Essential Oils for Gingivitis and Swollen Gums
Taking care of your teeth and gums is an integral part of supporting good health. Gingivitis can be treated using natural remedies, like essential oils, and these same oils can prevent the bacteria from returning that cause this disease. Using essential oils is a safe, low-cost way to keep your mouth healthy and protect your gums.
Gingivitis is a common gum disease that is most prevalent in adults. For most people, gingivitis is the result of plaque buildup on the teeth and along the gumline. The most common signs of gingivitis are swollen or puffy gums, tenderness of the gums, gum discoloration, bleeding gums, or bad breath that does not go away with treatment. While most gingivitis is minor and can be easily treated, if it is ignored, it can progress into a more severe form of gum disease that can destroy your oral health and require significant treatment and intervention.
Most people with gingivitis have bacteria on their teeth and gums that are causing these symptoms. Over time, the bacteria build up and irritate the gums. Over time, these conditions lead to worsening inflammation and swelling, which can cause other health problems. If you notice any of these signs, visit your dentist to have your teeth cleaned thoroughly, then use regular oral hygiene practices to prevent the recurrence of this problem.
Using Essential Oils to Treat Gingivitis
Many essential oils have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that make them perfect for treating gingivitis. There are several effective options you can use, and there are many different application methods that are effective in treating gingivitis. Among the most effective essential oils for treating gingivitis are:
- Lemongrass oil: Lemongrass essential oil is most often used to reduce inflammation, and it contains a compound called limonene, which is a powerful antibacterial.
- Peppermint oil: Peppermint naturally kills bacteria, and it will leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean. Peppermint is usually used in most toothpastes and oral hygiene products.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has been found to reduce the gum bleeding associated with gingivitis.
- Clove essential oil: Clove is a natural antimicrobial, and it has been used to treat oral infections for millennia.
Natural Mouthwash Recipes
You can create your own, natural mouthwash using common ingredients and essential oils. To apply, brush your teeth as directed, then place a small amount of mouthwash in your mouth, swishing for thirty seconds. Spit out and do not swallow. Repeat up to three times per day to treat your gingivitis.
10 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil
4 cups distilled water
In a container, add water, then essential oils. Shake well to combine, then pour a small amount into a cup for use. You can also add ale vera juice to this mixture to add more antibacterial properties.
Lemongrass Oil Mouthwash
6 drops of lemongrass essential oil
2 cups distilled water
Combine in a container, shaking well to combine. Use up to three times per day.
Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash
6 drops of tea tree oil
2 cups distilled water
Combine in a container, shaking well to combine. Use up to three times per day. It is important that you not swallow tea tree oil, even in highly diluted concentrations. If you develop a rash, burning gums, or tooth sensitivity, stop using this solution.
You can add any of the recommended essential oils to your toothpaste while brushing, as well. You can also apply clove essential oil directly to irritated or inflamed gum tissue to reduce swelling and kill bacteria.
Rahman, B., et al. (2014). Comparative antiplaque and antigingivitis effectiveness of tea tree oil mouthwash and a cetylpyridinium chloride mouthwash: A randomized controlled crossover study. Contemporary clinical dentistry. 5(4), 466–470.