Natural Cures: Receding Gums and Gum Disease

| Modified: Jul 08, 2020
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Stop receding gums with natural remedies and save your smile! Fight gum disease and gingivitis with herbal remedies and the correct brushing techniques.  Learn about what home remedies have been used successfully by Earth Clinic readers.  Bill and Ted, two of our most knowledgeable and valued contributors, offer much insight on this problem that benefits all of us.  Check out their posts on receding gums.

What Causes Gingivitis and Periodontal Gum Disease?

Poor dental hygiene can lead to periodontitis, which is a gum infection that can break down both gum tissue and bone in the mouth, receding the gum line and causing tooth looseness and loss. With daily brushing, flossing, and regular checkups with your dentist plus the help of some natural home remedies, you can drastically decrease the chance of developing gingivitis and gum disease.

Normally gums are pale pink and firm, but if they're turning dark red and bleed it is time to visit a dentist. Signs and symptoms of gum disease are swollen, red, or bleeding gums that can be sensitive to touch, bad breath, pus between the teeth and gums, bad tastes in the mouth, loose teeth, and even the appearance of longer teeth as the gums recede.

Natural Remedies for Receding Gums

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling with coconut oil, sesame oil or olive oil can be very effective for improving dental health. Adding one drop of oregano oil or tea tree oil to the base oil you choose for oil pulling can give you another weapon against disease-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Bee Propolis

Bees make propolis to glue their hives together.  It has been proven to have both antibiotic and antiseptic properties.  Some believe that bee propolis is also an antiviral and anti-inflammatory.  When gargled or sprayed into the mouth, it is excellent to cure irritations and infections, as well as being a good treatment for canker sores and sore throats.  However, anyone allergic to bee stings should not use bee propolis. Find discussion about this supplement on this page.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an amazing natural remedy with a multitude of uses. It contains no dangerous chemicals, consisting only of water and oxygen. This germicidal agent oxidizes disease organisms and kills them! Hydrogen peroxide is a very safe, effective natural sanitizer. In fact, our bodies make hydrogen peroxide to defend against viruses, bacteria, parasites, yeast and toxins.  3% Hydrogen peroxide makes an effective mouthwash and can be used with baking soda as a toothpaste.  As well as fighting germs and infections, it will leave teeth whiter when used regularly!

Vitamin C

Vitamin C supports the immune system and is an effective antioxidant.  For dental problems, use calcium ascorbate - a form of Vitamin C that will not sting when applied to sore gums. It is available as a powder; simply spread on the gums and rinse after a few minutes. Success in curing receding gums has also been reported by taking Vitamin C supplements.

Dietary Changes for Oral Health

What you eat or do not has a profound effect on your dental health. Consuming a lot of sugar and processed foods will create an environment in your mouth that is ripe for bacteria and infection, even if you brush your teeth afterwards. The more sugar and processed foods you consume, the less you will consume of health promoting foods, which are important for strong bones and teeth. Adequate vitamins and minerals taken through a whole foods diet will promote good oral health. If you have poor dental health, you may also be experiencing health problems. Juicing is one way to increase the nutrients that you take in. A variety of unprocessed whole foods is another.

pH and Oral Heath

A poor diet will usually leave your body acidic, and ripe for disease, including dental disease and problems. A better quality diet will be a great help to your mouth (and overall health!) You can also improve the pH in your mouth by brushing with baking soda. Baking soda has been used for generations to clean teeth simply and inexpensively.

Oral Hygiene Products

Unfortunately, many of the products sold for oral care are counterproductive. Toothpastes with SLS (sodium laureth sulfate) and fluoride cause more harm than good. Many mouthwashes contain chemicals, food dyes and artificial sweeteners that you would do well to avoid. Try brushing with a natural toothpaste, baking soda, or make your own tooth powder. Use hydrogen peroxide to rinse your mouth instead of mouthwash.

Let us know what you try to remedy your dental health. If you know of a cure that isn't listed here yet, don't hesitate to share it with us.

Apple Cider vinegar

Posted by Lillian (Shasta, California) on 01/07/2018
0 out of 5 stars

I used (rinsed with) apple cider vinegar yesterday in the hopes that it would help with what might be a tooth infection. In my ignorance, I brushed my teeth (with electric toothbrush) right after using the vinegar. As I brushed, I thought that I had somehow broken all of my teeth and all the nerves were firing and the pain was excruciating! Side note: I have a mouth full of receding gums. I have been in excruciating pain every since. Does anyone know of anything that might help?

Replied by Marnie
Madera, Ca

Try rinsing with baking soda dissolved in water. Do this before and after you brush.

I would recommend also getting some black walnut green hulls tincture to restore enamel and eliminate sensitivity. Add 2 full droppers (2 droppers-full) of the tincture to a quarter cup of water. Rinse for a minute or more, and then SWALLOW the mixture. Do this three times per day until you have no more sensitivity.

If you want to disinfect the mouth/ teeth/ gums, 4-5 drops of 5% Lugols iodine (or 10-15 drops 2%) in a small cup of water is an excellent mouthwash. You can spit this out after rinsing for a couple of minutes. Your body will have absorbed the iodine anyway.

