Bleeding gums can occur due to medicines like aspirin, diseases like vitamin C deficiency, wrong brushing technique, impacted plaque etc. Ayurveda considers it as a high Pitta condition.
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Tooth plaque causing gum bleeding:
In majority of cases, a tooth plaque at the gum line causes bleeding gums. Because tooth plaque is caused by colonizing bacteria, it eventually leads to swelling and inflammation of gums, called gingivitis. This leads to spongy, swollen and bleeding gum.
Other causes of bleeding gums include:
Any bleeding disorder – caused due to high Pitta.
Brushing too hard, wrong flossing technique, wrong fitting dentures / appliances – causing injury to gum line
Hormonal changes during pregnancy
Diseases like Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
Leukaemia – blood cancer
Scurvy – Vitamin C deficiency disorder
Use of blood thinning medication such as aspirin
Vitamin K deficiency
Gum problems in women
Hormonal fluctuations are related to gum bleeding in some women.
During puberty, the increase of hormones cause increase of blood flow to gums, leading to bleeding.
Women who are prone to gum bleeding see their condition worsening nearing to periods (menstruation). This phenomena is correlated with high Pitta effect. Menstruation initiation is a Pitta activity, so also bleeding gums.
Women using birth control tablets also may observe gum bleeding.
In Ayurveda ‘bleeding from gum’ is referred as ‘Sheetada’. It is grouped under the 15 types of diseases of the gum (Danta Moolagata Roga).
Dosha involved – Pitta and Kapha.
Origin of disease
Origin of Sheetada – Spongy gum :
The causative factor will vitiate Kapha and Rakta and lodge in the softest parts like gums. Thus they reduce the firmness of the muscular tissues. Due to this, very easily the vessels beneath and inside the gums are injured and the bleeding starts. Thus the condition of Sheetada – bleeding gum is resulted.
Features of Spongy gum :
Bleeding from the gum often with pain or without pain
Sensation of horripilation in the nearby area
Numbness or hypersensitivity
Sensation of looseness or heaviness of the teeth
Sweetness of the mouth
Sensation of unctuousness or sliminess of the mouth (in saliva) etc.
Line of treatment
Line of treatment in Sheetada – Spongy gum :
Shodhana – Purification of the body by emesis (vamana) and mild purgation (mridu virechana) helps to mitigate imbalanced Pitta and KaphaDosha.
Kavala and Gandusha – Mouth gargling / Oil pulling by using the medicated paste or oils prepared out of bitter and astringent herbal drugs helps to strengthen the gums and base of the teeth. Blood is also purified locally.
Nasya – depending upon the doshic dominance, if Vata is vitiated more, errhines with oleaginous medicaments like Triphala taila or Triphala ghrita is found to be effective. In case of Pitta dominance, Yastimadhu ghrita and taila is contributing significant benefits.
Herbs useful in bleeding gums
Most of the below herbs have astringent taste and have Stambhana – Blocking effect
Amalaki – Amla – Emblica officinalis
Hareetaki – Terminalia chebula
Yastimadhu – Indian liquorice – Glyccyriza glabra
Sariva – Hemidesmus indicus
Lajjalu – Mimosa pudica (touch me not)
Lodhra – Symplocos racemosa
Manjishta – Rubia cardifolia
Musta – Cyperus rotundus
Ayurvedic medicines for bleeding and spongy gums:
Most of the medicines indicated in wound healing are also indicated here
Dashana sanskara choorna
Khadiradi vati etc
Tips to avoid bleeding and spongy gums:
Consult your dentist at least once in six months.
Use a soft bristle tooth brush and high quality floss.
Brush and floss gently twice a day, to avoid plaque build-up.
Switch to Ancient Ayurvedic method of teeth brushing
If you observe that bleeding gum problem has arisen after starting a new medicine, consult your doctor and bring this to her notice.
Avoid snacking between meals. Reduce carbohydrates in diet.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating / drinking.
Cut down on soda.
Use amla fruit in diet. Apart from Vitamin C, it also has many other phyto-nutrients with anti oxidant effect.
What to do when there is gum bleeding:
Take a cotton piece, dip it in ice cold water. Add a pinch of turmeric powder to it. Apply it on the gums.
