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Simple Home Remedies For Swollen Gums

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more


Swollen gums might feel abnormally bulging and protruding. It is a common problem where one or many triangle-shaped areas of gum between teeth swell. Gum diseases, also called periodontal diseases, affect the gums supporting the teeth. Swelling in the gums can be a symptom of underlying gum diseases, like gingivitis.1,2 

If you have swollen gums, you should get help from a dentist to get a diagnosis and treatment. You can also try home remedies to take care of the swelling at home. Read on to find some herbs and remedies to help take care of swollen gums at home.  

Did you know?

  • 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older in the US have some form of periodontal disease. source: CDC
  • 70.1% of adults aged 65 years and older in the US have periodontal disease. source: CDC
  • Periodontal disease is more common in men than women, with a prevalence of 56.4% in men and 38.4% in women. source: CDC
  • 64.2% of current smokers in the US have periodontal disease. source: CDC

What Causes Swollen Gums? 

The most common cause of swollen gums is bacterial plaque, a thin layer of bacteria. Plaque results in various conditions of the gums, like gingivitis and periodontitis. These conditions can give you red and swollen gums.3  

Swollen gums can also be a result of:   

  • Malnutrition  
  • Viral or fungal infection 
  • Dental fittings or appliances that don’t fit 
  • Side effects of medicines  
  • Reaction to a toothpaste or mouthwash 
  • Scurvy (caused by vitamin C deficiency) 
  • Pregnancy1 

Hormonal changes during pregnancy are a common cause of sore and swollen gums, which might, at times, bleed and might get resolved on their own after the delivery as the hormonal levels subside. Good oral hygiene during pregnancy might help the situation.

Dr Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Symptoms of Swollen Gums 

Swollen gums can be a symptom of an underlying health condition like gingivitis. Features of swollen gums include:  

  • Swelling and redness of gums 
  • Gum bleeding when eating or brushing teeth   

Periodontitis is the progressed stage of gingivitis, which occurs if gingivitis is left untreated. Periodontitis is characterised by symptoms like:  

  • Swelling in the gums 
  • Bleeding gums 
  • Bad mouth odour  
  • Shrinking or receding gums  
  • Altered taste 
  • Loose teeth 
  • Tenderness (or soreness) on chewing3 

Also Read: 4 Effective Home Remedies For Teeth Whitening!

Suggested Home Remedies For Swollen Gums 

Here are some natural remedies that you can use to take care of your swollen gums at home. You should try the one that works best for you. These remedies involve some commonly found herbs that you can easily find in your house.  

1. Haldi (Turmeric)  

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory activity, which might help in reducing gum swelling. Turmeric is also a good pain-relieving agent, which might aid in pain relief. You can use haldi or turmeric to take care of your gums. Make a paste using turmeric, salt and some mustard oil. You can apply this paste to teeth and gums to get rid of dental problems.4,5 However, if you feel any irritation after using it, you should immediately rinse it off.  

2. Kali Mirch (Black pepper) 

You can grind some black pepper to make powder and use this powder with mustard oil to make a paste. This paste can be used to massage the teeth and gums to steer clear of dental problems like swollen gums.5 

3. Almonds  

Almonds can be used as a remedy for gum problems. You can use the shell powder of almonds to take care of gum diseases. To make the powder, you can burn the shells of almonds, powder it and use it as and when required as a tooth powder.5  

4. Green Tea  

The antibacterial properties of green tea might help get rid of swollen gums.4 You can try adding a few cups of green tea to your diet to help with swollen gums. However, avoid using this remedy if you are allergic to caffeine.  

5. Sage  

Sage is known to have antioxidant benefits, which might help soothe swollen gums.4 You can use sage to make a mouthwash of your own by putting some fresh sage leaves into boiling water. Boil the leaves for some time before straining them. You can store this solution and use it as a mouth rinse. If you don’t find fresh leaves, you can use dried leaves as well.   

6. Aloe Vera  

The inflammation-reducing benefits of aloe vera make it an excellent natural remedy for swollen gums.4 You can directly use pure aloe vera juice as a mouth rinse. You can also massage aloe vera gel to the gums. Make sure to buy the aloe vera juice from a good source. Also, check if you have any allergic reaction to aloe vera; in such cases, avoid using it.   

7. Clove Oil 

Clove oil helps prevent the growth and formation of bacteria, thereby preventing infections. Clove is also a good pain reliever and might help with pain associated with swollen gums.4 To use clove for gums, mince some cloves, and use a cotton swab or cotton ball to apply the powder to your gums. Let the powder sit on the gums for some time. Rinse the clove off your gums once done.  

8. Amla  

Amla fruits contain vitamin C in ample amounts. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant beneficial in many health conditions.4 You can involve one fresh amla fruit in your everyday diet to help with swollen gums. You can also use amla powder by mixing it with some water. You can drink this water to take care of your swollen gums.  

If you are suffering from allergies to the remedies mentioned above, you should avoid using them. Instead, choose a remedy that works best for you. 

