10 Gingivitis Home Remedies That Actually Work
Roughly 47 percent of American adults have some form of gum disease. These home remedies may help treat gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease.
Regularly sipping on this herbal brew may help prevent gingivitis, a common form of gum disease characterized by red, swollen, and irritated gums. One study in the Journal of Periodontology found that among more than 900 subjects, those who drank just one cup of green tea a day showed a decrease in three indicators of periodontal disease. Green tea is high in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation in the body. Researchers suspect these molecules help counteract the body’s inflammatory response to bacteria in the mouth. Make sure you know the early signs of gum disease you shouldn’t ignore.
Hydrogen peroxidetong patong/Shutterstock
Swishing with hydrogen peroxide, a powerful antiseptic with antibacterial properties, may help kill bacteria in the mouth that could lead to gum disease, according to Steven Horne, DDS, a dentist in Encinitas, California. Just be sure not to swallow it; a small amount likely won’t harm you, ingesting large amounts of it can be dangerous.
Turmeric pasteKathryn Roach/Shutterstock
This spice, typically used in curry dishes, is becoming increasingly recognized for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. Plus, one study by researchers at Punjab University in India found that applying a paste made of one teaspoon of turmeric, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of mustard oil provides relief from gingivitis when rubbed onto gums and teeth twice daily.
Sage mouthwashnatalia bulatova/Shutterstock
Gargling and swishing with a mouth rinse made of the herb sage may soothe inflamed gums, due to its anti-inflammatory compounds, according to a study by researchers at University of Vienna in Austria. Another small study found it significantly lowered the number of bacteria that cause dental plaque. Try adding two tablespoons of fresh sage or one teaspoon of dried sage to one to two cups of boiling water; simmer for up to 10 minutes, then strain and let cool.
A study in the journal PLoS One found that rinsing with salt water may help heal inflamed gums caused by gingivitis. As a natural disinfectant, it may also kill infection-causing bacteria; just don’t rinse with it every day, warns Dr. Horne, or you risk damaging your teeth. Steer clear of these 30 everyday mistakes that can ruin your teeth.
Lemongrass oilThanthima Lim/Shutterstock
A mouthwash made of lemongrass oil was found to effectively reduce levels of plaque—a contributor to and symptom of gingivitis—and considered a good alternative to traditional mouthwash, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Diagnosis and Research. Healthline.com suggests diluting two to three drops of lemongrass oil in one cup of water, then swish and spit up to three times per day.
Baking sodaMadeleine Steinbach/Shutterstock
Brushing with a paste made of baking soda (now an ingredient in some store-bought toothpastes) and water may help neutralize acids in the mouth that can contribute to gum disease, according to Dr. Horne.
Coconut oilalicja neumiler/Shutterstock
While oil pulling—the fad of swishing or rinsing with oil to support oral health—is lacking in solid scientific evidence, patients who practice it sometimes report improvement in teeth or gum health, Dr. Horne wrote on medicinenet.com.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is one of the best ways to maintain good oral health and prevent gingivitis, as well as other dental issues like cavities. Look out for these ways you’re brushing your teeth all long.
Flossing removes food particles from in between teeth, where toothbrushes can’t reach. This helps prevent plaque buildup, a precursor to gum disease. Regular dental visits are also a critical preventative step. Don’t miss these 11 more things your dentist wishes you would do for your teeth.