Hesperian Health Guides

Sore Bleeding Gums

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HealthWiki > Where There Is No Dentist > Chapter 1: Your Own Teeth and Gums > Sore Bleeding Gums

Healthy gums fit tightly around the teeth. Gums are infected if they are loose, sore, and red, and if they bleed when the teeth are cleaned. Infection in the gums is called gum disease.

Gum disease, like tooth decay, happens when acid touches the teeth and gums. This acid is made when sweet and soft foods mix with germs.

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Infection from gum disease can spread into the root fibers and bone. But you can stop gum disease and prevent it from coming back. There are two things to do: clean your teeth better and strengthen your gums.

  1. Even if your gums are sore and they bleed, you must still clean the teeth beside them. If more food collects on the teeth, the gum infection will get even worse. Get a soft brush and use it gently. This way you will not hurt the gums when you clean.
  2. To make your gums stronger and more able to fight the infection:
    • Eat more fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables, and fewer soft sticky foods from the store.
    • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Do this every day, even after your gums feel better.

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(1) Mix some salt with a cup of warm water.
(2) Take a mouthful and rinse.
(3) Spit it out. Repeat until all of the salt water is finished.

This page was updated:19 Feb 2018