Other Remedies 

Here are some simple tips that can help you manage gum problems:  

  • Use toothpaste containing fluoride to brush your teeth.  
  • Change your toothbrush every three months. 
  • Get regular dental checkups. 
  • Avoid smoking.  
  • Avoid using mouthwash straight after brushing.6  

Also Read: Zerodol P Uses

Swollen gums are a common symptom of gingivitis and other types of gum disease. Gingivitis, if identified and treated, can easily be resolved as the condition is reversible and the altered tissues can return to normal once the dental biofilm has been removed. If gingivitis progress to periodontitis, connective tissue attachment loss and bone destruction will occur, which may ultimately result in tooth loss.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka – MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

Also Read: Clove Oil for Toothache: Natural Relief for Dental Pain

When to Seek Medical Help? 

Swollen gums are a common problem that some people may ignore. However, if the changes in your gums, the redness and swelling last for more than two weeks, you need to seek medical help.1 

Also, visit your dentist if your gum problems are associated with: 

  • Bad breath 
  • Bleeding when you eat or brush 
  • Pain6  


Swelling in the gums is a common problem and can occur at any age. Most people often neglect gum problems as sometimes there is no pain involved. However, timely management is necessary to prevent the problem from worsening. Some common household ingredients like turmeric, black pepper, clove and amla can be used to take care of swollen gums at home. You can also make herbal mouthwashes at home using dried or fresh leaves of sage. Make sure to take into consideration any allergies before using such home remedies. Also, if the swelling in the gums becomes painful, and is accompanied by bleeding when you eat or drink, make sure to get a consultation from a dentist.  

Also Read: 10 Best Home Remedies For Toothache

Frequently Asked Questions   

What are some natural home remedies for swollen gums? 

Natural home remedies that you can make use of to take care of swollen gums are black pepper powder, turmeric powder, clove, and amla. You can also use aloe vera, sage leaves and green tea to relieve swelling in the gums.4,5 

Can swollen gums bleed? 

Yes, swollen gum can also bleed. This bleeding might become more evident when you eat or brush your teeth. You can contact a dentist to get a better diagnosis of your problem.3 

How do I prevent gum problems? 

Gum problems can be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene. Practices like brushing the teeth two times a day, using a good toothpaste, and using dental floss might help prevent gum problems from developing.7 

Is swelling in the gums a sign of disease? 

Yes, swollen gums can signify health conditions like gingivitis, but you need to consult with a doctor or dentist to get a proper diagnosis.3  

Do I need to consult a dentist for swollen gums? 

If your swollen gums do not heal within two weeks and cause bleeding and pain, you should immediately contact a dentist.1

Can I use turmeric for swelling in the gums? 

Yes, you can use turmeric for swollen gums. You can use turmeric powder and apply it to your gums to get rid of swollen gums. Turmeric is known to reduce inflammation and swelling as it has anti-inflammatory benefits.4 However, if you are allergic to turmeric, you should avoid its usage. Also, if turmeric use does not work out and the swelling persists, seek medical help.  

How to use sage leaves for swollen gums? 

The antioxidant properties in sage leaves are helpful in many health problems.4 You can make a herbal mouthwash using sage leaves. Drop some fresh or dried sage leaves in boiling water, and let it simmer for some time. Cool it and store it. Use this mouthwash to take care of swollen gums. 

Can salt water help swollen gums?

Yes, salt water can help swollen gums. Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water (saline solution) can reduce inflammation and soothe gum tissues. The saltwater rinse can also help to cleanse the area and promote healing. However, it’s essential to maintain regular dental care and consult a dentist if the swelling persists or worsens.

Can certain foods or habits cause swollen gums?

Yes, certain foods high in sugars or acids can contribute to gum irritation and inflammation. Smoking or using tobacco products can also lead to gum problems. Adopting a balanced diet and avoiding harmful habits can promote good gum health.

Can vitamin deficiencies contribute to swollen gums?

Yes, certain vitamin deficiencies, particularly vitamin C deficiency, can lead to gum problems, including swollen gums. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in maintaining gum health, and inadequate intake can weaken gum tissues. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is essential for gum health.



  1. Gums – swollen: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 6]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003066.htm 

2. Gum disease. National Health Portal Of India [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 6]. Available from: https://www.nhp.gov.in/disease/oral/gum-disease 

3. Gum disease – Better Health Channel [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 6]. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/gum-disease 

4. Jagan Rao N, Subash KR, Sandeep Kumar K. Role of phytotherapy in gingivitis: A review. International Journal of Pharmacology. 2012;8(1):1–5. Available from: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ijp.2012.1.5 

5. Ayush Division. Ayurveda offering Herbal healing. Available from: https://www.esic.nic.in/attachments/publicationfile/7d11b02e5abb4717d53b4ce05efabd21.pdf 

6. Gum disease – NHS [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 6]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gum-disease/ 

7. Gingivitis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 6]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001056.htm 

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