Swollen gums happen due to the rise in hormones which in turn creates heightened blood flow to the gums, making them red, swollen, and sensitive. Conventional treatment of swollen gums involves Scaling, Flap Surgery, Root Planing, Bone Grafts, etc. But there are several home remedies of swollen gums which can provide systemic relief in the initial stages. Popular home remedies for swollen gums are salt water gargle, lemon juice gargle, application of clove oil, turmeric, ginger, aloe vera, etc. directly on the affected area.
Gingival or gum tissue exaggeratedly response towards the high level of hormones especially estrogen and testosterone. But the primary cause of swollen gum is an accumulation of bacterial plaque.
Thus, the first and the foremost thing is to keep proper care of your oral health and follow home remedies for swollen gums.
Moving ahead in this article, you will see best home remedies for swollen gums in details along with other prevention methods. But before anything, let’s understand what is swollen gums and their leading causes.
What are swollen gums?
Gum is a tissue that surrounds the neck of teeth and covers the alveolar parts of the jaws. Medically gum is termed as gingiva. The redness, swelling, and inflammation around this soft tissue are seen as a swollen gum which is also known as gingivitis.
Clinical features of swollen gums
- Initially, there is an increase in production of gingival fluid and bleeding on gentle probing (brushing or flossing).
- Gingiva usually is red but due to reduced vascularity and increase in keratinization. The color of the gum appears paler. The color may appear reddish blue or deep blue if venous stasis has occurred.
- The consistency of gingiva may be spongy, and pits are formed on applying pressure. There may be marked softness of gingiva.
- Sometimes in inflammation, there may be a gingival enlargement, and it may lead to change in the contour of gingiva.
- It may be due to vigorously brushing your teeth resulting in injury to the gum which later on inflames and swell that portion of the soft tissue.
- Always be careful about the ingredients present in the toothpaste while switching to a different brand. Some people are allergic to exotic ingredients that the toothpaste brands use. Allergic to particular food and fruits can also make your gum swell.
- If you are in your puberty, menopause and if pregnant, it is just due to the hormonal change. Gingiva response vigorously to rise in hormone due to an increase in blood flow.
- Swollen gum can also be seen when you have a tooth cavity.
- Deficiency of vitamin B, C, and folic acid can also be the reason for swelling in gum.
- Improper cleaning of teeth can contribute to the growth of bacteria which form plaque. Bacterial plaque causes inflammation, swelling, and redness.
- Loose fitting of dentures, braces or any other orthodontic appliances on teeth would rub against the soft tissue resulting in inflammation.
Home remedies for swollen gums
Add one tablespoon salt to a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth with it. Repeat this in the morning, night and after meals. It neutralizes the pH of mouth and soothes the inflamed gums.
2. Clove oil
Application of clove oil is one of the best home remedies for swollen gums. Apply clove oil with a swab of cotton on the swollen area of gums and massage gently. Reapply every few hours. It is antimicrobial and also an analgesic.
Make a paste of ginger ½ teaspoon of salt. Rub it on the swollen parts of gum and leave it on for 10-12 minutes. Then rinse your mouth with regular water. Do this 2-3 times a day. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants that will reduce the swelling.
4. Castor seed oil
Make a paste of camphor tablet by mixing few drops of castor seed oil. Gently rub the paste on swollen gum. Leave it on for 2-3 minutes and then rinse your mouth with the warm water.
5. Aloe vera
Take an aloe vera leaf extract the gel present inside the leaf and apply it on the affected gums. Leave it for few minutes and then rinse your mouth. Do this twice a day. Aloe vera is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. It heals the swelling and kills the harmful germs.
Make a paste of 1 teaspoon turmeric powder,1/2 teaspoon salt and mustard oil. Apply it on swollen gums. Leave it for 10-12 minutes. Rinse out the paste with regular water. Repeat it twice a day.
Turmeric is a strong antimicrobial agent and is effective in reducing inflammation. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best remedies for swollen gums.
7. Lemon juice & water rinse
Add one tablespoon of lemon juice in a glass of water and gargle. Do it twice a day till the swollen gum is cured. Lemon contains antimicrobial compounds which will kill the infection causing microbes.
Boil few hennas leaves in a glass of water for 15 minutes. Gargle with henna water to get relief from the swollen gum. Do this twice a day. Henna leaves are antibiotic in nature.
Put 1-2 teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil into your mouth. Swish the oil around for 20-30 minutes. Do not let the oil touch the back of your throat. Spit the oil out when done.
Add one tablespoon apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Rinse your mouth with apple cider vinegar for 2-3 times a day. It contains mild acids that bring back the pH balance in your mouth and reduces the infection and the swelling in gums.
Traditional treatments are best it heals your swollen gum without any side effects. These treatments are only for short term. You must see the doctor if the swelling lasts more than two weeks.
Conventional treatment of swollen gums
Professional dental cleaning
Dentist or dental hygienist cleans the bacterial plaque from the area where the toothbrush to impossible to reach. Dental prophylaxis is done using various instruments depending on the required clean up.
It is advised to visit your dentist every six months for dental cleaning.
It is a process by which plaque and calculus are removed from both supragingival and subgingival calculus. Scaler and ultrasonic scalar are used.
In root planning the residual embedded calculus and portion of cementum are removed from the roots to produce a smooth, hard and clean surface, making it difficult for plaque or tartar to deposit.
Flap surgery or pocket reduction surgery
This surgery is recommended if the gum inflammation and pockets persist even after a deep cleaning procedure. In this surgery, the calculus deposits are removed from the pockets alongside the teeth creating flaps of the gum and exposing the tooth root. The flaps are then closed with stitches.
In advanced cases of swollen gum or gum disease, your bone and tissue can be destroyed, and you may need bone or tissue grafts. In a bone graft, a bone is transplanted from a donor site to a recipient site.
Soft tissue grafts
Dead or degenerated soft tissue is grafted. Soft tissue is transplanted from a donor site to a recipient site. Same as in bone graft.
Over to you on home remedies for swollen gums
When you have swollen gum, the first thing to do is to know the cause before initiating any method of treatment. To get rid of pain or irritation you can gargle with warm salt water or any other home remedies for swollen gums as discussed before.
But if the swelling of gums lasts for more than two weeks, you must visit your doctor immediately.