If you were told to have vitamin Deficiency, then take the Vitamin supplements.
Ayurvedic home remedies
Simple and effective home remedies for bleeding and spongy gum :
Take a cotton swab and dip it in clove oil. Gently rub on the gums for a minute or two.
The tender leaves of guava or jamun(blue berry) is taken and crushed well. This is kept in the mouth and chewed. It promotes the strength of the gums.
The flowers of hibiscus and ixora are taken in equal quantities. To this, 2 pinch of yashtimadhu powder is added and pounded well to obtain a slimy paste. This is retained in the mouth for 20-30 minutes. It strengthens the gums and arrests the bleeding from the gums.
Make water decoction (Kashaya) from Triphala and use this for mouth rinsing and gargling twice a day.
Learn how to make Triphala Kashaya from Triphala
Oil pulling with sesame oil in the morning for 5 – 10 minutes is one of the best ways to maintain healthy gums and teeth. Learn more about Ayurvedic way of oil pulling.
The stem and bark of Bakula (Mimusops elengi) is collected and dried under shade. This is powdered well and stored. This is made into decoction and used for mouth gargling. Constant use of this helps to overcome the complaint of spongy gums.
Rock salt, long pepper remedy
Here is a simple home remedy with only two ingredients for gum swelling, bleeding gums and to strengthen teeth. This can be prepared within 5 minutes and once prepared, you can store it for 1 – 2 months.
Long pepper fruit powder – 50 grams
Saindhava Lavana (Black salt) – 50 grams
Home remedy video –
Method of preparation
Prepare a fine powder of long pepper and black salt.
Mix them together in equal quantities.
Store it in an air tight container.
It can be used as tooth powder in cases of gum swelling, inflammation and bleeding gums.
Use this powder to massage gently over the gums.
What to expect?
You may expect a very slight burning sensation.
No known side effects.
Care should be exercised not to swallow this powder, while using in people with high BP.
How long to use?
It can be used for 3 – 4 weeks or till the gum swelling lasts.
Can this be used as tooth powder forever?
No. It is ideal to use this for a limited time period only.
By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD.
Guava leaf buds
Tender leaf buds of Guava, tamarind and mango are taken ( 5 gram each) and fine paste is made.
If pus discharge is an associated symptom, then a pinch of turmeric and curry leaf powder can be added. This paste is retained in mouth for 5-8 minutes
12-14 days regular treatment gives significant benefits.
10 mature mango leaves
10 mid rib vein of the jack fruit leaf
5-10 gram of coir or fiber of coconut and
1 gram (5-8 seeds ) of Cardamom are taken together in an earthen pan.
This mix is burnt by heating till it is charred.
A black coloured mass is obtained.
To this a pinch of salt is added and fine powder is made. If necessary it can be sieved.
Daily morning and night, above powder is applied to the gums and then mouth is gargled with plain water. This yields good benefit in bleeding gum and gingivitis.
10 dried gooseberries (Amla)
1 teaspoon of tea powder,
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
They are taken together and pounded well to obtain the fine powder. Daily night before going to bed 1 teaspoonof this is retained in the mouth and gradually it is chewed.
Or else mouth gargling can be carried 10-15 days regular practice gives very good relief in case of bleeding gum, gingivitis, bad breath and sore throat.
Consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy
Wholesome diet and habits
Wholesome diet and habits in Spongy gum :
Regular mouth gargling with the decoctions or medicated paste of drugs possessing astringent and bitter taste.
Oil pulling with sesame oil
Cow’s milk or goat’s milk
Unctuous and soft food
Easily digestible food
Warm water intake etc.
Unwholesome diet and habits
Unwholesome diet and habits in Spongy gum :
Food and beverages possessing pungent and salty taste
Dry, hard and spicy food
Mustard seeds and oil
Food and beverages which provoke Pitta dosha etc.
Spongy gum is a bleeding health complaint which often misinterpreted as tuberculosis or carcinoma. But negligence of the complaint in its early stage may lead into grave systemic disorders. Early detection, proper investigation and regular medication will help to overcome this complaint.