If your gums are flushed or bluish in color, if they are swollen, painful and sensitive to the touch, if they bleed readily and if you tend to have an unpleasant mouth odor, you are likely to have gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums resulting from infection. Inadequate dental hygiene and vitamin deficiencies due to poor nutrition are the primary causes. These conditions foster the accumulation of plaque, the filmy deposits of bacteria and food particles that adhere to the teeth. Plaque at the gum line makes an ideal breeding ground for infection. As infected gums swell, they create larger gaps between teeth and gums that harbor yet more plaque and infection. Hormonal changes, diabetes, stress and allergies can also inflame gums. Gingivitis marks an early stage of periodontal disease; if untreated, the bone beneath the teeth begins to wear away. Treatments with herbal tinctures and rinses can help, but the most potent weapon against gingivitis is prevention.
Nutrition plays an essential role in preventing gingivitis. Chewing grains, fruits and vegetables, food rich in roughage, stimulates and massages gums; it also cleans away plaque so gums stay healthy. Raw fruits and vegetables are best for these jobs. Fresh fruit also supplies vitamin C, which reduces inflammation and strengthens the gums.
What you can do?
Thorough and regular cleaning of the teeth and the spaces between them prevents gum inflammation. Make flossing your teeth a daily habit and dental checkups routine. Eat foods rich in vitamins, roughage and minerals to prevent deficiencies and to strengthen your immune system. Try to avoid refined carbohydrates and foods high in sugar. If your gums are inflamed, under no circumstances should you stop your dental care to avoid bleeding or pain, this will make the problem worse. Rinse your mouth with medicinal herb extracts to alleviate the inflammation. If inflammation persists, see your dentist for immediate treatment.
Sage to soothe inflammation
Sage is recommended for use as a rinse and gargle for inflammation of the mouth and throat cavity because of its calming, anti-inflammatory effect. Boil 1-2 tablespoons of dried, crushed sage leaves in 1 cup of water; steep for 20 minutes; strain. Rinse your mouth several times a day. Chewing fresh sage leaves may also prove beneficial. Massaging your gums regularly before bedtime with eucalyptus oil is another way to speed the healing of the inflammation. The massage stimulates blood slow so the tissues are better supplied with nutrients, and the eucalyptus oil is germicidal.
Tincture of myrrh to kill germs
Tincture of myrrh kills germs and supports the natural immunity of the body. For a minor infection of the gums, rinse daily with tincture of myrrh. For more severe inflammations, use a mixture of equal parts tincture of myrrh and tincture of bloodroot. Bloodroot has been shown to decrease plaque formation. The two tinctures may also be diluted with water and used as a mouthwash. Make sure not to swallow this mixture.
Caution : Avoid using bloodroot during pregnancy.
Extra Tip : Australian tea tree oil is a highly effective disinfectant, yet it is gentle to the tissues and therefore is often employed in dental medicines. You can apply it undiluted with a cotton swab to the inflamed gums as often as needed.
Proper Dental Hygiene
- Don't use overly firm toothbrushes, and don't press too hard when brushing. This can irritate or injure the gums, which may result in inflammation.
- Change your toothbrush every 4 weeks, because old toothbrushes become infested with bacteria and fungus.
- Use dental floss, toothpicks or interdental space brushes to clean the spaces between teeth. A water spray device massages the gums.
- Brush your teeth after every meal or after eating sugary snacks.
- Keep a toothbrush at your workplace for use during the day, or atleast drink plenty of water to keep acids neutral.
Tincture of myrrh
Grind 1/3 oz. of myrrh in a coffee mill and pour 3 tbsp. of pure alcohol, such as vodka, over it. Store the tincture in a well sealed container in the dark for about 2 days. Shake it several times a day. Strain through a coffee filter before use.
To make a mouthwash, blend equal parts of bloodroot and oak bark. Boil 1 tsp. of the mixture with 2 cups of water; steep and strain. Add several drops of myrrh or clove essential oil.
Mercurius solubilis 6C, 12C, 30C
Use this homeopathic remedy to treat frequently swollen, bleeding gums with much salivation and tooth pain radiating into the face and ears.
Staphsagria 6C, 12C, 30C
Take this remedy for sharp tooth pain and inflamed gums that bleed easily.
Take 5 pellets every 1-3 hr. until the pain abates as you can see your dentist.