Swollen gums, while often overlooked, can be a distressing and uncomfortable experience. Whether caused by poor oral hygiene, hormonal changes, or underlying health issues, swollen gums can lead to pain, sensitivity, and difficulty eating or speaking.

While professional dental care is essential for addressing the root cause of swollen gums, several effective home remedies can provide relief and promote healing. In this blog, we’ll explore a variety of home remedies for swollen gums. From herbal rinses to dietary adjustments, these remedies offer gentle and effective ways to soothe swollen gums and restore oral health.

Causes of Swollen Gums

  • Swollen gums, often a sign of gum disease or gingivitis, can be caused by various factors. Poor oral hygiene, including inadequate brushing and flossing, allows plaque buildup along the gumline, leading to inflammation.
  •  Hormonal changes during pregnancy or puberty may also contribute. 
  • Other factors, such as smoking, certain medications, and nutritional deficiencies, can exacerbate gum swelling. 
  • In some cases, swollen gums may indicate an underlying health condition like diabetes or an immune system disorder.

Seeking prompt dental care and addressing the underlying cause is crucial for managing swollen gums and maintaining oral health.

Symptoms of Swollen Gums

The common Symptoms of swollen gums may include:

1. Redness

One of the primary symptoms of swollen gums is redness or inflammation along the gum line. Healthy gums should appear pink and firm, but when they become swollen, they may appear redder than usual. The redness is often accompanied by other signs of inflammation, such as tenderness and swelling, indicating an underlying issue that requires attention.

2. Tenderness

Swollen gums are often tender to the touch and may feel sore or sensitive, especially when brushing, flossing, or eating. The tenderness is caused by inflammation of the gum tissue, which can make everyday activities such as chewing or brushing uncomfortable. Persistent tenderness in the gums should prompt individuals to seek dental evaluation to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

3. Swelling

Gum swelling is a hallmark symptom of gingival inflammation and is commonly observed in individuals with swollen gums. The swelling may be localized to specific areas or affect the entire gum line, depending on the underlying cause. In severe cases, the swelling may be visibly pronounced, leading to discomfort and difficulty with oral hygiene practices.

4. Bleeding

Bleeding gums, particularly during brushing, flossing, or eating, are another common symptom of swollen gums. The bleeding may range from minor spotting to more significant amounts, depending on the severity of the inflammation. Bleeding gums can indicate gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, or other oral health issues requiring prompt dentist attention.

5. Pain

Swollen gums can cause varying degrees of pain or discomfort, ranging from mild to severe. Individuals may experience pain when applying pressure to the gums, chewing hard or crunchy foods, or consuming hot or cold beverages. Persistent or worsening pain in the gums should be evaluated by a dental professional to identify the underlying cause and alleviate discomfort.

Pain

6. Bad Breath

Halitosis, or bad breath, is a common symptom associated with swollen gums and gum disease. The inflammation and bacteria present in the gums can contribute to unpleasant breath odor, even with regular brushing and mouthwash use. Addressing the underlying cause of swollen gums, such as poor oral hygiene or gum disease, can help improve bad breath and promote better oral health.

7. Receding Gums

In advanced cases of gum disease or long-term gingival inflammation, the gums may begin to recede or pull away from the teeth, exposing the tooth roots. Receding gums not only affect the appearance of the smile but also increase the risk of tooth decay, sensitivity, and tooth loss. Individuals with receding gums should seek dental evaluation and treatment to prevent further damage and restore gum health.

The home care treatment for gum swelling

If you’ve noticed that your gums are swollen, try the following home care steps: If you’ve noticed that your gums are swollen, try the following home care steps:

  • Brush at least twice and floss regularly. Most puffy gums are linked to gingivitis, so practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to fight plaque buildup.
  • Check that your toothpaste (or mouthwash) is not causing more soreness to your gums. If the incriminating nature of your oral hygiene products has been hitting your gums quite hard, try using another brand.
  • Avoid tobacco products. Tobacco chewing can lead to a soreness of the gums as well as other health problems.
  • Do not consume anything alcoholic for the time being, as it may aggravate the problem of irritation in your gums even further.
  • Add extra fruits and veggies to your daily meals to titrate your vitamin content.
  • Do not eat anything like pop, making holding the food in your mouth difficult.
  • The intake of sweetened drinks and food is to be avoided.

Medical Treatment for Swollen Gums

Medical treatment for swollen gums may vary depending on the underlying cause and severity. Here are some standard treatment options:

1. Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, is a cornerstone of preventive dental care and can help alleviate swollen gums. During a dental cleaning, a dental hygienist uses specialized instruments to remove plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and along the gum line. This thorough cleaning helps reduce inflammation and bacterial accumulation, promoting healthier gums and preventing gum disease.

2. Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing are non-surgical procedures used to treat gum disease and alleviate swollen gums. Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar deposits from above and below the gum line, while root planing smoothes the tooth roots to prevent bacterial accumulation and promote gum reattachment. This deep cleaning procedure helps reduce inflammation, prevent gum recession, and restore health.

3. Antibacterial Mouthwash

Antibacterial mouthwash, also known as antimicrobial mouthwash, can help reduce oral bacteria and inflammation associated with swollen gums. Mouthwashes containing ingredients such as chlorhexidine or essential oils have been shown to effectively kill oral bacteria and promote gum health when used as part of a comprehensive oral hygiene routine. Regular use of antibacterial mouthwash can help prevent gum disease and maintain optimal oral health.

Antibacterial Mouthwash

4. Prescription Medications

A dentist may prescribe medications to manage symptoms and promote healing in severe gum inflammation or gum disease cases. Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat bacterial infections associated with swollen gums, while anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids or NSAIDs may be used to reduce inflammation and discomfort. Prescription-strength mouthwashes or gels containing antimicrobial agents may also be recommended to target oral bacteria and promote gum health.

