Unfortunately, many of us are familiar with this situation: when you brush your teeth or bite into an apple, you bleed. A look in the mirror doesn't bode well either: the gums are noticeably red. And if we're being completely honest, it burns and hurts from time to time. Very often there is inflammation behind it. What can you do to prevent gum disease?
At this point we want to look at how you can naturally treat and get rid of acute gum inflammation. Dental advice should always be sought if the acute symptoms do not subside and are threatening to become chronic.
What exactly is gingivitis?
Inflammation of the gums – also known as gingivitis in medicine – is common. In most cases, it is a result of poor oral hygiene and occurs when you don't brush your teeth every day or sloppily clean the spaces between your teeth. The lack of cleaning causes pathogens to multiply, which can lead to diseases of the periodontium with toxic metabolic products.
In the worst case scenario, the pathogens overcome the body's own defense system. This creates gum pockets and the tissue around the tooth becomes inflamed.
Bleeding gums are one of the first signs of this. If you ignore it, it can lead to periodontitis, i.e. an inflammation of the periodontium. This is because the bone retreats from the inflammation, which means that even a previously healthy, caries-free tooth can fall out.
Since some cases of periodontitis go unnoticed, regular check-ups with your trusted dentist are essential.
1. Acute gingivitis
Acute gum inflammation describes the first stage. There is an acute inflammation, which is manifested by slightly reddened gums and bleeding gums when brushing your teeth.
Pressing on the gums creates an unpleasant feeling. There is already a need for action!
Check your oral hygiene and actively counteract the inflammation. Home remedies, oil pulling, anti-inflammatory rinses or professional teeth cleaning are suitable for this. The inflammation usually disappears after a few weeks.
2. Chronic gum inflammation
If the inflammatory condition accompanies you for a longer period of time or if you can't seem to get rid of the gum inflammation at all, it is referred to as chronic gum inflammation. It is not only accompanied by bleeding gums and noticeably red gums, but usually also by bad breath. The junction between the tooth and the gums feels furry and swollen. The gums also recede over time and noticeable gum pockets develop.
There is a risk of periodontitis, which should be treated by a dentist immediately.
Typical symptoms of inflamed gums
The typical symptoms of inflamed gums are far from limited to bleeding gums and redness. It is important to know the nuances of inflammation so that timely measures can be taken.
We want to show you some of the symptoms that gingivitis can cause:
- The gums are bleeding.
- The gums are red, sensitive and inflamed.
- Bleeding spots on the tooth often occur.
- You have an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
- You suffer from bad breath.
- The gums are swollen and pockets form. In the worst case , the gums recede
- In some cases, gum inflammation even causes lymph nodes to swell.
- If gum inflammation is particularly severe, the body reacts with a fever.
Possible causes of gum inflammation
The causes of gum inflammation are not always due to poor oral hygiene. There can also be health reasons, errors in tooth brushing technique or other reasons.
1. Improper tooth brushing and injuries
We often mean it particularly well when brushing our teeth. But a lot doesn't always help a lot. It's the same with pressure while brushing your teeth. Too much pressure with the bristles on the gums and tooth enamel is counterproductive.
Polishing instead of scrubbing is the motto! When using dental floss and interdental brushes, you should also carefully clean the spaces between your teeth instead of grossly irritating the gums. Toothbrushes with very hard bristles should also be avoided if you want long-term healthy gums.
However, the gums are not only at risk from incorrectly used teeth cleaning utensils, but also from daily eating habits. For example, the gums can be damaged by foods that are too crunchy or sharp - for example, if we bite into a roll that is too hard. However, the inflammation that can result from this is only short-lived.
If the immune system is intact, they go away on their own after a few days.
To prevent gum inflammation, we recommend tooth powder from teethlovers.
2. Poor dental hygiene
However, the most common cause of gum inflammation is and remains poor oral hygiene. If you brush your teeth irregularly and leave the spaces between your teeth uncleaned, you are allowing unfavorable bacteria to spread from the oral cavity. They form plaque that spreads to the edges of the gums and leads to inflammation.
3. Dry mouth
Dry mouth can also cause inflamed gums. It occurs as a result of a lack of saliva , which is often a side effect of certain medications or occurs in certain phases of life, such as menopause.
The task of saliva to wash around the teeth and thus keep them clean, to neutralize the pH value and to remineralize the tooth enamel cannot be guaranteed.
Due to the reduced production of saliva, unfavorable bacteria can settle in the oral cavity, similar to poor oral hygiene.
Wearing braces or aligners can cause pressure points on the gums. These areas are particularly sensitive and susceptible to the proliferation of bacteria, which in turn can lead to inflammation.
The nicotine contained in cigarettes constricts the blood vessels in the gums and oral mucosa. This means that less blood gets into the tissue.
Smokers' gums often look gray and pale - and the risk of gum inflammation increases. By the way, this risk increases proportionally to the amount you smoke and also how long you have been a smoker.
The double disadvantage: gum inflammation heals much more slowly in people who smoke than in non-smokers.
