14 Home Remedies For Swollen Gums And Prevention Tips

Natural and safe solutions to prevent and heal those painful and enlarged gums.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Meredith Gantos, MD
By Shaheen Naser

Lack of oral hygiene or food getting stuck in your teeth can cause swollen and painful gums. If your gums bleed at the slightest touch of your brush, it may be a symptom of a gum disease called gingivitis or periodontitis. Painful and uncomfortable beyond words, swollen gums can disrupt your day-to-day activities, but the good news is, there are several home remedies for swollen gums you can try to reduce the discomfort. In this article, we explore the symptoms and simple tips to prevent swollen gums. Note: While gum diseases cannot be treated completely with home remedies, consult a doctor immediately for further treatment.

What Causes Swollen Gums?

Swollen gums are commonly caused by:

  • Plaque and tartar in your mouth can lead to gum swelling (Gingivitis)
  • When the gingival infection progresses, gum swelling is sustained in the mouth (Periodontitis)
  • Viral or fungal infections
  • Irritation due to dental fixtures
  • Pregnancy
  • Allergies and sensitivity to dental products or food
  • Gum injury (1), (2)

Symptoms For Swollen Gums

Bleeding gums

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The common symptoms of this condition include:

Here are 14 of the most effective home remedies that can relieve swollen gums.

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Swollen Gums

  1. Salt Water
  2. Clove Oil
  3. Ginger
  4. Baking Soda
  5. Lemon Juice
  6. Essential Oils
  7. Lawsonia Inermis Leaves
  8. Castor Seed Oil
  9. Babul (Acacia Arabica) Tree Bark
  10. Aloe Vera Gel
  11. Turmeric
  12. Apple Cider Vinegar
  13. Vanilla Extract
  14. Epsom Salt

1. Salt Water

Saltwater is one of the most commonly used remedies for oral problems. It neutralizes the mouth’s pH and soothes inflamed gums (3). A saltwater rinse was also found to be beneficial in preventing swelling of the alveolar bone after tooth extraction (4). Hence, it may help reduce swelling around the gums. However, more scientific studies are needed to determine the effect of saltwater rinse on gingivitis.

Note: Remember that the relief will only be temporary with this remedy.

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • A glass of warm water
What You Have To Do

Add the salt to a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth with it.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this in the morning and at night, after having your meals.

2. Clove Oil

Clove oil in a glass bottle for swollen gums

Shutterstock

Clove oil is another age-old home remedy that is often used to treat swollen gums. It has antibacterial, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce infection and swelling around the gums (5).

You Will Need

2-3 drops of clove oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply clove oil on the swollen gums and massage very gently.
  2. Leave it on.

You can also use clove oil mixed with black pepper to decrease inflammation and pain. Experts also recommend chewing on cloves to get relief.

How Often You Should Do This

Reapply every few hours.

3. Ginger

Ginger possesses antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that can help reduce the swelling in your gums (6).

You Will Need
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
What You Have To Do
  1. Crush and mash the ginger and add the salt to it to get a coarse paste.
  2.  Rub this paste on the swollen parts of your gum and leave it on for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Rinse your mouth with normal water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2-3 times a day.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help treat the infection causing the swelling. It also reduces the inflammation of your gums and soothes the tender skin. Studies show that baking soda significantly reduces dental plaque and gingival inflammation (7), (8).

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • A pinch of turmeric
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix baking soda with turmeric powder and massage your gums with the mixture.
  2. Rinse your mouth with clean water.
  3. Using baking soda to brush your teeth can also treat swollen gums.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every morning and every evening.

5. Lemon Juice

Woman uses lemon juice to reduce swollen gums

Shutterstock

Lemon contains antimicrobial compounds (9). It can help kill the microbes causing the infection and the resultant swelling in your gums. It also balances the pH in your mouth.

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • A glass of warm water
  • 1-2 drops rose flower essence (optional)
What You Have To Do

Mix the lemon juice with water and gargle with this solution.

How Often You Should Do This

Gargle twice every day until you get relief.

6. Essential Oils

Oils of chamomile, tea tree, and peppermint can work wonders in relieving pain in the gums. Tea tree and peppermint oils are strong antimicrobial agents (10), (11). Chamomile oil soothes the inflamed gums and reduces swelling and pain (12).

You Will Need
  • 2 drops chamomile essential oil
  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  • A glass of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the essential oils to a glass of water and rinse your mouth with it for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Rinse your mouth with clean water after this.
  3. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to your toothpaste and brush your teeth with it.
How Often You Should Do This

Use this mouthwash twice a day.

7. Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) Leaves

Rat studies showed that Lawsonia inermis (henna) leaf extracts can help in healing gingivitis (13). Hence, these leaves can help in reducing swelling and pain around the gums.

You Will Need
  • Few Lawsonia inermis (henna) leaves
  • A glass of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Boil the leaves in water for about 15 minutes.
  2. Gargle with the solution to get relief from swollen gum pain.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this two times a day.

8. Castor Seed Oil

Camphor is an analgesic and has a long history of use as a remedy for gum and tooth disorders (14). Castor oil exerts anti-inflammatory effects on the swelling (15).

