Swollen painful gums or bleeding gums aren’t just a nuisance. They’re a warning sign. Known as gingivitis, this is the earliest stage of gum disease.
Left untreated gingivitis can eventually lead to tooth loss.
But don’t panic. Gingivitis is quite common. And swollen painful gums are easy to treat at home.
I’ll show you how to save your smile by combining good oral hygiene with some simple home remedies you can help reverse and prevent gingivitis.
Swollen painful gums respond to home remedies
If your gums are inflamed, or bleed when you brush your teeth, it’s a red flag that you’re developing gum disease. The earlier you tackle the problem, the better off you’ll be.
Following are three proven effective home remedies that could help you reverse gingivitis.
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones. And it doesn’t get any simpler than a saltwater rinse.
Research has confirmed rinsing your mouth with a basic saltwater solution can ease swollen painful gums caused by gingivitis, and promote healing.1
To make a saline rinse…
- Fill a glass with 4 ounces of warm water
- Stir in 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- Swish the saltwater around in your mouth for at least 30 seconds
- Spit out (never swallow)
You can use a saline rinse up to three times a day to soothe your gums and eliminate bacteria.
The golden-orange spice turmeric is naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Which makes it a terrific choice for relieving the swollen painful gums that come with gingivitis.2
But researchers say turmeric can also help prevent plaque and gingivitis when used as part of your regular oral hygiene routine.3,4
To make a turmeric paste…
- Place a tablespoon of coconut oil into a bowl
- Add in 1 teaspoon of turmeric (if using capsules, typically two)
- Add 2 drops of peppermint essential oil (for a more pleasant taste)
- Mix thoroughly
Spread the paste on your gums, and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and spit out (don’t swallow).
If you want to skip mixing up the turmeric paste yourself, look for turmeric gel in health food stores or online instead.
3. Oil pulling:
Practitioners of traditional Ayurvedic medicine have been using oil pulling—or oil swishing—to relieve swollen painful gums and strengthen teeth for centuries. And now modern science is backing them up.
A study published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research confirmed traditional sesame-oil swishing does indeed have benefits for our mouths. Swishing with the oil reduced plaque, improved gingivitis and fought off harmful mouth bacteria.5
Another study evaluating the use of coconut oil for oil pulling found that it could effectively reduce plaque linked gingivitis when used as part of a normal oral hygiene routine.6
To try oil pulling at home to reduce bad breath, soothe swollen flamed gums and fight gingivitis…
- Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth (warm 1st if you prefer)
- Swish around for 10 to 20 minutes
- Spit out
- Rinse with warm water (try a saline rinse if you like, see #1 above)
- Follow up with a regular round of tooth brushing
It’s best to try oil pulling first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything. And if you find it tough to swish the oil for 10 minutes straight, work up to it by starting with a five minute swishing session first.
Don’t ignore swollen painful gums or gum bleeding. Fight plague build up by maintaining a regular brushing and flossing routine. And save your smile using these effective home remedies to help you reverse and prevent gingivitis.
1. “Rinsing with Saline Promotes Human Gingival Fibroblast Wound Healing In Vitro,” PLOS One, Published: July 21, 2016
2. “Evaluation of Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Curcumin Gel as an Adjunct to Scaling and Root Planing: A Clinical Study,” J Int Oral Health. 2015 Jul; 7(7): 90–93
3. “Comparative evaluation of topical application of turmeric gel and 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate gel in prevention of gingivitis,” Natl J Maxillofac Surg. 2015 Jan-Jun; 6(1): 67–71
4. “Effect of Oral Curcuma Gel in Gingivitis Management – A Pilot Study,” J Clin Diagn Res. 2014 Dec; 8(12): ZC08–ZC10
5. “Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study,” Indian J Dent Res. 2009 Jan-Mar;20(1):47-51
6. “Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis — A preliminary report,” Niger Med J. 2015 Mar-Apr; 56(2): 143–147