Healthy Living Awaits- Real Health. Real Food. Real Living

How to Treat a Gum Infection Naturally

I just got over a pretty bad gum infection, which lasted for about a week. I still have no idea what caused the infection in the first place, but all I know is that it was very painful! 

I asked some people in the GAPS community about what things I should do and what the infection could be caused from. Everyone told me to do Oil Pulling and that I may be detoxing from my gums (sounds weird, right?). I’m not sure if that’s what it was from, since my diet has been pretty steady for 1-2 months. I haven’t added any foods or taken away, except for fruit. I’m not sure if my body would be detoxifying from taking fruit out of my diet….I guess it could be. 

I also didn’t know if it was originally a small cut from when I brushed my teeth and then got infected. There are so many possibilities! 

Since my gum was pretty badly infected, it caused one of my lymph nodes near my bottom jaw bone to get really swollen which was very uncomfortable. All of the pain was giving me a headache too, so I knew I had to try and do something fast, before the infection got any worse. I was contemplating on if I should take pictures of it, but then I thought it might be pretty gross and disturb some of you. I thought I would explain what mine looked like, incase you are trying to figure out if you have a gum infection, or not. 

My gum was very raw and had pretty deep slash marks on the gum. It was pretty strange looking. It definitely looked like I was cutting my gum up with a knife. It also got very swollen which caused some of the gum to fall between my teeth. This is probably grossing you out now, so I’ll just stop talking about what my gum looked like! 😛 Let’s get on to the natural remedies! 

Oil Pulling with coconut oil-

Swish coconut oil in your mouth for 5-10 minutes. Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-fungle, and anti-bacterial. I would have to say that this natural remedy worked the best, but with the help of all the other natural remedies that I used, it got my gum to heal very quick. 



Warm Sea Salt Water-

I gargled with warm sea salt water for two days, but then I had to stop because my gum was too raw and the salt was just eating away at it. I just did it a couple of times to try and kill some of the infection. salt-water-gargle
Hydrogen peroxide-

I also gargled with this to help kill some of the bacteria. This did not burn my mouth at all, but it did have a nasty after taste!


Lavender Oil-

I used some of this to rub onto my lymph node to try to reduce some of the inflammation. 



Green Tea-

Whatever the sickness it, a cup of warm green tea always helps! 

healthy green tea cup with tea leaves


If you are wondering if you might have a gum infection, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me with any questions that you might have, and I will do my best on trying to help you out! 🙂

This entry was published on December 8, 2012 at 1:27 PM and is filed under GAPS, Natural Remedies. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

32 thoughts on “How to Treat a Gum Infection Naturally

  1. Did you see a dentist? I’m curious what they recommended.

  2. Barb on said:

    I went to my dentist for a checkup. They took an x-ray of my jaw and said that my wisdom tooth is infected and needs to come out, and that I need to take an antibiotic (Clindamycin) for 10 days before they pull it. There is no swelling, pain, or symptoms of any kind. I contacted another dentist for a second opinion and was told that if there is a hole where infection can escape, there will be no pain, but if the hole should close, I will get swelling/pain, and that the first dentist is being proactive and preventing certain future problems. I don’t want to take the antibiotic or have a tooth pulled if it is not necessary, yet I don’t want to invite problems, either. Uncertain what to do.

    • Hi Barb,
      I just sent you an email, in response to your comment.

      • melinda haiden on said:

        I have no wisdom tooth pain, but on the bottom area where my lower wisdom tooth would come in, has a small cutt and hurts when I eat! Idk what to do, def dont want it removed because my tooth is fine.. so I just did the oil, hope it works. How many days woukd you recommend trying before turning in to a dentist?

  3. Ravenrose on said:

    So my gum has been hurting for a couple of days and I have found a small cut where it was hurting. Could honey and black tea work?

    • The honey would help some, but to really nip the pain in the bud, you should try swishing your mouth out with coconut oil, warm salt water, and peroxide. That will help with any bit of infection that you may have.
      Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions.

  4. onlywingsandfreedom on said:

    Thanks for your post. I have been experiencing some pain around 1 tooth in particular – I prefer healing via natural means. Im in Rome at the moment (usually call Australia home) so the thought if debtsl treatment in a foreign country was a bit daunting but I went to a dentist on Friday who said I had 3 big holes & 3 little holes on 1 tooth. This tooth has been sensitive for about 1.5 years. Freaked me out as got worried I’ve been eating too many green smoothies & that it happened so fast – I had a clean bill of dentist health in January.

