30 white horses upon a red hill… So begins the riddle from Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit'(hah, Tolkien, an adult human has -32- teeth!). This riddle describes your teeth, the white horses being your pearly white chompers, while the red hill is the concern of our article… your gums!
…but I brush my teeth and still have a gum ache!
So do a lot of other people. It’s a little more complicated than that. Did you know that over half of all adults in the United States alone have periodontal disease? According to the C.D.C.(the Center for Disease Control. Yes, that one.) it is that bad. The good thing is that there is some relief to be had if you know where to look. This is one of those places, so lucky you! First there is a little more information that we will go into…
Periodontal what? I have periodontal disease?!
gums are generally harmless(but should be checked if they change in size and shape). Despite the statistics, there are a number of causes for sore gums that can be at play. Let’s discuss the potential sources of those sore gums.
Causes can include:
- A Sinus infection– A side effect of Sinusitis can be a swelling of the gums. Your sinuses, normally sharing a happy existence with the air that they invite in so lovingly, can betray you when they become compromised with germs. It spreads and then voila, painful gums.
- Periodontal Disease-Didn’t mean to scare you again. Periodontal disease typically comes with pain, bad breath, and sometimes purple gums. The gums can retract quite a bit from the teeth, giving you that ‘hungry zombie’ look in more extreme cases.
- Canker sores– Nasty little ulcers in your mouth, these can cause gum inflammation as well.
- Never replacing your crusty, old toothbrush– If you have to run it under hot water for 5 minutes and wiggle the bristles like they have rigor mortis, it might be time to replace that toothbrush.
“ Over half of all adults in the United States alone have periodontal disease”
- Food burns– That piece of pizza with just the right amount of melted cheese and garlic, over an inch deep and flown from Jersey(or New York, we’re not getting into that debate), that you had to eat fresh and hot and couldn’t wait? Well, it might have burned your gums. Hot coffee, soup, cocoa, tea… there are a number of way to burn the gums. Stop and consider if an anxious desire for something delectable gave you a surprise.
- An Abscessed tooth– If the gum ache comes with a toothache that you have been ignoring due to fear of the Dentist(Dentophobia, of course), could be the source of your gum pain. Bacteria spreads. That is one of its selling points in the world of micro-evil.
- Vitamin deficiency– Stop ignoring vegetables. You know who you are.
- Tobacco– Stains the teeth and recedes the gums. Smoke if you like, but you might want to consider some strategic plans on the side.
Frightened? Don’t be. As you can see, there are a wide range of things that can get the old ‘red hill’ inflamed and sensitive. Now that you have seen the face of that Dragon, here are the home-remedy swords that you can use to slay it.
Home remedies for gum pain
So, you are looking for a gum pain remedy? Right! We have a number of methods that you may employ to deal with gum pain. Again, before we proceed, a dark spot on the gums is probably normal so don’t freak. It’s all good. For sore gums remedy solutions, please see the following:
- Clove oil: Add a dash of clove oil to a glass of water and rinse your mouth with it. Clove oil has a numbing effect that can help to minimize the pain.
- Chamomile teabag: Steep for 5 minutes and let the teabag cool, then apply it directly to your gums. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties that can take down the swelling and sooth your gums.
- Peppermint spray: Get yourself a small spray bottle and add water to it, as well as 5 or 6 drops of peppermint oil. Spray it on your gums as-needed for a cooling sensation that takes the sting out of sore gums.
- Salt water rinse: A half a teaspoon of salt added to a lukewarm glass of water makes a great rinse to aid in the healing of your gums. Rinse your mouth with it for about 30 seconds, two to three times a day, and over time you will see an improvement in your gums.
- Oil pulling: An Ayurvedic technique, oil-pulling involves swishing 1 or two teaspoons of oil around in your mouth for 20 to 30 minutes. Coconut oil is good for this(it’s also good for teeth whitening and stopping headaches!),
- Cold Compress: Simple but effective. Wrap up some ice in a clean cloth and hold it against your face until the pain subsides.
- Turmeric: Mix a quarter of a spoonful of turmeric with a little water until it assumes the consistency of paste. Apply it directly to the gums twice a day and it will reduce the pain and inflammation.
Use these techniques when you need a pain-reliever for your gums in a pinch! If symptoms continue then you may wish to visit your dentist, as these could be warning signs of something more serious. In most cases, however, these tips should be all that you need!