Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an umbrella term for gum inflammation and infection. Gum infections destroy the gum tissue and ligaments surrounding the tooth and are caused by inflammation from bacterial growth. Gum infection is very common - it’s reported that almost half of adults over 30 have some form of gum disease.
Healthy gums are vital to oral health, as they act as an anchor for teeth and help you talk, chew, and smile beautifully. Gum infections and periodontal disease can lead to both small and large health problems. Gum disease has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature birth or low birth weight.
Telltale signs of gum infection are irritated, red and swollen gums, gums that pull away from the teeth, sensitive or loose teeth, and bleeding gums. Because of the seriousness of gum disease, it’s important to prevent and heal gum infection. Luckily, gum infection is largely preventable and can be treated. Keep reading to learn how to treat gum infection!
Saltwater rinses can inhibit the growth of bacteria and provide relief from gum discomfort. This mild, exfoliating rinse helps to remove debris from the gumline and soothe irritation. A saltwater rinse is effective and easy to make at home. To make your own saltwater rinse to treat gum infection, simply follow these steps:
- Combine 1 tsp of sea salt with a cup of warm water, stir to dissolve
- Take a swig of the saltwater rinse in your mouth and swish around for 30 seconds
- Spit out the rinse
- Follow up with a freshwater rinse to get rid of the salt taste, if you desire
- Repeat 2-3 times/day as needed to treat symptoms of gum infection or as directed by your dentist
Your diet has a huge impact on your oral health. Foods high in sugars, carbohydrates and acids can contribute to gum inflammation and degradation. Coffee, alcohol, and soda can also contribute to gum infection. Cutting down on these foods and drinks is helpful at reducing gum inflammation.
Drinking lots of water helps to rinse away food debris and bacteria. Water-rich, fibrous fruits and vegetables that have a crunchy texture can also help buff plaque away from the surface of the teeth and reduce gum infection. Dairy and protein sources that are rich in vitamins and calcium can also fortify teeth. Foods that are helpful for reducing gum inflammation are:
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a pantry staple with a myriad of uses, especially for cleaning. This gentle-yet-abrasive cleaning agent is excellent for buffing away plaque and bacteria from the mouth, as well as neutralizing acid in the mouth and balancing the oral pH. To get a thorough cleaning with baking soda, you can brush with a baking soda toothpaste. Simply follow these easy steps:
- Mix a teaspoon with a small amount of water to create a gritty paste
- Brush teeth with the mixture as a you would normal toothpaste
- Follow up with your regular brushing routine with toothpaste, as this will remove any residual grittiness left from the baking soda and remove the alkaline taste left from baking soda
- Rinse, if desired
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound with the ability to provide safe and effective cleaning for the mouth. This versatile substance has antibacterial, disinfectant, and antiviral properties, making it an excellent choice to clean the mouth and reduce bacteria. To use hydrogen peroxide to reduce gum inflammation and fight against gum infection, simply use it as an oral rinse by swishing a capful of hydrogen peroxide in your mouth and then spitting out. You can use this rinse after brushing twice daily or as directed by your dentist.
5. Aloe vera
Aloe has strong antimicrobial properties and stands apart as an excellent ingredient for reducing discomfort associated with gum disease. Using aloe vera to reduce inflammation of the gums and prevent gum infection is simple. You can utilize aloe vera as an ingredient in many rinses and toothpastes, as well as applying aloe vera gel directly to teeth and gums with a toothbrush.
Gum health is important for your oral health and overall wellbeing. Gum infections are common and can lead to serious health issues. Gum infections can be treated through proper hygiene, diet, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and aloe vera. Additionally, pH-balancing treatments like the GLO ECO Balance Deep Clean & Gum Restoration Oral Health Booster can effectively reverse early stage gum disease.