You Will Need
  • 1 camphor tablet
  • A few drops castor seed oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Crush the camphor tablet and make a paste by mixing castor oil with it.
  2. Gently rub the paste on the affected areas of your gum.
  3. Leave it on for 2-3 minutes and then rinse your mouth with warm water to remove all the camphor.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once every day.

9. Babul (Acacia Arabica) Tree Bark

Ayurveda recommended chewing the Babul (or babool) bark to keep your teeth clean and healthy. The antibacterial activity of acacia gum could help inhibit the growth of periodontal pathogens (16). Using this remedy will give you relief from the inflammation that comes with swollen gums.

You Will Need
  • 1-inch piece of Babul tree bark
  • A glass of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Boil the tree bark in water for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Use this as mouthwash.
How Often You Should Do This

Rinse your mouth with this 3-4 times a day.

10. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel in a bowl as a remedy for swollen gums

Shutterstock

The gel extracted from this wonder plant has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It heals the swelling and tenderness in your gums and kills the harmful bacteria (17).

You Will Need

An aloe leaf

What You Have To Do
  1. Extract the gel present inside the leaf and apply it to the gums.
  2. Leave it on for as long as possible and then rinse your mouth.
  3. You can also use the gel to gargle for the effective treatment of swollen gums.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply aloe gel twice a day.

11. Turmeric

Turmeric is a strong antimicrobial agent and can help reduce inflammation and gingivitis (18).

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a paste with the above ingredients and apply on the swollen gums.
  2. Leave this on for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Rinse out the turmeric paste with water.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

12. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains mild acids that restore the pH balance in your mouth. It also exhibits antimicrobial effects against oral pathogens (19), (20). This reduces the infection and the swelling in your gums.

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • A glass of water
What You Have To Do

Mix the vinegar with water and use this to rinse your mouth.

How Often You Should Do This

Rinse with ACV 2-3 times in a day.

13. Vanilla Extract

Vanillin, the principal component of vanilla, exhibits antibacterial properties (21). Another study found that vanillin showed significant antibacterial properties when used as a component in a mouthwash (22). Thus, it can not only keep oral bacteria at bay but also reduce the swelling in the gums.

You Will Need

1-2 drops vanilla extract

What You Have To Do
  1. Using a clean finger (or a Q-tip), apply vanilla extract on the affected gum.
  2. Leave it on.
How Often You Should Do This

Reapply twice a day.

14. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is known to soothe inflammation and pain (23). Hence, it can help reduce the swelling around the gums.

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon Epsom salt
  • A glass of warm water
What You Have To Do

Mix the Epsom salt in water and gargle with this solution.

How Often You Should Do This

Gargle with this every morning and at night, before going to bed.

Natural remedies are one way to treat swollen gums. You can not only treat the painful symptoms but also get relief using simple ingredients you have at home.

Preventive Tips For Gum Swelling And Gum Bleeding

Try the following tips to prevent gum bleeding and swelling.

  1. Use non-irritating toothpaste and mouthwash that are gentle yet effective.
  2. Brush at least twice a day, because good oral hygiene is the way to prevent gingivitis.
  3. Stay away from beverages that contain artificial sugars and colors.
  4. Avoid tobacco and alcohol as they can irritate your gums further.
  5. Follow a well-balanced diet that contains vitamins and other nutrients for healthy gums.

Despite following these tips, if you still notice bleeding and swelling of the consult your healthcare provider to understand the underlying cause of this condition.

Infographic: Swollen Gums: Do’s And Don’ts

Swollen gums are painful and uncomfortable. They are generally a sign of gum disease or injury. To facilitate their healing and to prevent the condition from getting worse, there are certain do’s and don’ts that you may consider following.

Check out the infographic to know more about what to do and what to avoid when suffering from swollen gums.

facts about swollen gums [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Swollen gums are most commonly a result of dental infections due to the overgrowth of bacteria on deposits of plaque and tartar. However, they may also be caused by other conditions such as gum injury, pregnancy, denture fixtures, and allergies. Redness, bleeding, pain, and bad breath are symptoms that often accompany swollen gums. The home remedies for swollen gums discussed here, like saline rinse, baking soda, clove oil, aloe vera, turmeric, castor oil, and babul bark, may provide symptomatic relief and facilitate recovery. However, to prevent complications, it is recommended that you consult a dentist and follow the prescribed treatment along with these remedies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Listerine good for swollen gums?

Listerine is an antiseptic mouthwash that may help inhibit bacterial growth and improve swollen gums caused due to an infection in its early stages.

Does hydrogen peroxide help swollen gums?

Yes, 3% hydrogen peroxide used as a rinse may help improve swollen gums.

Is garlic good for swollen gums?

Yes, garlic has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce swelling in the gums (24).

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.
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author
Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology from Bharathiar University. She is a Geneticist with proficiency... more

Dr. Meredith Gantos

(MD)
Dr. Meredith Gantos is a general dentist practicing in Naperville, Illinois. She has a strong passion for cosmetic dentistry, dental... more

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