8 Where There Is No Dentist 2012
MORE SERIOUS GUM DISEASE
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
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.
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 (page 7).
If you take care, you can keep your teeth for a lifetime.