Have you ever experienced the pain and discomfort of wisdom teeth coming in? Maybe when your hormones fluctuate, your gums get tender and swollen. You could have swollen, tender gums as a result of chemotherapy. The list of causes is quite long.
The bigger question, though, is what to do to treat the swollen gums. The discomfort that comes with them can drive you to distraction and interfere with sleep and job performance. You become cranky and take that out on the people you love. Here's some great news! A number of home remedies are available to help both numb the pain and reduce the swelling. Check out the 7 ways you can reduce the impact of swollen, tender gums.
1. Cold Compress. To help reduce swelling and discomfort, Medical News Today recommends using a cold compress. Place it on the face along the jawline that is bothering you. You can use it repeatedly throughout the day, just be sure to give your face 15 minutes between each application.
2. Tea bags. Dr. Brite recommends using a tea bag on the affected area. Boil some water and steep a bag for two to three minutes. Let the tea bag cool until room temperature and then place it in your mouth against the affected area. If you want to let the tea bag double as a cold compress, you can place it in the refrigerator for a while until it is cold before placing it in your mouth. The tannic acid in the tea and its own natural anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the discomfort and swelling.
3. Salt water. WebMD recommends swishing saltwater. This will kill any bacteria that may be the cause of the swelling and tenderness. Mix 1 teaspoon salt with 8 ounces of warm water.
4. Clove oil. Medical News Today shares that clove oil is great for a natural analgesic. Incidental Farmgirl makes her own mouth-numbing salve by combining 2 drops of clove oil with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Rub the salve onto the swollen, sore gums as needed.
5. Peppermint. Absolute Dental shares that peppermint has anesthetic abilities that might help with gum discomfort. You can pack fresh leaves in your mouth around the sore area and let them sit for 20 minutes, or until the pain begins to subside. If you don't feel like looking like you're chewing tobacco, you can put some peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and swab it on the sore, swollen gums.
6. Onion. Raw onion also appears to have anesthetic and antibacterial qualities according to Medical News Today. Put a chunk of raw onion in your mouth on the side you are experiencing discomfort. Chew on the onion until the pain begins to disappear.
7. Vanilla extract. Absolute Dental offers up a sweeter smelling solution. Vanilla extract will also numb gums. Swab some on the irritated gum. It will give you sweet smelling breath and alleviate your discomfort all at once.
The next time you or someone you love is suffering from gum irritation, try out one of these home remedies. Be sure to see a dentist to find out the cause of the tenderness. You don't want to let a serious problem go untreated. Just "grinning and bearing it" without relief doesn't have to happen anymore.