Sore and tender gums can signify the onset of gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease, according to the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Sore gums may result from a nutritional deficiency or from poorly-cleaned teeth, among other causes, but if the tenderness does not subside within a week or two, visit your dentist for advice. After an initial diagnosis, you may find some relief from home remedies.
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When plaque builds up on your teeth along the gum line, it can irritate the gum tissue, causing it to redden and swell. The first step in soothing tender gums is to brush along the gum line, not just on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Concentrate on removing all traces of plaque. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush so as to not further irritate your gums.
A mixture of baking soda and salt, used instead of commercial toothpaste, will leave your teeth and gums feeling clean and may reduce tenderness. Mix equal parts of both in a small container and store in your bathroom for use every time you brush. Put about 1/2 tsp. in your palm, dip your moistened toothbrush into it and brush with a back and forth motion at the gum line. Popcorn salt, not the flavored kind, is finely-ground, and may make brushing more comfortable.
The Gale encyclopedia recommends massaging your gums with the liquid from a Vitamin E capsule or with a little bit of witch hazel after brushing. Use your index finger and rub in a circular motion, massaging your gums from the gum line all the way to where your gums meet the inner portion of your lips or cheeks. Also massage your gums during the day with a clean finger. Massage increases the circulation and promotes healing.
Your dentist warns you not to eat too many sweets, but in addition to sugar forming plaque on your teeth, highly-processed foods, such as white bread, contribute to plaque buildup, warns the Gale encyclopedia.
Increase your intake of whole grain products, such as 100 percent whole wheat bread, and foods high in Vitamin C. Select fresh fruits and vegetables as part of your home treatment for sore gums.
Smoking can irritate the gums and reduce the Vitamin C stored in your body, reports Gale. Chewing tobacco products has the same detrimental effect. Quit using any type of tobacco product. If your sore gums are the result of plaque hardening and turning to tartar beneath the gum line, your dentist or a dental hygienist must remove the tartar before home remedies can be effective.