If you’re guilty of occasionally crawling under the covers or sprinting out the door with your briefcase and coffee before taking a few minutes to brush your teeth, you may want to reconsider the habit. Not only will your spouse and co-workers wrinkle their noses at your breath, you could be increasing your risk of serious health problems.
Even if your toothbrush has become the enemy because your gums are sore and tender or swollen and bleeding, your oral health is more important than you think. It can affect your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more.
Seven Natural Remedies for Your Mouth
Bleeding gums, which are likely a symptom of periodontal disease or gum disease, as it is commonly known, can lead to even bigger problems if you stop taking care of your mouth altogether. Here are seven natural treatments for bleeding gums:
Dentists often say “You should only floss the teeth you want to keep!” but there’s truth behind the joke. Flossing helps remove bacteria that your toothbrush can’t reach in the tiny spaces between your teeth. You may experience some pain at first, but if you’re gentle you will help your gums improve over time.
Use all-natural toothpaste
Commercial toothpaste generally contains chemicals, abrasives, additives and—gasp!—even sweeteners. Choose natural toothpaste such as one from Tom’s of Maine or Kiss My Face, which will be gentler on your teeth and gums.
Choose a soft bristle toothbrush
A toothbrush with firm bristles may make bleeding gums worse. Choose a soft bristle toothbrush instead, or opt for a baby or toddler toothbrush if your gum pain is incredibly bad.
Gently brush the gums upwards
Brushing your gums and tongue is just as important as brushing your teeth! Brushing your gums—gently, of course—helps keep them healthy because it gets rid of old cells. Be sure to brush your gums towards your teeth rather than away from your teeth. If your gums are bleeding and you’re tempted to skip the brush, massage them with your fingers.
Eat less sugar
Sugar contributes to cavities and tooth decay because it can stick to your teeth and hide in even the teeniest cracks and crevices. Limit your sugar intake and be sure to brush and floss after eating sugary snacks. If you are away from home and that isn’t possible, rinse your mouth with water.
Gargle with salt water
Rather than use commercial mouthwash, which may sting and irritate your gums, add one teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water to gargle. Swishing warm salt water around your mouth two or three times per day can help your bleeding gums heal quicker. Warm salt water also acts as a natural pain reliever; just make sure you don’t swallow it!
Boost your Vitamin C and Vitamin D intake
There is a link between Vitamin C deficiency and gum disease, and Vitamin D has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help heal gum disease.
One final word of wisdom—if you’re a smoker, it’s time to quit.
Smoking is the most significant risk factor for gum disease. If your gums are bleeding so badly that you don’t even want to brush, it’s time to give up the cigarettes.
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Guest Post by: Chris Turberville-Tully enjoys blogging about fitness, healthcare and dental health such as Natural Looking Dentures (http://www.naturallookingdentures.net). a UK dental office providing patients with various dental services including dental implants, bridges and dentures. Follow Chris on Google+.