Gum pain is a common problem for many people, and it can interfere with your daily activities such as eating and speaking. Fortunately, there are a few natural ways that you can alleviate the pain at home.
A) Causes of Gum Pain
Gum pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, from underlying medical issues to external trauma. If you are experiencing gum pain, it may be caused by any of the following:
- Aggressive Dental Care
Brushing and flossing too hard can irritate the gums and even cause small tears in the gums leading to inflammation. Use a soft bristled brush and avoid snapping floss against the gums.
- Gum Disease
One of the primary causes of sore gums is gum disease such as gingivitis or periodontitis. If you have gum disease, your gums will be swollen and tender and may bleed when brushed. Good oral hygiene is vital for protecting your mouth disease-causing bacteria.
- Mouth Ulcers
Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, occur from viral or bacterial infections inside the mouth and appear white or red. They are non-contagious and usually clear up within two weeks. If they persist, consult your dentist.
Smoking is bad for your health but can also be one of the causes of gum pain as it irritates the gums and causes them to recede exposing the base of the tooth and increasing the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Consult your local cosmetic dentist to address any discolouration from tobacco stains.
- Hormonal Changes
Fluxuating hormone such as during pregnancy or menopause can cause reduced saliva production and dry gums leading to irritation.
Poorly fitted dentures or partial can irritate or tear the gums, causing inflammation or infection.
- Abscessed Tooth
In some cases, an infection close to the root of the tooth can cause pain in the gums. Often, the best course of treatment is a root canal procedure.
B) What Can You Do for Gum Pain Relief
If you are experiencing pain in your gums, you can find gum pain relief with these seven simple natural remedies.
1. Saltwater Rinse
Saltwater is a natural antibacterial agent and can help to reduce inflammation and aid healing. It can also help to remove residual food particles and other debris from hard to reach places and between your teeth for better oral hygiene.
To make a saltwater rinse, mix ½ a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and swish around your mouth for 30 seconds, then gargle and spit.
2. Cold Compress
Cold packs are often used for reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Compresses can also reduce swelling in the gums, minimising irritation. To effectively administer cold packs, apply the cold pack to the painful area for 15-20 minutes, and repeat throughout the day.
3. Peppermint Tea Bags
The menthol in the peppermint tea helps to cool the sore area and numb the pain. Steep the peppermint tea bags in warm water, allow cooling then applying to the painful area. Alternatively, you can use the peppermint tea bags as a cold compress by putting the soaked tea bags in the freezer to harden before applying to your gums.
Garlic has natural antibiotic properties and cannot only relieve pain but help to eliminate the infection. Crush the garlic with a small amount of salt to create a paste and apply to the affected area.
5. Vanilla Extract
Pure vanilla extract contains alcohol which can be used to disinfect your gums. The vanilla also contains antioxidants which can help to remove the cause of your gum pain. Apply vanilla extract directly to the gums using your finger or a cotton ball.
Cloves contain Eugenol, which is a natural antiseptic which numbs pain and reduces inflammation. You can apply clove oil directly to the gums with a cotton ball or dilute the oil in a carrier such as olive oil or almond oil.
Wheatgrass contains high levels of chlorophyll which fight bacteria and reduce inflammation in the gums. The best way to use wheatgrass to relieve gum pain is to swish it around your mouth like mouthwash.
C) When to See a Doctor
Gum pain is usually temporary and easily remedied; however, in some cases, your gum pain may be a symptom of a more serious underlying health problem. It is essential to go and see your dentist if your gum pain persists after trying various remedies, if it is highly painful or increases in intensity, or if it accompanies other symptoms such as a fever.