superb remedy for toothache, its antibacterial properties can help get rid of a variety of microbial infections of gums. You can chew a clove everyday to get rid of all types of teeth and gum diseases.
How to use Clove oil to Cure Gingivitis?
- Clove oil- few drops
- Cotton swab
- Pour few drops of clove oil onto the cotton swab.
- Hold this swab against the affected gum area for few minutes.
- You may also lightly rub the gums with this clove oil soaked cotton swab.
Get Aloe Vera to Treat Gingivitis at Home
Aloe vera has widely been accepted as a miraculous herb that treats a number of conditions including gingivitis. This is due to aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical studies have also found out that mouthwash prepared with aloe vera gel helps patients get rid of plaque-induced gingivitis.
How to use aloe vera gel?
- Aloe vera gel or aloe vera leaf
- Take some aloe vera gel and apply it to the gingivitis affected gums.
- If using aloe vera leaf, cut it open and extract its thick gel.
- Apply it on your gums.
- You may or may not wash your mouth with water after applying aloe vera gel.
Rub Tea Tree to Oil to Cure Gingivitis
The natural anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties of tea tree oil makes it a perfect remedy for all types of infections, leave alone gum infections. You just need to dilute a little tea tree oil and rub it on your affected gums to get rid of gingivitis. Diluting the tea tree oil is essential due to its very strong nature. The best way to dilute the tea tree oil in this case is to mix it with your regular tooth paste.
- Tea tree oil- 1-2 drops
- Tooth paste
- Add tea tree oil to the amount of tooth paste you regularly use to brush teeth.
- Now brush your teeth as you do always.
- Take care not to swallow this. Tea tree oil is highly toxic when ingested.
Sage is a Herbal Remedy for Gingivitis
Many herbs are useful when it comes to treat gingivitis at home. Peppermint and sage are two of such herbs. Sage has excellent anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that will help reduce swelling of gums and will also cure the infection.
Prepare a herbal rinse with Sage
- Sage herb- 2 tbsp Or dried sage- 1 tsp
- Water- 1-2 cups
- Boil the water.
- Add sage to this water and simmer it for about 5-10 minutes
- Strain and let the water cool down
- Rinse your mouth with this herbal water 2-3 times a day
Peppermint can also be used in the same way as you use sage to cure gingivitis. Take some mint leaves, boil with water, allow to cool down and wash your mouth with it. It is as effective as sage mouthwash when it comes to cure gingivitis.
Use Guava Leaves to Treat Gingivitis
Guava is considered a fruit rich in Vitamin C. This also makes it an effective anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agent. Guava skin has much more vitamin C than the fruit itself and the guava leaves are loaded with extra-ordinary amounts of goodness that the fruit has. The leaves has an additional component called guaijaverin. It is a natural anti plaque agent. This surely helps treat gingivitis effectively. You can always chew properly washed and cleaned guava leaves. Alternatively, you can crush the leaves to get a paste and then rub it on your inflamed gums. For a more sophisticated solution, make the following mouth wash with guava leaf.
- Guava leaves- 5-8
- Water- 2 cups
- Boil the water.
- Add washed guava leaves to this water and simmer till the water remains half of its quantity.
- Strain and let it cool down
- Rinse your mouth with this water 2-3 times a day.
Turmeric can Cure Gingivitis
Turmeric has undoubtedly been accepted as an exceptional natural anti-inflammatory agent due to its component curcumin. It also has a powerful antioxidant effects on your gums. All these help you get rid of gingivitis effectively. Make this herbal tooth powder using turmeric as one of its main ingredients and use it daily to fight off gingivitis.
- Turmeric- 4 tsp
- Neem powder- 8 tsp
- Alum powder- ¼ tsp
- Salt- ¼ tsp
- Combine all the ingredients
- Mix them well and store in an air-tight container.
- To use, take out some powder mix and rub on your teeth and gums.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day.
