Swollen and bleeding gums, caused by an accumulation of tartar under the gumline, can indicate gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. According to Mayo Clinic, healthy gum tissue is pink and firm; if your gums are puffy, dusky red in color and bleed easily, you should see your dentist. Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. By using proper brushing techniques and some home remedies, you may be able to prevent further bleeding and swelling of your gums.
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Consult your dentist before attempting any herbal remedies at home.
Allow 3 to 5 minutes twice a day to brush and floss your teeth. Vincent Cali, D.D.S., a New York City dentist and the author of "The New, Lower-Cost Way to End Gum Trouble Without Surgery," advises using an electric rotary toothbrush, paying special attention to brushing at the gumline and brushing your teeth at a 45-degree angle so that half the brush cleans the gums while the other half scrubs the teeth.
Increase blood circulation to your gums by giving yourself a gum massage. Richard Shepard, D.D.S., a retired dentist in Durango, Colorado, recommends gripping your gums between your thumb and index finger, with the index finger on the outside, and rubbing them thoroughly. Both top and bottom gums can benefit from this treatment.
Reinforce and strengthen the bones in your jaw by eating plenty of calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, salmon, almonds and dark greens. Put an antioxidant vitamin to work for you by eating plenty of fresh citrus foods, which are high in Vitamin C. Dr. Cali also recommends eating one raw vegetable every day, as hard and fibrous foods clean and stimulate the teeth and gums.
Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse
Use hydrogen peroxide, a powerful antibacterial agent, to kill germs and promote healthy gums. Dr. Cali suggests mixing 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution half-and-half with water, and swishing the liquid around and over your teeth and gums for 30 seconds. Do not swallow the solution.
Mix plain baking soda with enough water to make a paste, and rub it along your gumline with your fingers. Then brush your teeth thoroughly. As well as cleaning and polishing your teeth, the alkaline baking soda helps to neutralize acidic bacterial wastes.
Clove oil is a common ingredient in home remedies for bleeding gums. ILoveIndia.com suggests rubbing clove oil on the affected gums, but warns there may be a burning sensation at first, which should soon subside. There is some scientific evidence supporting the use of clove oil to kill germs. In a clinical study conducted at the University of Karachi in Pakistan and published in 2008 in "Pakistan Journal of Botany," researchers found that essential clove oil showed antibacterial activity against 10 different strains of gram-negative bacteria.
Aloe vera is also featured in many home remedies for bleeding and swollen gums. ILoveIndia.com advises rubbing the gums with aloe vera gel, gargling with water, and repeating the process several times. Erica Shapira, D.D.S, assistant clinical professor at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, concurs, stating that aloe vera gel is a healing agent and has plaque-reducing properties.