spoonful of salt over glass of waterGum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss among Americans. Nearly half of the adults living in the United States have suffered from some form of this condition. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to mobility, shifting, and even tooth loss. Online, you’ll find lots of home remedies that claim to address gum disease. But do these treatments actually work? Today, our Denver dental team at Metropolitan Dental Care explores this topic.

If you have bleeding, tender, swollen gum tissue, periodontal disease could be to blame. To learn more, contact Metropolitan Dental Care at 303-534-2626.

Do Home Remedies Actually Work?

Gum disease occurs in three stages. First, the gums become red and irritated. This is referred to as gingivitis. If left untreated, infection seeps beneath the gum line and begins to erode the supporting jawbone. This stage is referred to as periodontitis. As this progresses, it develops into advanced gum disease, which can lead to mobility and tooth loss.

Let’s cut to the chase. Home remedies will not work once the process of bone loss has begun. However, if gum disease is detected early on (gingivitis), then these home treatments can help get you back on track to better oral health.

Treating Gingivitis at Home

There are several treatments that boast healing properties. In the sections below, we’ll explore some of the most common home remedies for gum disease.

Salt Water Rinse

Saltwater is a natural disinfectant. By swishing with warm salt water, you can promote healing and soothe inflamed gums. It may also reduce bad breath caused by gingivitis.


A 2015 study[1] reported that mouthwash made from lemongrass oil can be even more effective than chlorhexidine rinses. Simply dilute two to three drops of lemongrass oil in one cup of water. Swish for 30 seconds, then spit out. Repeat this process two to three times a day.

Aloe Vera

Another study conducted in 2016 found that aloe vera juice was also more effective as a mouthwash than chlorhexidine for reducing plaque and symptoms of gingivitis.[2] Ensure that the juice is 100 percent pure, then swish for 30 seconds and spit out.

Tea Tree

Tea tree oil can help reduce bleeding caused by gingivitis, according to a 2014 study.[3] Put two or three drops of tea tree oil in a cup of warm water, swish, and spit. Repeat this at least two to three times a day. Some individuals even add a drop of tea tree oil to their toothpaste.


In one 2015 study, participants were instructed to rinse with a sage mouthwash.[4] Results indicated that it significantly reduced plaque-causing bacteria. The study found that individuals could swish with the solution for up to a full minute without developing any irritation.

Make a sage mouthwash requires a little planning. First, boil 2 cups of water, then add two tablespoons of fresh sage (or one tablespoon of dried sage). Simmer for five to 10 minutes, then strain and cool. Rinse with the solution two to three times a day.

What if I Have Moderate to Advanced Gum Disease?

If gingivitis has progressed to periodontitis, the bacteria are too deep below the gums to be reached with brushing and flossing alone. Consequently, advanced disease will not respond to these home remedies. Mild to moderate periodontitis may be addressed with scaling and root planing, while advanced disease will require surgical intervention. These are the only ways to eliminate infection and promote healing.

Learn More about Gum Disease from Your Denver Dentist

Before trying any home remedy for oral health issues, talk to your doctor at Metropolitan Dental Care. Our team can help you determine which treatments are most suitable for your needs. To schedule an appointment at our Denver office, contact us by calling 303-534-2626.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4625327/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5045693/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4229754/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4676988/