11 Home Remedies For Swollen Gums

Swollen gums are very common, they’re characterized by enlarged, bulging, or protruding gums that may be tender and/or bleed after brushing. Many things can cause your gums to be swollen but the good news is that they are usually resolved easily with home treatments.  

This post will explain the signs, causes, and the most effective home remedies available to treat swollen gums.  

Home Remedies for Swollen gums

The Most Common Causes of Swollen Gums

Swollen gums may be caused by

  • Gum disease – gingivitis and periodontitis are caused by plaque bacteria that are allowed to build up along the gum line due to a lack of oral hygiene or poor technique. It’s the most common cause of swollen, inflamed gums.
  • Pericoronitis – if you have swelling of the gum around the wisdom teeth it could be a result of food debris getting stuck under the flap of gum covering partially erupted wisdom teeth. This flap can become a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned properly. 
  • Malnutrition or Scurvy – malnutrition including vitamin C deficiency can affect every part of your body. The first oral symptoms include swollen and bleeding gums. 
  • Poorly fitting dentures or other dental appliances are a common cause of swollen gums in those that use them.
  • Pregnancy – hormonal changes during pregnancy frequently cause swollen, inflamed, and sensitive gums. It will usually subside after delivery.  Pregnancy can also result in gum recession.
  • A side effect of a medicine – If you’ve recently started a new medication and are noticing gum issues, it could be a side effect of the medication, talk to your doctor.  
  • Toothpaste or Mouthwash Allergy – in rare instances some people suffer from toothpaste or mouthwash allergies. It can cause swollen gums, mouth sores, irritated tongue, or itching of the skin around the mouth. Switch back to your usual brand and see if the swelling subsides. 

Signs of Gum Swelling

Swollen gums are usually spotted after someone brushes their teeth or cleans the interdental spaces. The gums may be 

If the following symptoms are present it may be a sign of gum disease. 

  • Frequent bad breath
  • Mouth sores
  • Gum recession
  • Loose wobbly teeth that are at risk of falling out

If you have had these symptoms for some time or they don’t improve with the home remedies below it’s recommended that you visit a dental expert. 


Home Remedies for Swollen Gums

Whatever the cause of your swollen gums the home remedies below will help treat swollen gums.  

  1. Brush the Teeth twice a Day

The most effective way to disrupt plaque bacteria that’s causing swollen gums is to brush twice a day for 2 minutes. 

  1. Use the Correct Technique

Whether you use an electric or a manual toothbrush it will be most effective at disrupting plaque bacteria if you use the correct technique. 

For those using an electric toothbrush take a look at the manufacturer’s instructions for how to use their product. Those using a manual brush may find this post helpful.

Or you can find out more information on the correct techniques to use at the bottom of the page.

  1. Use a Child’s Toothbrush or a Single Tufted toothbrush

A single tufted toothbrush or child’s toothbrush can be useful to clean the areas at the back of the mouth where there is limited space or partially erupted wisdom teeth. 

  1. Carefully Clean the Interdental Spaces

When cleaning the teeth, it’s important to disrupt the plaque bacteria on all surfaces of the teeth. It’s difficult to access the areas under the gum line or between the teeth with a toothbrush. Using one or a combination of the following can be helpful to clean these areas.

  • Single tufted toothbrush
  • Interdental brushes
  • Floss
  • Water flossers
  1. Use Fluoride ToothPaste & Don’t Rinse

Fluoride toothpaste is recommended around the world to help prevent cavities. The Flouride toothpaste is also helpful in preventing plaque bacteria from sticking to the teeth. 

If you have spent two minutes cleaning your teeth and applying fluoride to the teeth it would be senseless to then rinse this mineral away with water or mouthwash. 

  1. Apply Ice or Eat Cold Sugar-Free Foods

Applying or eating something cold can help reduce the swelling. 

  1. Rinse your Mouth with Saltwater

Salt can help reduce swollen gums and it can help to ease the pain.

  1. Remove Irritants

If you suspect something is irritating your gums and making them swollen removing the irritant is advisable. 

  • Toothpaste or mouthwash – stop using it and switch back to your old brand or change to one recommended by your dentist. 
  • If you suspect medications are irritating your gums have a chat with your doctor or dentist about a solution. Never stop taking medications without speaking to your MD first. 
  • Smoking –  stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your general and oral health
  • Non-prescription drugs – Consider stopping or swapping these for alternatives – have a chat with your pharmacists for alternatives. 
  1. Educate yourself

Knowledge is power and educating yourself around the topic of gum disease will empower you to control it. Resources like this website are useful, but to truly own understand, own and then treat your condition form home we recommend the Gum Disease: Solved course.

Beat Gum Disease Now
  1. Make Some Lifestyle Modifications

Several risk factors can make periodontal disease more likely to develop. Eliminating or reducing these risk factors can be an easy way to help in the treatment of swollen gums and improve your general health.  

Any of the lifestyle modifications should be done in combination with good oral hygiene. 

  • Stop Smoking – Smoking is the leading cause of advanced periodontal disease and tooth loss. Reducing or ideally stopping smoking cigarettes, tobacco and nicotine can help you treat your swollen gums effectively. 
  • Control Diabetes – there is a correlation between uncontrolled diabetes and the development of gum disease and swollen gums. Controlling blood sugar levels is a great way to help treat your swollen gums, 
  • Eat sugar less frequently – bacteria thrive in sugary environments. Help treat your swollen gums by reducing the bacteria’s food source throughout the day.  Limit your consumption of sugary foods & drinks and carbohydrate snacks to meal times.  
  • Eat a healthy diet full of calcium, and vitamins C and D. These minerals and vitamins are known to keep the teeth, gums, and supporting structures healthy. 
  • Don’t drink alcohol – alcohol can cause gum swelling. Reduce your consumption if you want to treat gum swelling. 
  1. Visit a Dental Expert

If your symptoms are not subsiding or you’re concerned, visit a dental professional, and discuss your concerns. Your dentist will be able to offer an expert opinion on the cause, offer a diagnosis, give advice and provide a treatment plan if required. 

If poorly fitting dental appliances are the cause of your swollen gums, it is usually an easy fix to have the appliances adjusted or a replacement that won’t irritate your gums as much. Ask your dentist about a solution. 


Swollen gums can be caused by several things, however, the most likely cause is gum disease. The good news is that you can treat gum disease without a dentist (although it’s always best to pay them a visit if you can).

Gum disease is best treated with home remedies that include at-home daily self-care treatments. These treatments are achieved by brushing the teeth twice and cleaning the interdental spaces with the correct technique and tools for the cause of your swollen gums.

Our home page has lots of helpful posts about all things gum disease as well as our comprehensive course on beating gum disease at home using the unique Gum Pocket Brush.


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Written by Sharon Fyles

Periodontitis Expert & Writer

Sharon Fyles, BSc (Hons, SW), MSc, Dip,  is a Manchester-based expert dental writer specialising in periodontal diseases and their treatment.


Medically Reviewed and Verified by Dr. Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons), MFDS (RCPS Glasgow)

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