Gum pain is a troublesome problem that occurs for several reasons. This can be caused by something as simple as brushing too hard, canker sores, or wearing dentures, braces, or braces. For women, this may be caused by hormonal changes, pregnancy, or menopause, and can occur around the time of their period. Other times, gum pain may be a sign of a more serious oral health problem such as thrush, gingivitis, or periodontitis.

Explore these home remedies for fast gum pain relief. Also, be sure to learn the difference between when you can treat gum pain safely at home and when you should see a dentist.

What works for gum pain?

If your only symptom is gum pain, try these treatments at home:

Gargle with saltwater

Warm 1 cup of water on the stove (don’t bring it to a boil – just warm it) and pour it into a cold glass. Add 1 tsp. salt to warm water and mix well.

Gargle the mixture in your mouth, then spit it out into the sink when you’re done (don’t swallow it). The salt will help prevent bacterial growth in the mouth and reduce bacteria on the gums, which may cause swelling. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water at least twice a day until the swelling subsides.

Compress with Cold or Hot Water

Try hot or cold compresses to help reduce pain. For hot compress: Heat the water to a moderate temperature (not boiling). Soak a clean cloth in hot water, then wring out the excess.

Gently press a warm, damp cloth against your face near the area where your gum pain occurs (not directly on your gums).

For a cold compress:

Wrap the ice pack in a clean cloth and apply the same way as above. Use either method until your pain subsides, or alternate between hot and cold until the swelling and inflammation subside.

3. Herbal poultices

Certain herbs and spices can be turned into home remedies for gingivitis and pain. Clove powder and Spilanthes are both analgesic (pain reliever) ingredients. They have been used as alternative mouth pain relievers for a long time. Anti-inflammatory powders such as turmeric can also help. To use this treatment, mix the powder of your choice with a little warm water until it forms a paste.

Apply the paste directly to your gums until the pain subsides, then rinse your mouth with water. Apply as often as needed.

Shop now for clove powder, Spilanthes, and turmeric.

Homemade dental sprays

Dilute essential oils into a spray. For this treatment, use a small, clean spray bottle that has never been in any other product. Fill the bottle with water, and add about five drops of the essential oil of choice per ounce of carrier oil. Shake and spray lightly on your gums as needed.

Don’t let the essential oil touch the skin without diluting it with a carrier oil like sweet almond oil. Also, never ingest essential oils. Gargle with water afterward and spit it out. Oils like peppermint, oregano, and cloves have natural pain-relieving properties, reduce inflammation, and improve circulation.


Take a bag of fresh tea and steep it in boiling water for 5 minutes, just as you would for making tea. When the teabag is cool enough to touch, apply it directly to the sore gums for at least 5 minutes. Choose teas that are high in tannins, like black tea, green tea, or even hibiscus tea. Or choose a tea that contains anti-inflammatory herbs – ginger and chamomile are popular examples.

The anti-inflammatory herbs will be soothing, while the tannins will absorb anything that irritates the gums.

Shop now for black, green, hibiscus, ginger, or chamomile hemp.

Oral anesthetic gel

An oral medicated gel is available in the market. It contains natural and synthetic compounds that help numb and treat gum pain. Some even contain pain-relieving compounds from plants such as cloves or Spilanthes. Common over-the-counter brands include Orajel and Anbesol. Follow the instructions on the package.

Over-the-counter pain relievers

Simple common painkillers and NSAIDs, such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and ibuprofen (Advil) can help in an emergency.

If the pain is persistent and the above (or other) topical methods haven’t worked, try this option. You can use it alone or as an adjunct to topical home treatments.

To find out the dosage amount, follow the directions on the bottle label.

When to visit a doctor

Gum pain is often an isolated event that can be easily treated or eliminated.

In certain cases, gum pain can be a symptom of a larger oral health problem. See your doctor or dentist if you get gum pain:

  • persistent or intense
  • interferes with eating or sleeping
  • accompanied by other symptoms
  • Gum pain can also be a sign of other mouth problems, such as:
  • Thrush. This oral yeast infection may include gum pain as a symptom. Talk to your doctor if you have gum pain and a yellowish coating in your mouth, throat, or inside your cheeks – possibly canker sores.
  • Gingivitis. This gum disease is characterized by swollen and painful gums that bleed easily. See a dentist if you have red, swollen, bleeding, and sore gums for more than a week.
  • Periodontal disease or periodontitis. This condition follows untreated gingivitis. Visit your dentist as soon as possible if you have gum pain over the gums that are red and swollen; bleeding gums receding gums; losing teeth, and abscesses.

If you have no other symptoms besides gum pain, try to be gentle when you brush or floss your teeth. If you are a woman, pay attention to whether gum pain occurs during certain times of the month or if you are experiencing pregnancy or menopause. This natural hormonal shift often causes occasional gum pain.