Combat Swollen Gums With These 8 Home Remedies

While these remedies can help to reduce gum inflammation, it's always best to consult with a dentist to ensure good oral health.
Combat Swollen Gums With These 8 Home Remedies
Maricela Jiménez López

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Swollen gums are a common problem caused by mouth infections, poor hygiene habits and some dental treatments.

According to a study published in the scientific journal Avances en Periodoncia e Implantología Oral (Advances in Periodontics and Oral Implantology), swelling is usually accompanied by sensitivity to the touch, halitosis, bleeding and obvious changes in gum texture.

Those who suffer from this condition often experience discomfort, especially when swallowing food and brushing their teeth.

Although gum swelling tends to disappear on its own, it’s always advisable to seek medical treatment to prevent complications. Fortunately, there are several home remedies to combat swollen gums that can help decrease both swelling and pain. In this next section, we’ll show you several remedies you may find useful.

However, if you do experience any of these symptoms, it’s always best to talk to your doctor.


Home remedies to help relieve swollen gums

1. Clove oil

According to this study, clove oil contains active compounds such as eugenol that act as powerful analgesics and anti-inflammatories, making it ideal for combating swollen gums. At the same time, its antibacterial agents decrease the presence of germs that cause infections and, consequently, it also relieves bad breath.

How to use it:

  • Moisten a piece of cotton swab with clove oil and rub it over the affected area for 2 or 3 minutes.
  • Repeat twice a day.
  • Optionally, you can add 5 drops of this ingredient to warm water and use it as a mouthwash. This can also be an effective way to reduce discomfort.

2. Onions


Onions contain antiseptic and antimicrobial compounds that are effective in treating oral problems that cause swollen gums.

According to recommendations from the Comité Consultivo de Infecciones Asociadas a la Atención de Salud (the Advisory Committee on Healthcare Associated Infections), “the proper use of antiseptics and disinfectants is an essential tool for preventing the spread of infectious agents and the control of associated infections”.

It is also believed that the sulphur compounds in onion, in addition to its antioxidants, can provide relief from pain and symptoms caused by the proliferation of germs in the oral cavity. However, in this case, there is no scientific evidence proving this theory.

How to use it:

  • Cut a piece of raw onion and chew it for a few minutes to ease the pain.
  • You can also prepare some onion juice and apply it to your gums with a piece of cotton swab.
  • Repeat to relieve inflammation.

3. Vanilla Extract

According to an investigation carried out by the American Chemical Society (ACS), vanilla extract contains anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that help treat toothache and combat swollen gums. Its application inhibits the growth of bacteria and controls odor.

How to use it:

  • Dip a cotton swab into the vanilla extract and apply directly to your swollen gums.
  • Use it up to 4 times a day for quick relief.

4. Ice cubes

Applying ice cubes to your gums serves to numb the nerve endings that cause pain when they swell. This ingredient promotes circulation and accelerates the recovery time from this condition.

How to use it:

  • Wrap several ice cubes in a thin cloth and press it on your cheek, near the affected area.
  • Massage your cheek for 3 minutes and use this remedy twice daily.

5. Lemon

Combat Swollen Gums With These 8 Home Remedies

Fresh lemon juice is a cheap and effective remedy to relieve sore and swollen gums. According to a number of studies, its antibiotic compounds soothe infections and create a protective barrier against the bacteria that cause halitosis.

How to use it

  • Add some fresh lemon juice to lukewarm water and use it as a mouthwash.
  • Use it 3 times a day, every day.

6. Cranberry Juice

Natural cranberry juice contains a mixture of powerful antioxidants and active anti-inflammatories that improve oral health. It is also believed that its nutrients regulate the pH of saliva and help to curb the growth of fungi and bacteria. However, several studies have disproved this theory.

How to use it:

  • Consume half a glass of blueberry juice twice a day.

7. Apples

Combat Swollen Gums With These 8 Home Remedies

Apples are a fruit rich in water and antioxidant substances that, after being ingested, help to remove food residue and bacteria from the mouth and teeth. These properties are useful for curing swollen gums and neutralizing bad breath.

How to use it

  • Cut off a piece of apple and chew it after every main meal.
  • If you have gingivitis, use this remedy 4 or 5 times a day.

8. Hydrogen peroxide

A mouthwash made with hydrogen peroxide can help control gingivitis and other infections that affect the health of your gums.


  • 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide (20 ml)
  • ½ cup of water

How to use it:

  • Add a couple of tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to half a cup of warm water, mix well and swig it in your mouth for 2 minutes, after brushing your teeth.
  • Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.

Choose any of the remedies mentioned above and get quick relief from that uncomfortable swelling affecting your oral health.

If the symptoms persist longer than a couple of days, consult your dentist to determine the underlying cause.

Finally, remember that maintaining good habits can help improve your lifestyle.

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Diomedi Alexis, Chacón Eiiana, Delpiano Luis, Hervé Beatrice, Jemenao M. Irene, Medel Myriam et al . Antisépticos y desinfectantes: apuntando al uso racional. Recomendaciones del Comité Consultivo de Infecciones Asociadas a la Atención de Salud, Sociedad Chilena de Infectología. Rev. chil. infectol.  [Internet]. 2017  Abr [citado  2018  Oct  07] ;  34( 2 ): 156-174. Disponible en:;pid=S0716-10182017000200010&lng=es.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.