To avoid developing gum disease, people should treat the symptoms of gingivitis as soon as they notice them. A key sign is gums that bleed regularly when they are brushed or flossed.
People can try the following home remedies to treat gingivitis:
1. Saltwater rinse
Home remedies for gingivitis include saltwater rinses, making mouthwash from natural ingredients, and oil pulling.
Salt water has disinfectant qualities and can help the body to heal. Research has shown that rinsing the mouth with a saltwater solution can relieve inflamed gums caused by gingivitis.
To use a saltwater rinse:
- pour boiling water into a glass and let it cool to lukewarm
- mix 3/4 tsp of salt into the water
- swirl the saltwater rinse around the mouth
- spit the solution out
- repeat up to three times daily
2. Homemade mouthwash
There are several types of homemade mouthwashes that people can mix to treat gingivitis. These include:
Lemongrass oil mouthwash
A 2015 study found lemongrass oil might be more effective at reducing gingivitis and the plaque that causes it than traditional mouthwash.
To make a lemongrass mouthwash, dilute 2 to 3 drops of lemongrass oil in water. Swirl around the mouth and then spit out. Repeat up to three times daily.
Aloe vera mouthwash
A 2016 study found that aloe vera was as effective as the active ingredient in traditional mouthwash at treating gingivitis symptoms.
Aloe vera juice does not need diluting and can be used on its own, so long as it is pure. Similarly to other mouthwashes, people should swirl it in the mouth and spit out then repeat up to three times daily.
Tea tree oil mouthwash
A 2014 study found that tea tree oil mouthwash can reduce the bleeding associated with gingivitis significantly.
To make tea tree oil mouthwash, a person should simply add 3 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water then use in the same way as the other homemade mouthwashes above.
Tea tree oil can interact with some medications, so it is best to speak to a doctor before using it for the first time.
A 2015 study found that the bacteria that cause plaque were significantly reduced by sage mouthwash.
To make sage mouthwash, add 2 tablespoons of fresh sage or 1 tablespoon of dried sage to boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then strain the mixture and leave to cool. Use the resulting liquid as with other homemade mouthwashes.
Guava leaf mouthwash
Studies have shown that guava leaf mouthwash can help to control plaque due to its antibacterial qualities. It may also reduce inflammation.
To make guava leaf mouthwash, people simply need to crush 6 guava leaves and add to 1 cup of boiling water. The resulting mixture should then be simmered for 15 minutes and left to cool. It can then be used, as with other homemade mouthwashes, after adding a small amount of salt.
3. Turmeric gel
Turmeric gel may help to treat gingivitis.
Turmeric is used in many home remedies as it has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. Research carried out in 2015 suggests that a gel containing turmeric can help prevent plaque and gingivitis.
Turmeric gel is available in many health food or alternative remedy shops. To use it to treat gingivitis, people should apply it to the gums and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing with water and spitting.
4. Oil pulling
Oil pulling involves swirling oil around the mouth for up to 30 minutes. It may reduce bacteria in the mouth and combat the buildup of plaque that causes gingivitis.
To try oil pulling, people should put 2 teaspoons of oil in their mouth, swirl it around for 30 minutes, and then spit it out. They should then drink a glass of water before cleaning their teeth.
As it is quite difficult to keep oil in the mouth for this length of time, people may want to try shorter lengths of time at the start.
Oils that people can use for this treatment include:
- Coconut oil: Research has found this to reduce plaque and signs of gingivitis when used for oil pulling.
- Arimedadi oil: This has been shown to prevent plaque buildup and ease gingivitis symptoms.
With consistent care, there is a good chance of reversing gingivitis. If the problem does not improve with home remedies, you should see a dentist.