    Any who I went to another dentist today who said its a gum infection & there are no holes, just sensitivity. He prescribed ibuprofen, mouth wash & antibiotics. I opted for ibuprofen alone (my first meds in 8 months). I have just gotten onto some coconut oil swilling. It’s interesting, my body has been craving it big time all week – I wonder if that’s why. The dentist seemed to this I may have been reacting to changes in the weather & that’s how the infection started. I’m wondering if it might be a result of Romes air quality & lifestyle factors – I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, so to speak. I’m going to another dentist tomorrow so lets see what he has to say…

    Any thoughts would be appreciative.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      I think you are on the right track. I would take the ibuprofen, limitedly for going the natural route, but if the pain starts to become really uncomfortable, go ahead and take it.
      I would definitely continue with the coconut oil pulling. It took a few days for it to completely cure my infection. I would try to do the oil pulling as frequent as possible, (every hour or so).
      In addition, you could rub a little tea tree oil on the infected area of the gum. This could also be applied several times a day.
      Warm salted water is always good to swish around your mouth, as well.
      I think you should still keep up with the dentists appointments. It’s always good to have them keep an eye on it, and also good to see if they have any useful info.

      Feel free to comment back with any other questions that you have, or any recent news from your dentists.

      Hope you heal well soon!

  5. Iram on said:

    Hi ive had my tooth removed and would yu know hw i could get my gum to heal quickly its been a week today that ive had it removed it has been infexted soni was given antibiotic to clear the infection away which was a 3day course

    • I would swish your mouth out with coconut oil a few times a day. Also, to make sure that your gum doesn’t get infected, rub some tea tree oil on it. It may have a slight numbing effect, but that’s normal.
      It’s best to just try and do everything that you can do to keep that area clean, for fast healing. Try chewing your food on the other side, and make sure not much touches the area.
      Hope that helps. Please let me know if you have anymore questions or concerns.

  6. Victoria on said:

    Alright your info seems very useful, my gums sound like what u had described. Its my bottom gums around my front teeth, they seem to be very irritated and puffy in the front and back (which is quite an aggravating feeling) i was wondering in what order did u use these things and how often a day?

  7. For no reason at all I found that one of my teeth was kind of lose and now I have noticed a red line going up into the gums from between the slightly lose tooth and the one next to it. I just started tonight using a new water pik and into the water I put peroxide, salt and tea tree oil and then worked my gums with the solution, I notice since I did this that the area with the red line feels weird so we’ll see what tomorrow brings when I use the same solution mixture.

  8. Hi I came across your website and I though I would send a comment,at the moment I have a gum infection,I dont know how serious it is,its mainly swollen around two of my teeth and over the one tooth (which is the canine) it has a slight bit of purple,4 days ago I started flossing properly and brushing my teeth twice a days as well as rinsing my mouth out with a disgusting antiseptic povidone mouthwash 3 times a day and rinsing my mouth out with warm salt water 3 times a days,do you think all this that I have done will fix my problem eventually?im really worried on losing any teeth and im only 21 years old!

    • Sorry on getting back with you so late. I’m in the middle of a blog move.
      Anyway, I would give oil pulling a try for sure. You can use either use coconut oil or olive oil. It will help pull out any bacteria/infection that may be in the gum.
      Also, I’d try swishing your mouth out with peroxide and try rubbing course sea salt directly onto your gum.

      Please feel free to let me know if you have any further issues with your gum. Try not to worry too much. I know it is a freaky process though, being that I’ve gone through it myself. If you are still very concerned about your gum, have your Dentist keep an eye on it.

      Good luck!

  9. Rasheeda on said:

    I woke up this morning with the left side of my cheek swollen, and I wasn’t sure if it was something I ate or what…… I been gargling with warm salt water, Listerine, and using ice but the pain only goes away for a little bit ….. When I used peroxide it burned and I think made it hurt more…… And I think the swelling is getting bigger…… What should I do?

    • I’m not sure if you have had any problems with the listerene, but I know that caused a lot of burning for me. Keep an eye out to see when the burning occurs.
      I would definitely give oil pulling a try. I know that pulls whatever bacteria/infection out of the gum, that you may have. You could either use coconut oil or olive oil. You could also try rubing course sea salt directly on the gum area and leave it for a couple of minutes and then rinse it out with warm water.

