Hesperian Health Guides

More Serious Gum Disease

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HealthWiki > Where There Is No Dentist > Chapter 1: Your Own Teeth and Gums > More Serious Gum Disease: Your Own Teeth and Gums


Painful gums that bleed at the slightest touch need special treatment. If you have this problem, ask for help. A dental worker can explain what is happening and what needs to be done. A dental worker can also scrape the teeth and remove the tartar that is poking the gums, making them sore.

At home, you can do some things to help.

  • Clean your teeth near the gums with a soft brush. Gently push the brush between the tooth and the gum. It may bleed at first, but as the gums toughen, the bleeding will stop.
  • Make your food soft, so it is easier to chew. Pounded yam and soup are good examples.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. If it is difficult for you to bite into fruit, squeeze it and drink the juice.
  • Start rinsing your mouth with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. You can get hydrogen peroxide from your clinic or your pharmacy (chemist).


The strength of hydrogen peroxide is important. Ask for a 3% solution, and mix it evenly with water — that is, ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide with ½ cup of water.

WARNING! Read the label to be sure the solution is 3%. A mixture with more than 3% hydrogen peroxide can burn the mouth.


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Take some into your mouth and hold it there for about 2 minutes. Then spit it out and repeat. Do this every hour you are awake.
Use hydrogen peroxide for only 3 days. Then change and start rinsing with salt water.

If you take care, you can keep your teeth for a lifetime.




This page was updated:19 Feb 2018