announcement

Help someone with useful health advice.

How to Treat Infected Gums

How to Treat Infected Gums

The treatment for gum infection depends mainly on the severity of the infection. This article discusses a few simple home remedies for this condition.
Chandramita Bora
Last Updated: May 14, 2018
Are You 'Pregnant' with Gum Disease?
A concept under study, the bacteria triggered courtesy of gum disease, may toggle with the levels of ad hoc biological fluids that are known to induce labor. This has led to an elevated rate of premature births.

Gums or gingival tissues can get infected due to bacterial invasion, which can happen as a result of lack of proper oral hygiene. There are several types of gum infections, out of which, the most common type is gingivitis. When proper dental hygiene is not maintained, tiny food particles can get lodged in between the teeth, and provide a favorable condition for bacterial growth, which at a later stage, can cause the build up of plaque on the teeth. This plaque can transform into calculus or tartar, and may ultimately cause infection and inflammation of the gums or cause gingivitis. If not treated promptly, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, which can slowly destroy the tissues and bones that support the teeth. This can result in separation of the gums from the teeth, and the formation of pockets between them, which can get easily infected by bacteria. It is of immense importance to treat infected gums as soon as possible, in order to prevent such major gum diseases.

It should be known that periodontal disease does not confine itself to affecting the teeth and gums. An article in USA Today has a shocking revelation to make -- that gum disease may have dire consequences on your heart, too.

Reports spell: "The most common strain of bacteria in dental plaque can cause blood clots that induce heart attacks when they escape into the bloodstream according to recent research. Mark Herzberg of the University of Minnesota said that the findings were the first to link bacteria to the formation of potentially fatal blood clots."

Symptoms
The symptoms depend on the severity of the condition. In general, one can experience the following symptoms:
  • Mild to severe pain
  • Toothache
  • Swelling
  • Redness and bleeding
  • Bad breath
  • Metallic taste
  • Pus formation around the gums and teeth
  • Loosening or shifting of the teeth
  • Deep pockets (gaps between the gums and the teeth)
Medical Treatment Options
  • A minor gum infection can be addressed with medications that can relieve symptoms like swelling and pain. If the infection does not heal within a few days, then antibiotics may be required.
  • Many a time, treatment also requires removal of the plaque or tartar. Tartar remains so closely attached to the gums that it can be removed only by a professional. The patient may be required to come back again for another cleaning session in the future. 
  • Post the removal of plaque and tartar, the dentist usually gives instructions to the patient with regard to maintenance of oral or dental hygiene, with regular brushing and flossing, in order to prevent any dental and gum disease. 
  • Flossing is immensely important to remove food particles from in between and around the teeth. Along with regular brushing and flossing, dentists may also suggest the use of an antibacterial mouthwash to prevent the excessive growth of bacteria inside the mouth. 
  • If the condition progresses to periodontal disease, then the treatment can require root planning and curettage. The plaque, as well as the inflamed soft tissues are removed from the pockets that develop around the teeth. The instrument that is used for this purpose is known as a curette. 
  • In most cases, the gums reattach themselves to the teeth after the removal of plaque and inflamed tissues. But if this does not happen, then surgery may be the only option left. This surgical procedure is known as gingivectomy. 
Home Remedial Options
  • Gargle with slightly warm saline water several times a day.
  • Neem oil can be used for preventing the formation of plaque as well, due to its antibacterial properties. Just apply a little neem oil on the infected gum, and let it stay for some time, after which, rinse the mouth. 
  • Clove oil is another excellent remedy that can be resorted to, which can be applied on the gum that is infected in order to relieve the pain. If you do not have clove oil, then simply keep a clove bud on the infected gum. 
  • Aloe vera, renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, can also help speed up healing of the infected gum. Just massage the gum with aloe vera gel to reduce the swelling and other symptoms. 
  • You can prepare a herbal mouthwash by mixing cinnamon and water. Gargle your mouth with this mixture in order to treat this infection. Even chamomile tea can be used for this purpose. 
  • Garlic is another natural remedy for this condition. Crush one or two cloves of garlic, and then place them on the infected gum. If you have rock salt, add a bit of it to the crushed garlic, and then place this mixture on the gum that is infected. 
  • To reduce the swelling or inflammation caused by this condition, try an ice pack. Apart from these, some other remedies are honey, ginger, lemon juice, and oregon grape root. 
The home remedies mentioned above can no doubt help treat minor infection and swelling, but for a gum infection that seems to be serious in nature, please contact your dentist immediately. When left untreated, it will eventually lead to periodontal disease, for which the treatment can be quite complicated. Therefore, get the condition of your teeth and gums properly evaluated by your dentist, on observing any of the symptoms of infection. In the future, be sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly, and get your teeth checked up at regular intervals for proper dental care, and to prevent serious gum diseases.

Preventive Measures
  • If possible, use an electric toothbrush (unless you have ANUG - Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis).
  • Use a floss to clean between the teeth and gums, once a day (preferably at night), to get rid of the food and plaque.
  • After brushing, scrape the tongue on a daily basis, and use a good doctor-recommended mouth rinse.
  • A toothbrush should be replaced every two to three months, or when the bristles start to bend. It should also be discarded after a cold or flu, and make sure not to share your toothbrush with anyone ever.
  • Follow a healthy, nutritious, and well-balanced diet. Also, keep yourself hydrated by consuming at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.
  • Last but not the least, do not smoke or chew tobacco, as they are one of the root causes for all the periodontal disease.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.