      Hope some of this helped. If you have any more questions of concerns, please feel free to let me know. 🙂

      • Rasheeda on said:

        I will give the Oil Pulling a try; I was wondering where can I find Coconut Oil? The Listerine didn’t burn it actually helped it feel a little better. The Burning sensatioin would happen I guess after the numbing of the ice would wear off. I did the warm salt water a couple of hours ago and it has really helped cause it doesn’t really hurt anymore nor does it feels as swollen. Idk if it was what I ate or just the inflammation. But the area on my left side in the back the last tooth on the bottom the gum area right around the tooth is red and looks like blood, but it’s not bleeding……

      • Not sure where you live, but every health store carries it and most supermarkets.
        As for online shopping, Amazon, Vitacost, iherb, ect. are a couple places that carry it as well. The oil pulling should also calm the gum area.
        Yes, it could have been that it was just punctured by something you ate or something acidic that you drank. If you have been eating a lot of fruit or drinking a lot of juices, that could also cause some wearing of the gum. Another possibility could be that it was just scraped by your toothbrush. I believe that is what happened in my case.

        Glad that your gum is feeling a little better. 🙂 Wishing you well on your recovery. Again, any follow up questions or concerns that you may have, don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂

  10. My viral tooth infection lasts 6 months on and off. Antibiotics didn’t help a bit. I bought a gum tonic on advice of a health practitioner. It is based on golden seal. It helps for some time. But i’ll try sea salt and peroxide. Many thanks for your advice.

  11. My tooth started hurting and was sensitive and would go numb so I went to the dentist who did an x-ray and said everything was fine. My tooth was still hurting weeks later and my gum was swollen probably because I was eating on that side and also because I didn’t realise it was cut when I flossed my teeth so I went back and she checked my tooth and said she didn’t see any decay or anything but put some antiseptic gel on it. I have tried rinsing with salt water, antibacterial mouthwash and toothpaste, garlic, antibiotics, gum gel, corsodyl mouthwash and other mouthwashes but gum is still swollen but tooth doesn’t hurt anymore but still feels a little tender and I seem to be getting frequent sore throats probably because of the swollen gum. What else can I do?

    • Ouch! Sorry to hear about your gum issue. Those are sure a pain!
      I recommend giving the oil pulling a try. You can either use coconut oil (recommended), or Extra Virgin Olive Oil will work just fine too.
      The oil pulling will help pull out whatever infection that may be in your gum and will also help with the inflammation. The oil will provide a sort of calming effect to the gum too, whereas the toothpaste, mouthwashes, and gels, may have some burning or irritation side effects.
      Hope this helps! If you have anymore questions or concerns, please let me know. I’m happy to help you with whatever I can.
      Have a great week!

  12. Thanks for the info. I have started doing the oil pulling thing using extra virgin olive oil, as I had this at home already. My tooth did feel a bit weird after doing it, not sure if this happened to you as well. My problem is my gum occasionally feels irritated and it can be annoying not because of the oil pulling, just generally even when I haven’t eaten anything or drunk anything. I eat on the other side and have done so for a few weeks now and use a straw when drinking any sweet drinks, don’t think the cut seems to be healing though despite trying not to let anything touch it. I will continue doing the oil pulling but not sure if it will work for me, as my infection has been there for about 2 months I think, which is why the tooth would hurt. It doesn’t hurt anymore but the gum is irritated.
    I wanted to know, how did you do the oil pulling, I have looked online and 1 woman was saying to swish the oil for 10-15 mins and then swishing with salt water after and then brushing your teeth and scraping your tongue and she said to do it first thing in the morning. She also said it’s good for aches and pains. If you have a different way of doing it, please do let me know. I have been doing it at night and occasionally in the afternoon, don’t have time in the morning.

    • A lot of people do swish the oil for 10-15 minutes, but I did it for 3-5 minutes. Mainly because I couldn’t hold it in my mouth for that amount of time. The time really all depends on how long you’d like to hold it in there, but I’d at least hold it for 3 minutes.
      You can also try Tea Tree Oil. You just apply some to your finger, and dab it onto your gum. It’s very normal to feel a little tingling or numbness after applying the oil.
      You could also try applying sea salt or kosher salt directly on the infected area of the gum, without diluting it with any water.
      Please let me know if you have anymore questions. I hope some of this info was helpful to you.

