Tap to Read ➤

Gum Infection Treatment

Ratnashri Dutta
Poor oral hygiene is often one of the common contributing factors for gum problems. This story provides information on the treatment of gum infections.
Medically referred to as gingivae, gums are mucosal membranes that not only cover the fibrous connective tissue that provides support to the teeth, but also cover alveolar sockets. They are rich in blood vessels. They mainly receive blood from the alveolar arteries. With age, gums might recede, which in turn could expose the surface of the tooth. Those who don't floss and brush their teeth regularly could also be at an increased risk of developing tooth decay and gum infections.

Causes and Treatment Options

Lack of dental hygiene is often the main reason behind dental problems. If one doesn't brush teeth at night, bacteria might start growing around the food particles stuck between the teeth. At times, plaque might start forming on teeth. It might harden to form tartar, which in turn cannot be removed just by brushing the teeth.
Bacteria could cause gingivitis, which refers to the inflammation of the gums. This condition is characterized by the following symptoms:

➞ Swollen gums
➞ Redness of the gums
➞ Bleeding gums, especially while brushing

Gingivitis can be prevented with daily brushing and flossing of the teeth. One can also opt for dental cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist.
If gingivitis is left untreated, and one continues to ignore oral hygiene, it can make one susceptible to periodontal disease, which is a dental condition that is characterized by the loss of bone and tissue that hold the teeth in place.
In periodontal disease, the gums start pulling away from the teeth and form pockets, which in turn become infected by bacteria.
As an immune response to the infection, plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. This damages the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place.
If not treated, the bones, gums, and the supportive connective tissue could get destroyed. The teeth might become loose. Such teeth might have to be removed. Besides loose teeth, one might also experience symptoms such as halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, mouth ulcers, etc.
The treatment of periodontal disease involves drug therapy and deep-cleaning (scaling and root planing for the removal of tartar). In severe cases, surgery (flap surgery, bone and tissue grafting) might be required.
It must be noted that gingivitis doesn't necessarily progress to periodontal disease. If proper care is taken, it can be prevented.

Home Remedies

While antibiotic therapy might help treat and alleviate symptoms caused by a bacterial infection to some extent, one can also follow certain natural remedies. These include:

➞ Mix salt in water, and swish around this solution in your mouth. This will help reduce swelling and other symptoms associated with the gum infection.
It's advisable to gargle with this solution 3-4 times in a day. Make sure that you rinse your mouth after every meal. This will help remove the food particles that might be stuck between the teeth.

➞ Mix ½ teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide powder in ½ cup of water. Rinse your mouth properly with this solution.
➞ If you are experiencing pain, you can use clove and cinnamon oil. Put a drop of this oil on to a cotton ball, and place it around the affected tooth or gum.

➞ Applying a paste made from baking soda and water on the infected area might also prove beneficial.
➞ You can also apply a mixture of lemon juice and salt on the affected area. This might provide relief from the pain.
➞ Crush a garlic clove and mix it with rock salt. Apply it on the affected area to get relief from the pain.

➞ Applying aloe vera paste on the infected area, or drinking aloe vera juice everyday will also help lower the risk of infections.
➞ Eating an apple everyday is another way to strengthen the gums.

➞ Follow a diet that is rich in vitamin C and calcium. It will help in keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Though these home remedies might help alleviate the symptoms of a gum infection to some extent, it's advisable to consult a dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Also, refrain from consuming candies, chocolates, or other sugar-rich foods, as bacteria in plaque feed on sugars in the food, and produce toxins.
Last but for the least, follow a dental care regimen. Brush and floss your teeth regularly. Use a good quality mouthwash. This will help prevent gingivitis from progressing into periodontal disease.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this story is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a dentist.