How to Treat Inflamed Gums

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Inflamed gums jeopardize the integrity of your entire mouth.
Inflamed gums jeopardize the integrity of your entire mouth. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Inflamed gums are more than just painful. When your gums swell and bleed, your mouth is telling you there is a problem with your oral health. These symptoms are usually signs of gum disease. Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that you can treat with some changes in habits. If your gums have been inflamed for a long time, you may have an advanced version of gum disease known as periodontitis. Improvements in your hygiene can rectify all but the most serious cases of this oral malady.

Brush

Make some changes to the way that you brush your teeth. You may need to do it more often. Most dentists recommend that you brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush at least twice a day. If you are already brushing your teeth that often, review the proper procedure with your dentist. You may not be brushing correctly. Do not overdo it with forceful brushing or a stiff brush. Gentle, circular strokes that reach all the surfaces of your teeth are sufficient.

Floss

Floss your teeth at least once a day. You should always do this before you go to bed, and it would not hurt to do it any time after you eat. This activity extracts particles of food that have lodged between your teeth. A toothbrush generally cannot remove these particles, which will attract bacteria that will produce dangerous acids that contribute to gum disease. Slide the floss between your teeth rather than force it down to avoid causing pain when the floss touches sensitive gums.

Rinse

Rinse out your mouth to assist your saliva in removing food from your mouth and generally keeping the oral cavity clean. Water can do the job, but you can also use hydrogen peroxide or a commercial mouthwash. Just remember to spit out these other liquids rather than swallow them.

Massage

Gently massage your gums periodically. Do not do anything that causes pain, but press and rub the flesh of the gums above and below your teeth. This action helps to remove more food particles and increases healthy blood circulation, which will heighten your body’s ability to fight infection and rebuild tissues.

Consult

If you still suffer pain and bleeding after taking these measures, you should schedule a visit to the dentist that is outside of you usual checkup schedule. You may have an advanced case of gum disease and need professional intervention before you begin to lose teeth.

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