  13. Thanks once again. I know what you mean about the oil. I did it with sunflower oil because I heard you could do it with that as well and it was hard keeping it in my mouth for 10-15 minutes but I still managed to do it once, I didn’t do it again after that. Extra virgin olive oil is a bit more tastier and as I have been using that in my food for many years now, oil pulling with that hasn’t been so bad. I try to do it for as long as I can.
    With regards to the tea tree oil, I have been using a mouthwash with tea tree oil in it as well as clove oil and other natural ingredients without fluoride and SLS and so on and it helped a bit but made my tooth feel numb where the gum infection was. I was also using the same brand toothpaste, which again made my tooth feel numb. I don’t really use it at the moment because it didn’t help the swelling go down, not sure if I should go back to using it or not.
    I try to use salt water when I can but have been a bit lazy because again it hasn’t make the swelling go down but usually try to do it at least once a day, as if I don’t, I find my gum feels irritated. This is probably because I have a habit of touching it with my tongue and I can feel the slight pain of the cut but can’t help it.
    I’m not sure if I’ll like green tea but I do drink peppermint tea and chamomile tea.
    I wanted to ask, how many times a day did you do the oil pulling for?
    Do you think eating certain foods could hinder the infection from getting better?
    With regards to lavender oil for the lymph nodes, can that be applied directly to the skin, as I have some at home but wasn’t sure if it would burn the skin if applied directly?

    • The numbing is completely normal when using anything that contains Tea Tree Oil.
      I know it’s difficult, but try not to have anything touch the infected/irritated gum area, (including your tongue).
      Any tea will do. It’s mainly the warmth of the tea that will help with calming the gum.

      I did the oil pulling for about 3-4 days, but that’s because my gum healed pretty quickly. Your gum may take some more time. I would keep continuing with the oil-pulling, if you can. It won’t harm you in anyway; it will only benefit you, if anything.
      I’d definitely stay away from anything sweet or harder foods, like pretzels, crackers, hard breads, ect. You don’t want to eat anything that may potentially scrape or rub against your gum. Soups, smoothies, and anything else softer is the way to go.
      As for the oil, it will have to say it’s a food grade oil and can be ingested. I’d recommend using safe Tea Tree Oil instead, if you can get a hold of that.
      Let me know if you have anymore questions or concerns. I know how hard it is to find info on this subject.

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  15. Hey man I have a small white cut under my 2nd lower right molar. Its very small and white. It hurts my jawline which is what led me to believe its an abcess but watching all the videos and seeing all the pictures it doesn’t look like it at all. I did the salt and water and hydrogen peroxide thing but hasn’t worked only did it for two days though. If you know what else I could do or possibly know what it is and could help me out a little of very much appreciate it. Thanks .

  16. Lauren on said:

    I just recently started oil pulling with coconut oil to heal my receding gums. A few days in, the coconut oil had worked wonders with my inflamed and irritated gums. Everything was going absolutely great. Then, out of the blue, I got a really sore, red spot spanning the gum line of about two teeth. Alright, I thought. I’ll just brush gently and floss slowly and gently around there. My flossing caused the gums to bleed, which was unusual because bleeding hasn’t been a problem since I started oil pulling. I gargled with hydrogen peroxide and Listerine naturals. Whoa, did that sting! I thought I was doing good for my gums. Then, the next morning the look of my gums had completely changed. Instead of being red and inflamed, it looking like someone had carved a thin red scratch across the gum line and surrounding skin was either a very, very pale pink or whitish grey. I couldn’t really tell the exact color, but basically, very pale in comparison. Is this what a healing gum looks like? Or is the tissue dying? Do I continue to brush or do I leave it alone? And it is right on the gum line surrounding my tooth, which worries me because I have issues with receding gums.

    • The grey/paleness isn’t a sign that it is healing; It is still a sign of infection. Don’t brush or floss that area for a couple of days. Continue with the oil pulling and washing mouth out with peroxide.
      Be cautious of any toothpaste that has sodium bicarbonate (A.K.A – Baking soda) because that can cause you to get a yeast infection, since you have that opened wound there.

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