Gum infections may not seem like anything too serious, but if not treated in a timely manner, they can become very severe. Untreated gum infections can lead to:
- Decay in nearby teeth
- Loss of teeth
- Abscesses (pockets of pus)
- Gum/periodontal disease
- Bone disease
- Brain abscesses (rare)
- Complications with other systemic conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.)
Because gum infections are related to systemic diseases, the poorer your oral health is, the more likely you are to have severe forms of other health conditions. Likewise, the healthier your mouth is, the more you have control of the systemic diseases you are already battling.
Health risks that are associated with gum infections like gum and periodontal disease include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Premature birth and low birth weight infants
- Elevated blood pressure
- Heart Attack
As you can see, gum infections should be taken seriously at the first sight of a gum infection symptom. Here are the gum infection symptoms you should be on the lookout for and how you can prevent and alleviate them with some easy gum infection home remedies.
Gum Infection Symptoms
Gum infections are a sign that you are not removing plaque and biofilm very effectively. Even a small amount of plaque residue left along or under the gums and between the teeth can cause the onset of a gum infection.
People who have active gum infections may experience a few, several, or all of the following uncomfortable gum infection symptoms:
- Swollen gums
- Red or purple gum tissue
- Bleeding gums
- Raw gums
- Burning gums
- Drainage of clear or white pus from the gums
- Pain during brushing or flossing
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes
Gum Infection Home Remedies
Gum infection home remedies are very simple, straightforward, and affordable. Mild gum infections like gingivitis can be reversed within two weeks of proper home care.
Gum infections typically hurt due to inflammation caused by bacteria. To get rid of the pain, you want to get rid of the bacteria. Brush effectively, at least twice each day, focusing on the gums. Clean between your teeth with floss, water flossing, or a toothpick. Rinse with warm salt water to alleviate symptoms. Another option is to use essential oils on your toothbrush or mixed into water and used as a mouthwash. This will help to manage gum disease symptoms and help eliminate bacteria.
Eating right, getting plenty of rest, and exercising can also help your gum tissue, like the rest of your body, be healthier.
If you are having pain associated with the actual tooth (such as nerve sensitivity to heat, sweets, or pressure), then you may also have tooth decay. If so, you will need to be treated by a dentist as soon as possible. If your gum infection appears as a pimple on the gums in your area of the tooth rot, you will need to see your dentist for possible nerve treatment. Finally, if after two weeks, your gum infection symptoms aren’t getting any better, it’s time to see your dentist for treatment.
Conventional therapies for gum infections include:
- Routine cleanings
- Deep cleanings
- Prescription mouthwash
- Prescription antibiotics
- Root canal therapy with placement of a permanent crown
- Gum grafting surgery
There are a couple of things to consider regarding prescription antibiotics and prescription mouthwash. First of all, antibiotics will remove the initial bacterial infection, thus alleviating the pain. However, unless the tooth decay is removed and the tooth is repaired, the infection will return. Recurrent use of antibiotics can cause drug resistance.
Second, most prescription mouthwash contains chlorhexidine, an ingredient that can stain your teeth brown when used several days in a row. Also, you’ll want to be careful with mouthwash containing alcohol because it can dry out the mouth. A dry mouth can be a breeding ground for bad bacteria . . . the very kind that can lead to gum disease and other oral health problems.
Gum Infection Prevention
The best way to handle gum infections is to prevent gum infections from taking hold in the first place. This is done with exceptional oral hygiene practices.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and angle the bristles toward your gums. Sweep the brush side to side in small motions, focusing on one or two teeth at a time. Be patient and spend at least two minutes during a single brushing, focusing at the gum lines.
Cleaning Between Your Teeth
Be it with floss, a toothpick, or a water flosser, cleaning between your teeth is almost as important as, if not more important than, brushing your teeth. The majority of gum diseases and infections originate between the teeth, where brushing does not reach. Be sure to clean the area at least once a day.