All the above remedies not only help you get rid of gingivitis but can also reverse gingivitis and prevent it from taking the form of periodontitis. In fact, if you don’t have an advanced stage of gingivitis and it is only a mild infection that you have been able to notice in the first couple of days, you can reverse gingivitis even without any home remedy. It involves proper cleaning of mouth. Here are the steps that you should follow to clean your mouth daily, 2-3 times a day!
Reverse Gingivitis with these Mouth Cleansing Steps
Here are the steps to follow if you want to reverse gingivitis at its initial stage itself.
- Use dental floss even before you brush your teeth. This helps loosen anything caught between your teeth.
- Now rinse your mouth using a mouthwash. This too before you start brushing your teeth. This will help remove the loosened particles, those that have loosened due to flossing.
- Now brush your teeth with tooth brush, all the way up to your gum line. Give light circular strokes to clean gums as well as teeth thoroughly. Brush at back of your teeth as well!
- Now wash your mouth properly with water.
- Don’t use mouthwash at this stage. Using mouthwash after brushing removes the fluoride. So, it’s better not to use it after brushing teeth. Fluoride helps in resisting the acid attack that leads to tooth decay. This acid is produced by bacteria. Fluoride also promotes remineraliztion of teeth. So, it is wise not to wash it away with a mouthwash.
How to Prevent Gingivitis?
Once cured, you will never want gingivitis to come back! Here are some tips to prevent gingivitis.
Brush your Teeth Daily
And that too, twice! It is better if you brush after your meals too but that is not possible always. So, wash your mouth thoroughly after eating anything but brush teeth at least twice a day. It is important to brush once before you go to sleep because this is when your mouth remains closed for long time and the bacteria inside can work overtime to give you infections! Once you remove all that is attractive to the bacteria, they are bound to remain dormant. So, brush each day before you go to bed.
Don’t forget to Floss Everyday
Flossing is as important as brushing your teeth. Floss cleans such areas where toothbrush can’t reach. Daily flossing not only prevent cavities but also the periodontal diseases. So don’t forget to floss before you brush your teeth. Why before brushing? Read the section on reversing gingivitis above!
See your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental check-ups are a must. Howsoever hard you try to keep your mouth free of plaque, there will be some in the hard-to-reach places inside your mouth. This is what needs your dentist’s attention. He will clean your mouth thoroughly. Visit him, at least after every six months!
Use proper Mouthwash Daily
All mouthwashes are not that effective. Choose a mouthwash with care. You need something with anti-bacterial effects. It should also prevent plaque build-up. If you are not sure about the commercially available mouthwashes, make one at home using natural ingredients. You will find some recipes in the earlier section of this article where we talked about herbal rinses and mouthwashes.
Some Other Tips to Prevent Gingivitis
- Change your toothbrush every third month, even if it looks fine. With usage, the effectiveness of brush is affected. You won’t feel it but the brush stays no longer effective for your usage. So, it’s wiser to replace it at regular intervals.
- Quit smoking. A study found out that those who smoke are four times more likely to have serious gum diseases when compared to those who never smoked. Why is smoking so dangerous for your teeth and gums? Because it affects your blood flow. Improper circulation doesn’t let the gums have proper nutrition and they don’t even respond to the treatments. This leads to loss of teeth in severe cases.
- Have healthy and nutritious foods. Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. They promote oral health and prevent all types of gum diseases.
- Have more of vitamin C rich foods. They also prevent gum diseases. Talk to your doctor and if necessary, ask him to prescribe a vitamin C supplement for you.
- Avoid having sugary foods or starchy foods. They promote bacterial growth in your mouth. These are also acidic foods that make bacteria flourish in your mouth and cause teeth decay as well as gum infections.
If you take proper measures to clean your teeth and gums daily, and be in touch of your dentist, at least, twice a year, you won’t face the problem of gingivitis. Not only gingivitis, you won’t get any type of gum problems or teeth issue. Therefore, start looking after your mouth properly. Take your oral health seriously and use proper toothbrush, floss and mouthwash to help prevent gingivitis. If, however, you still get gingivitis, use the natural home remedies to get rid of gingivitis.