9 Simple Home Remedies for Sore Gums

Home Remedies for Sore Gums

Sore gums are a very common complaint, many people suffer from irritated, swollen and inflamed gums at some point in their life. There are many causes including aggressive tooth brushing and gum disease. While they can be quite painful there are some simple home remedies for sore gums.

Find out what causes sore gums and how you can cure swollen gums at home fast.

Why Your Gums Are Sore

Whilst it can be concerning to have gums that are sensitive or feel like they’re burning when you brush, eat or drink the cause may be nothing sinister. It may be that you’re simply cleaning your teeth a little too aggressively or the result of hormonal changes.

However, it can also be a sign of something a little more serious. If the home remedies below are ineffective or you have other symptoms, arranging a visit to the dental clinic would be advisable.  

Gums can be sore for several reasons including 

  • Advanced periodontal disease
  • Brushing too hard
  • Improper flossing techniques
  • Cuts and abrasions caused by dental appliances
  • Infections such as Canker sores, oral thrush or herpes
  • Hormonal changes during menopause, pregnancy and puberty 
  • Vitamin K deficiency
  • Blood disorders including leukemia
  • Sinus infections
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The Best Home Remedies for Sore Gums

Whilst there can be many causes of sore gums, in most instances the most effective way to treat them is with these simple affordable inflamed gum home remedies. They will prevent and eliminate painful gums as well as enhance your oral and general health. 

#1 Use The Correct Technique to Clean Teeth

The most effective way of preventing sore gums is cleaning your teeth twice a day with the correct technique. 

Brushing too hard or using a hard brush can create sore gums. However, not manually brushing plaque away can lead to periodontal disease and infections resulting in sore gums and sometimes tooth loss. It’s a balancing act.

To prevent sore gums it’s recommended that you 

  • Use a soft and small-headed toothbrush to prevent gum damage
  • Use an electric toothbrush as they
    • often have a sensor that alerts you if you’re pressing on too hard and damaging the gums 
    • are more effective at removing plaque than manual brushing 
  • Brush twice a day to manually brush the plaque away.

#2 Clean the Interdental Spaces with Good Technique

It’s hard for a toothbrush to clean between the teeth or under the gum line. To clean these interdental spaces you can use 

  • A single tufted toothbrush like our revolutionary Gum Pocket Brush
  • Interdental brushes – Plaque is very sticky so if using interdental brushes it’s recommended that you move the brush backwards and forwards 8-10 times between each tooth. 
  • Floss – is useful if there are small gaps between the teeth and no evidence of periodontal disease
  • Water flosser – these devices can allow you to easily remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria that get stuck in hard-to-reach places. 

Many people find using a combination of these aids works well for them. However, if you use the wrong technique you can make the gums sore. Carefully clean between the teeth to avoid damaging the gums. 

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#3 Don’t Rinse Fluoride Away

If you use fluoride toothpaste (it’s one of the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay) spit the toothpaste out after brushing but don’t rinse it away with water or mouthwash. The residue left in your mouth helps remineralise your teeth preventing cavities (holes). It also helps prevent bacterial growth and microbes from sticking to the teeth – this helps prevent gum diseases.

#4 Stop Smoking

Smoking is an important cause of severe gum disease for several reasons. Smoking

  • impairs blood flow to the gums which may affect wound healing and hides the signs of gum disease
  • creates a dry mouth which is an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and there is also a lack of saliva to wash bacteria and food debris away
  • interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells

All these factors make the build-up of bacterial plaque more likely, which triggers gum disease and sore gums.

#5 Control Diabetes

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing gum disease. This is because poorly managed blood sugar levels can  (1)

  • cause damage to blood vessels in the gums which reduces the supply of oxygen to the gums, making infections of the gums and bones more likely 
  • result in glucose levels in saliva rising which helps create a breeding ground for bacteria, increasing the risk of gum disease and dental decay.
  • Make your diabetes worse – gum inflammation allows inflammatory markers to escape into the bloodstream that upsets the body’s defense system which in turn affects blood sugar control

Controlling your sugar levels can help prevent periodontal disease and thus sore gums and also help control your diabetes. 