5. Periodontal Therapy

Periodontal therapy encompasses various treatments to manage gum disease and promote gum health. In addition to scaling and root planing, periodontal therapy may include procedures such as gum grafting, pocket reduction surgery, or laser therapy to address advanced gum disease and restore gum tissue. Periodontal therapy aims to stabilize the gum condition, prevent further gum recession, and promote long-term oral health.

6. Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride treatment may be recommended as part of a comprehensive approach to managing swollen gums and preventing tooth decay. Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and protect against acid erosion, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. Professional fluoride treatments, such as fluoride varnish or fluoride gel application, can be applied during a dental visit to provide additional protection for the teeth and gums.

7. Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment may be recommended to address underlying issues contributing to swollen gums, such as malocclusion or crowded teeth. Misaligned teeth can create areas where plaque and bacteria accumulate, leading to gum inflammation and gum disease. Orthodontic interventions such as braces or clear aligners can help straighten the teeth, improve bite alignment, and facilitate better oral hygiene, reducing the risk of swollen gums and other dental problems.

8. Lifestyle Modifications

Certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking, poor nutrition, and stress, can contribute to gum inflammation and gum disease. Quitting smoking, adopting a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and practicing stress-reduction techniques can help improve gum health and reduce the risk of swollen gums. Lifestyle modifications are crucial in maintaining overall oral health and preventing dental problems.

9. Nutritional Counseling

Nutritional counseling can guide dietary choices supporting gum health and oral well-being. A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, can help strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, and promote gum healing. Incorporating foods such as leafy greens, citrus fruits, nuts, and fish into your diet can help support gum health and prevent swollen gums. Your dentist or dental hygienist may provide nutritional counseling to help you make dietary choices that support gum health and reduce inflammation.

10. Regular Dental Checkups

Regular dental checkups are essential for monitoring gum health, detecting early signs of gum disease, and preventing complications. During a dental exam, a dentist will evaluate the health of your gums, perform a thorough cleaning, and discuss any concerns or symptoms you may have. Routine dental visits every six months or as your dentist recommends can help maintain optimal oral health and prevent swollen gums and other dental problems.

10 home remedies for swollen gums

Swollen gums can be uncomfortable and may indicate underlying dental issues. Here are ten effective home remedies to help relieve swollen gums:

1. Saltwater Rinse

A saltwater rinse is a simple and effective remedy for swollen gums. Salt has natural antibacterial properties that can help reduce inflammation and fight oral bacteria. To make a saltwater rinse, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Swish the solution around your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit it out. Repeat this process several times daily to soothe swollen gums and promote healing.

2. Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce swelling and numb the pain associated with swollen gums. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean cloth or towel and hold it against your cheek, near the swollen gums, for about 10 minutes. Repeat this process twice daily as needed to alleviate discomfort and inflammation.

3. Turmeric Paste

Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it a popular remedy for swollen gums. Mix turmeric powder with a small amount of water to form a paste. Apply the paste directly to the swollen gums and leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing with water. Repeat this process once or twice a day to help reduce inflammation and promote gum health.

 

Turmeric Paste

4. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel has soothing properties that can help alleviate inflammation and discomfort in swollen gums. Apply a small amount of pure aloe vera gel directly to the affected area and massage it gently into the gums. Leave the gel on for a few minutes before rinsing with water. Repeat this process two to three times a day for relief from swollen gums.

5. Clove Oil

Clove oil contains eugenol, a natural compound with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain and reduce swelling in swollen gums. Dilute a few drops of clove oil with carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil and apply it to the affected gums using a cotton swab. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing with water. Repeat this process up to three times a day as needed for relief.

6. Tea Bags

Tea bags contain tannic acid, which has astringent properties that can help reduce inflammation and soothe swollen gums. Steep a tea bag in hot water for a few minutes, then allow it to cool slightly. Once it’s cool enough to handle, place the tea bag against the swollen gums and hold it there for about 5 minutes. Repeat this process two to three times a day for relief from swollen gums.

7. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Hydrogen peroxide has antibacterial properties that can help reduce inflammation and fight oral bacteria associated with swollen gums. Dilute hydrogen peroxide with equal water and use it as a mouthwash. Swish the solution around your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit it out. Be sure not to swallow the solution. Repeat this process once a day to help alleviate symptoms of swollen gums.

8. Honey

Honey has natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and promote healing in swollen gums. Apply a small amount of raw honey directly to the affected gums and leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing with water. Repeat this process two to three times a day for relief from swollen gums.

9. Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient practice that involves swishing oil around your mouth to improve oral health. Coconut oil is commonly used for oil pulling due to its antimicrobial properties. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it around your mouth for about 15 minutes, then spit it out. Rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth as usual. Repeat this process once a day to help reduce inflammation and promote gum health.

10. Proper Oral Hygiene

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential for preventing and alleviating swollen gums. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, paying special attention to the gum line. Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles between your teeth and the gum line. Additionally, consider using an antimicrobial mouthwash to help reduce oral bacteria and prevent gum inflammation.ll

FAQs

1. How often should I use these home remedies for swollen gums?

You can use these remedies as often as needed to alleviate discomfort. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen, you must consult a dentist for further evaluation and treatment.

2. Can I use over-the-counter pain relievers for swollen gums?

Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate pain associated with swollen gums. Follow the recommended dosage instructions and consult a healthcare professional with any concerns.

3. When should I see a dentist for swollen gums?

If your swollen gums are severe, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms such as bleeding, pus, or fever, it’s essential to seek professional dental care promptly. A dentist can diagnose the underlying cause of the swelling and recommend appropriate treatment.