Gingivitis is a gum disease triggered by the irritation of the gingiva. Mild cases of gingivitis can cause swelling and minor bleeding of the gum surrounding the base of the teeth. Usually, a healthy person’s gingiva is color pink or reddish-orange, something that resembles an orange peel. However, a patient with gingivitis may notice a darker shade of gums or gingiva. Gingivitis is rampant among patients with low economic status and poor nutrition. Existing data also shows that smokers are more likely to develop gum disease.
Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gingivitis. It triggers the formation of plaque on the teeth, causing inflammation of the surrounding gums and their tissues. Some symptoms include swollen or puffy gums and dusky red or dark red gums that easily bleed when brushing, eating, or flossing. Some patients may also experience bad breath and sensitive and tender gums.
As soon as any signs and symptoms emerge, scheduling an appointment with the dentist or specialist is the best chance of reversing damage from gingivitis. While this may be the best option, using these home remedies to care for the gums will also help prevent gingivitis.
Salt Water Treatment
Study shows that salt water treatment can help heal gums that are inflamed by gingivitis since salt is a natural disinfectant. In addition, salt kills harmful bacteria through the process of osmosis. Osmosis occurs when water passes out of a bacterium to balance salt concentrations on each side of its cell membrane. Without water, bacterial proteins like enzymes cannot function and are eventually forced to collapse.
The harmful bacteria dwelling in the oral cavity and causing pain and inflammation in the gums can be killed by salt solution. According to studies, salt water helps alleviate gingivitis by soothing inflamed gums, cleaning the oral cavity thoroughly, and relieving pain. And since it has cleansing properties, it is also effective in treating bad breath.
To use salt water, add ¾ teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water and mix it well. Next, gargle with the solution for 1 to 2 minutes, spit out the solution and then repeat it 2 or 3 times per day. However, be wary of the usage of salt water. Rinsing too often or too long may adversely affect the tooth enamel, causing tooth erosion.