o When your gums are sore, it's good to know what works. Foremost it involves preventative measures to keep bacteria from infiltrating into the gum tissues. (The gums necessarily must be surrounded by bacteria, the normal flora needed to start the digestion of foods.) It also involves supporting the body's inherent ability to maintain its health, particularly once the preventative measures start to disrupt and reduce excessive hostile and opportunistic microbes.
Under normal conditions, you'll feel no sensation (especially pain) as gums carry out their tough assignment. They're necessarily surrounded by mouth bacteria that are needed to start digestion, but have to keep the bacteria from attacking the tissue that supports the teeth (not to mention the nearby sterile brain). They encase and protect the periodontal ligaments that run underneath and through the gums for attaching the teeth to the jawbone; their outer lining (when healthy) seals out most of the bacteria; their inner construction is marvelously set up for immune system defense against any bacteria that manage to penetrate. If you notice an area of your gums sore or in pain, that typically means that bacteria has gotten the upper hand and infected them. The best way to get and keep this whole system in balance is by restraining the mouth bacteria while providing sustenance for your gums.
Mouth bacteria evolved into a symbiotic relationship with humanity. They are fed by what we put in our mouths, and they help make that food more digestible for us. For most of humanity's time on Earth, we ate organic unprocessed food, and the bacterial populations developed relatively slowly. Now we eat highly-processed, refined foods, which supercharge the bacteria into accelerated development. They develop from free-floating individuals into chains of cells and then join together into mats (called plaque) that secrete acids and sticky substances by which they adhere to the teeth, especially to the moist margins near the gums. The by-products of plaque crystallize into a hard acidic calcification (called calculus or tartar) that is strongly cemented to the teeth.
The mechanical practices are designed to break up the developing stages of mouth bacteria early and often enough to consistently revert them back into their relatively harmless condition as free-floating individuals or small chains. This disrupts the bacterial-teeming soft plaque before it can alter the mouth's environment with tiny gum lesions and with hard, calcified and acidic calculus. (See plaque bacteria for more details.) The mechanical practices consist of precise techniques of brushing, flossing, interdental cleaning, and the other practices on the buttons to the left. There are quite a few, perhaps more than you expected. Let the current condition of your mouth and your personal need for improvement dictate how many of these practices you'll want to adopt.
For most people, the first step will be removing any prolonged build-up of hardened calculus that can irritate the gums and provide an armored refuge for bacteria. That's why we recommend getting a cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. After that, you will find that the other practices become more beneficial.
At the same time you are mechanically disrupting plaque (by brushing, flossing, etc.), you can also complement those preventative measures by adding cleansing and nutritional supplementation, if your dentifrice is comprised of adequate levels of beneficial natural substances.
By brushing, you've already introduced all the ingredients of a dentifrice into your mouth ready to be ingested, which is helpful if it's comprised of beneficial herbs that instantly dissolve into a liquid, and not so helpful if it's comprised of a sweet paste infused with a drug.
The composition makes all the difference, not only if it's natural or artificial, but also the particular formula of herbs and minerals in the natural dentifrice. To help you explore further, we have pages detailing the attributes of the natural substances in our recommended dentifrice (Good-GUMS®).
Taking natural care of your gums and teeth will go a long way in giving you not only a healthy mouth, but a healthy life.