6. Hormonal changes
Hormonal changes in the body can also promote gum inflammation. For example, rising estrogen levels during pregnancy cause more intense blood flow to the gums, which then become more sensitive and vulnerable.
Puberty and menopause also have an impact on our gums.
Home remedies for sore gums
The good thing: An herb has grown to combat gum inflammation. Even several. The first signs of gum inflammation can be combated very well and effectively with simple home remedies.
Sage and chamomile: Sage is an effective helper against inflammation of the gums, the same applies to chamomile. To do this, brew a strong tea with one of the medicinal herbs every day, let it get cold and rinse your mouth with it several times a day. After rinsing thoroughly, spit out the tea. This soothes the gums and supports the body's own healing processes.
Salt water: Salt is a proven home remedy for inflammation of the gums. To do this, dissolve a teaspoon of sea salt, rock salt or other natural salt in a glass of water and use the solution as a mouthwash. After rinsing thoroughly, spit out the solution.
Oil pulling: There are various recipes for effective oil mixtures that should be pulled vigorously through your teeth for 1-2 minutes twice a day. Please use natural, organically certified oils if possible. A proven mixture: 30ml sesame oil (as a supporting base oil, can also be replaced with coconut oil), 4 drops of tea tree essential oil, 2 drops of copaiba essential oil, 8 drops of lemongrass essential oil and 8 drops of thyme essential oil. After rinsing and spitting out the solution (dispose of it in the household trash in a cloth), then apply a few drops of the mixture to the affected area. If necessary, carefully apply to the affected spaces between teeth using an interdental brush.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil also helps against inflammation of the gums. If you don't want to prepare a complex recipe like the previous mixture, you can use pure coconut oil (preferably untreated and organic) as a mouth pulling oil and then apply it directly to the affected gum area.
Clove oil: Traditionally, cloves are used for their anti-inflammatory properties for gums and toothache. One possible application is to add 3-5 drops of high-quality organic clove essential oil to about 1 teaspoon of cooking oil (e.g. coconut oil, sesame oil or olive oil). Soak a cotton swab with the oil and apply to the affected area.
Lemongrass oil: Lemongrass or lemongrass oil has proven to be an effective aid in gingivitis treatments. Have a 2% lemongrass solution mixed at the pharmacy (water-based is also possible here, but be careful: since oil is not water-soluble, it needs emulsifiers) or at home, add about 2 drops of organic lemongrass essential oil to about 1 teaspoon of cooking oil . Rinse your mouth thoroughly with this mixture 2-3 times a day.
By the way: If you suffer from sensitive gums, you should use a soft toothbrush and gentle dental floss. This can protect you from acute inflammation, so you don't even have to think about suitable home remedies.
How long does it take for gum disease to go away?
Gingivitis usually heals within two to seven days . If the gum inflammation lasts significantly longer, you should see a dentist.
When do I need to go to the dentist if I have gum disease?
If the gum infection does not heal even after you have tried one or two home remedies, a visit to the dentist is advisable.
The way the dentist treats your gum disease is something you won't be able to do at home: existing tartar is thoroughly removed and the teeth are cleaned with professional equipment and pastes. Even the gum pockets are cleaned here if necessary.
Preventing inflamed gums - Here's how
Good oral hygiene is the most effective protection against gum inflammation. To do this, you should brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and use dental floss and interdental brushes several times a week to clean the spaces between your teeth.
Our toothbrush powder made from 100% natural active ingredients makes a valuable contribution here. The cleaning agents it contains made of healing clay and clay effectively remove plaque and remineralize the teeth. The essential oils and plant extracts have, among other things, anti-inflammatory effects and strengthen the gums. And all without any additives, fluorides or foams.
Frequently asked questions about gum disease
The topic of gum inflammation usually raises many questions. We try to answer the most important ones.
Is gum disease contagious?
Unfortunately, gum inflammation can actually be contagious because it is usually a bacterial infection. The bacteria are passed on through contact with the bacterial environment - for example by kissing or using the same toothbrush.
What can you eat if you have gum disease?
When it comes to nutrition, many people feel restricted when it comes to gum disease. Fruits and vegetables often irritate the gums because of the acid they contain.
Smoothies and soups are often easier to eat during this time.
In general, if possible, you should avoid processed foods that contain a lot of starch and sugar. They usually have an inflammatory effect, just like animal foods or trans fats.
On the other hand, the consumption of Omega 3 fats (algae oil, olive oil, walnuts), vitamins and minerals, among other things, has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Is gum disease dangerous?
Inflammation of the gums is dangerous - especially if it is left untreated for a long period of time. If the gums are inflamed, a natural barrier that protects the body from intruders is damaged. Depending on the severity of the inflammation, pathogens can reach the entire organism from here via the bloodstream.
This can promote various chronic diseases, such as diabetes and respiratory diseases. The risk of premature birth increases in pregnant women.
Gum inflammation is not something to be trifled with! It's best not to give it the chance to develop and prevent it through good oral hygiene, regular preventive appointments and a holistic diet.