Mouth sores can disrupt your everyday life by making it difficult to talk, eat, drink, or perform other tasks with your mouth. That’s why you need to treat your gum sores as soon as they appear. Fortunately, most gum sores don’t require specialized treatment. This article provides you with the 6 best home remedies for gum sores.
What Is a Gum Sore?
Since the gum tissue is naturally soft and sensitive, many things can make it sore. A sore gum causes pain between your teeth, on top of your teeth, or all over your gums. But in some instances, you will only feel pain and discomfort in the back of your mouth.
Sometimes gum sores will cause bleeding and swelling, while in other instances they won’t cause any visible symptoms. Nevertheless, the pain caused by a sore gum is normally felt when you are eating, talking, brushing your teeth, or flossing.
If you have sore gum, you are likely to experience pain if you rinse your mouth after brushing with a harsh mouthwash, especially if it contains alcohol.
8 Causes of Gum Sores
There are many reasons why your gums may have sores. Here are some of the main causes of gum sores.
Gingivitis is a common gum disease that causes inflammation, irritation, and soreness of your gums, mainly along the bottom of your teeth. Although this is a mild gum disease, it can easily cause your gums to tear and bleed, resulting in gum sores.
It also causes receding gums, tender gums, bad breath, and puffy gums. Gingivitis is normally caused by poor oral hygiene.
2. Oral Thrush
This is a type of fungal infection that normally affects your mouth. It’s caused by the overgrowth of Candida, which also causes vaginal yeast infections. Oral thrush normally occurs in children, elderly people, and people with weak immune systems.
The main symptom of oral thrush is white spots on the tongue and inner cheeks, but they can also spread to your gums and the roof of your mouth, causing gum sores.
This is a serious gum disease that usually develops from neglected gingivitis. Periodontitis is a bacterial infection that attacks your gum tissue and jawbones. If not treated immediately, this disease will cause your gums to recede and your teeth to loosen. It will also cause your gums to develop painful sores.
4. Hormonal Changes
Women experience different types of hormonal changes, especially the ones caused by birth control medication and puberty. These changes affect blood flow to some of your organs, including your gums, making the gum tissue susceptible to injuries and irritation.
Hormonal changes also affect how your body responds to toxins produced by plaque in your mouth.
Pregnancy causes a woman’s hormones to go on an overdrive, causing various emotional and physical problems. For instance, high levels of progesterone affect how your body deals with bacteria and toxins produced by plaque. This makes your gums susceptible to infections.
When a woman reaches menopause, her body experiences numerous changes, including her mouth. For instance, she will experience a change in taste, a burning sensation in her mouth, extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, and a decline in the production of saliva, which causes a dry mouth.
Without enough saliva in your mouth, you face an increased risk of developing periodontitis, which causes gum sores.
7. Canker Sores
These are tiny sores that usually occur on or under your tongue, inner lips, cheeks, and at the base of your gums. If these sores are not treated immediately, they will spread to other parts of your gum, causing serious gum pain. Fortunately, canker sores go away on their own after a few days.
8. Dental Appliances
If you use dental appliances such as dentures, retainers, mouth guards, and braces, you are likely to develop gum sores. These appliances can irritate your soft gum tissue, especially when they break or don’t fit properly. Aside from getting gum sores, you may also notice imprints of the appliances on your gums.
6 Home Remedies for Gum Sores
As noted above, most gum sores don’t require specialized treatment. They can easily be treated at home with simple home remedies. Here are some of the main home remedies for gum sores.
Salt has proved to be a highly effective and natural antibacterial agent. Since most gum sores are due to bacterial infections, you can easily treat them by rinsing your mouth with saltwater. Simply add a tablespoon of salt to warm water and rinse your mouth with it for about 30 seconds.
The sodium chloride component found in salt removes water from the surrounding healthy gum tissues and redirects it to the gum sores. These healthy fluids help to heal the sores quickly.
Sage is another natural antibacterial and antivirus agent that helps to reduce inflammation. You can treat your gum sores by simply rinsing your mouth with sage. Just add two teaspoons of dried sage to boiling water and cover the pot for a few minutes.
Open the pot and allow the liquid to cool for several minutes. Rinse your mouth with the liquid at least twice a day. This helps to kill bacteria in your mouth and prevent infections. It also helps to reduce pain caused by gum sores.
3. Warm and Cold Compresses
Warm and cold compresses help to reduce pain and inflammation in your gum, thereby promoting faster healing. For warm compresses, simply heat some water, but don’t let it boil, and soak a clean piece of cloth in it. Squeeze the excess water and place the cloth on your face in the affected part of your jaw.
For cold compresses, take an ice pack and wrapped in a piece of cloth. Place it on your face in the affected part of your jaw for about 10-15 minutes. Sometimes you need to combine both cold and warm compresses for faster healing.
Before you rush to the store to buy a packet of teabags, know that not every tea bag will do the trick. Try to find a tea that has astringent properties like green tea, black tea, or hibiscus tea. Soak the tea bag in boiling water for about five minutes and let it cool off for several minutes. When it’s not burning hot, apply it to the affected area.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent and a highly effective antibiotic. It will help you reduce pain in your affected gums and deal with other oral diseases.
Just pour two drops of tea tree oil into a glass of water and use it to rinse your mouth at least once a day. Fortunately, various kinds of toothpaste contain tea tree oil to help your gum sores heal.
6. Turmeric Paste
Turmeric is a popular antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that helps to reduce pain and inflammation of soft tissues like gums. Pour a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric into a glass and add a few drops of water. Mix it until it forms a paste.
Apply the paste on the affected gums and leave it on for about five minutes. Afterward, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. Repeat this process daily for about one week.
When to See a Doctor
Although most gum sores go away on their own after a few days, you should see a qualified medical doctor immediately if your sores are unusually large and last longer than two weeks.
You should also see your doctor if your gum sores are causing you serious pain and discomfort, especially when eating, drinking, brushing teeth, or performing other important tasks with your mouth.
Also, visit your doctor immediately if your gum sores are causing a high fever or nausea.
Tips for Preventing Gum Sores
There is no outright way of preventing all gum sores, but there are certain steps you can take to avoid them. The following are easy steps you can take to avoid getting gum sores:
• Don’t take very hot foods and drinks
• Chew your foods slowly
• Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush and maintain proper dental hygiene
• Consult your dentist if your dental appliance is irritating your gums
• Avoid stress
• Eat a proper diet
• Avoid food irritants like hot, spicy foods
• Take vitamin supplements, particularly vitamin B
• Drink adequate water
• Avoid smoking or tobacco
• Limit your alcohol consumption
Always brush your teeth at least twice a day and follow the right teeth brushing techniques to keep your teeth and gums free of bacteria. Flossing your teeth daily also helps to prevent future gum problems.
Finally, don’t forget to rinse your mouth regularly with an antiseptic mouthwash that will help to eliminate bacteria that cause gum diseases.