#6 Consume Sugar Less Frequently

We often hear that we need to cut refined sugars to help prevent tooth decay but reducing the amount and how often we consume free sugars each day can also help prevent periodontal diseases and sore gums.

Bacteria thrive when there’s sugar around, helping the colony to grow and increase the production of bacterial byproducts such as endotoxins and enzymes that irritate the gums leading to gum disease.

Reducing how often we consume sugar helps to deprive the bacteria of a food source and the ability to thrive. 

#7 Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods

Keeping your gums healthy isn’t just about avoiding certain foods, it’s also about what you eat. Calcium as well as vitamins like vitamins C and D are essential to keeping the gums healthy.

Calcium and Vitamin D

  • Work together to keep teeth and bones strong
  • Spend 15-20 minutes in the sunshine every day – uncover your arms and legs to get your daily dose naturally and for free. To protect the skin from skin cancer, short bursts are better than long exposure (2)
  • Find these nutrients in yogurt, milk, cheese, kale, broccoli, wild salmon, herring, and egg yolk.

Vitamin C 

  • It helps strengthen blood vessels and the connective tissue that helps hold your teeth in place
  • Is a powerful antioxidant – it can help to reduce inflammation involved in gingivitis and periodontitis
  • Is found in strawberries, pineapple, oranges, lemons, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kidney beans and other foods.

#8 Sip Water Throughout the Day

Not only does drinking water prevent dehydration (which can cause unclear thinking, mood change, heat exhaustion, constipation and kidney stones) it also helps reduce plaque build-up and the development of tartar by

  • hydrating the mouth which makes it less hospitable for bacteria that cause decay and periodontal disease
  • washing away bacteria, food debris and sugars from the teeth
  • diluting acids that cause decay
  • ensuring that saliva is produced at an optimal rate preventing dry mouth. As saliva helps to wash the bacteria away having sufficient is ideal.

#9 Reduce Stress

Stress can make it more difficult for you to look after yourself and you might be more likely to participate in habits such as smoking and forgetting to clean your teeth properly. Stress also makes it harder for your body to fight infection. Taking simple measures like walking around the block or having a bit of time to yourself can help reduce stress and the risk of sore gums. 

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Do Sore Gums Go Away?

The good news is that sore gums do go away, but how you get rid of the soreness will depend on the cause. 

Periodontal Disease

Incorporating all of the remedies above will help stop the progression of periodontal disease, allowing the gums to heal and recover and any soreness will go away. 

It may also be necessary to seek help from dental experts for gum health treatments so plaque bacteria attached to the roots and hidden in deep periodontal pockets can be cleaned away before the gums can heal properly. 


Once your gums have healed the soreness will go away. In addition to the above home remedies, some over-the-counter medicines may be required depending on the cause.

Poor Brushing Technique

If you’ve been brushing too hard or damaging gums when cleaning the interdental spaces using the correct technique and taking care will allow the gums to heal. They will become less sensitive as soon as they have recovered. 

Hormone Surges

If the cause is due to hormone surges during puberty, pregnancy and menopause keeping on top of your oral health can help reduce plaque bacteria and the risk of gum disease. To help keep the hormone surges in check may help prevent sore, sensitive gums associated with these surges. You can prevent surges by

  • Getting enough sleep 
  • Managing stress
  • Exercising
  • Avoiding sugars 
  • Eating a healthy diet containing healthy fats, fish and fiber.


Sore gums can be uncomfortable and prevent you from eating and drinking what you want. However, sore gums can be prevented with some simple and affordable home remedies mentioned above. 

The single most important of these is keeping the gums free of plaque bacteria with good oral hygiene, brushing the teeth twice a day using the correct technique.

If you have sore gums caused by gum diseases you can find out more about how to cure gum diseases at home here.


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  1. Diabetes and Gum Disease
  2. Nice.org
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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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