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Lillian, try rinsing with water and baking soda every few hours.

Replied by Lillian
Shasta, California

Thank you. I have been using baking soda. I will try the black walnut green hulls tincture.

Replied by Charity
Faithville, Us

Receding gums are from a deficiency and many things could help I had three bad ones and used msm and it helped two of them but not the third one. Msm depletes vitamin c and molybdenum and boron or borax so balance is required with some study on minerals. Phytic acid on grains and sprouts causes malnutrition of minerals and dental failure. Lack of healthy gut enzymes also causes mineral imbalances ... I use kefir.

Finally, Alpha lipoic acid relieves dental pain ...

Hope you find the right balance.

Naperville, Il

Hello, can you please tell how did you use MSM?

Replied by Smiggy

You can't use Apple Cider Vinegar for such thing. U wash your mouth with salt water and water or if you have infection or inflammation, you can drink some colloidal silver or spray some onto the teeth or gum.

Apple cider vinegar is acidic and its best to take it during the day and not at night unless you thoroughly rid the mouth of the residue.

Replied by Melissa

Does the iodine cause your teeth to stain?

Replied by Anna W.


I alternate iodine and DMSO/Turpentine mouth rinses daily with no side effects. I had to have a major bone infection removed a month ago and am super paranoid about cleaning my teeth and mouth. I also do oil pulling with VCO every other day now, and add Oregano oil once a week. So far so good. No new infections and my mouth does feel clean.

Replied by Charity
Faithville, Us

Msm is a Sulphonylmethane our body gets low on as we age .When we add msm our body also needs vitamins c for collagen production while it upgrades. You can buy it as tablets capsules or powder . I have used all three . I have used a boatload of stuff trying to heal my mouth. Currently I am using comfrey which can restore your cells, bones, skin, and teeth. I rubbed some leaf on my fingernails for half an hour and the lines in them started to smooth out .I put some leaf on a dark spot on my face and it turned dry and red and now it's forming new skin, no brown spot. At first it seems to make things look worse then the resurrection power moves. It can heal a twenty year old bone injury . This is my second year of experimenting with it and I have more plants to utilize. It helps eyes heal. I read that race horses ate 40 pounds of it a day.

Replied by Catherine

How do you use turpentine as a supplement? This is the first I have ever heard of that...

Replied by Marcin
Toronto, Canada

Bill, thank you for always providing reliable information on turpentine and other remedies. It is so aggravating and sad that such great natural cures are discredited by the mainstream medicinal practice and believed by many to be nothing more than placebo or wishful thinking, and in the worst case, a poison.

Replied by Tara

My husband has really bad gum recession in his mid 20s and I was freiking out about it. His dental hygenist said he couldn't regrow it... That it isn't possible. Well, his mom was an herbalist guru and she used 2 or 3 items (unfortunately the only one I remember was large doses of folic acid) and his gums completely regrew. His dental hygienist was flabbergasted! I was amazed. So, I know it's possible. Don't give up hope. Just try things out till you find answers. Good luck to you.

Replied by Prioris
Fort Pierce, Fl, Usa

I think small molecule Hyaluronic Acid will help the gums regrow. Use a formula with collagen and chondroitin.

Replied by Serena
Az, Usa

Thanks so much for the idea of folic acid (with proof! ) and the hope! Are your husband's gums still good?

Chicago, Illinois
3 posts

I too would like to know if folic acid really works because my daughter is going through the same problem, hope she replies.

Mouth Breathing

Posted by Sunshine (Dublin, Ireland) on 04/10/2017

I have receding gums for years now. I am not too sure why it started in the first place, but they would get better and then worse again. I am 35. I am doing oil pulling with sesame or coconut oil + drop of oregano oil regularly, try and maintain good oral hygiene. regular visits to dentist, started taking vitamins and minerals. The gums improved a little, but I would expect them to get better after all that I've been doing. So only yesterday I came across an article about mouth breathing and it's negative effects on oral health. And I am definitely a mouth breather when I sleep and I have a gut feeling that this is what's stopping my gums from healing. Plus I breathe mostly through my mouth when walking for 2 hours almost every day. I am going to try and retrain myself breath through my nose and hope for some improvement. I tried breathing only through my nose when walking today and I must say it does take some effort. Hopefully this could be of some help for someone out there having gum issues.

Replied by Sara
Devon U.k.

Butekyo breathing is all about breathing through your nose, the exercises are brilliant to help retrain your breathing and with an added bonus of being really calming.

Multiple Remedies

Posted by Cheryl (Cooroy, Queensland. Aust.) on 12/02/2015
5 out of 5 stars

After everything I have been through and all my research, I believe the reason we all get gum disease and periodontitis is bacteria or fungus which ends up in our gums. It could be coming from decay in the teeth to start with and let me tell you, you cannot take notice of a dentist if they say you have no decay, it took me 3 dentists and an oral pathologist later to find out that I DID have decay in a crowned tooth which I had for 25 years. I was told by 2 dentists and an oral pathologist that there was NO DECAY UNDER THAT CROWNED TOOTH! There was as it turned out, that bad that the tooth had to be removed.

Straight away my health got better, not 100% but much better. I am now in the process of making sure I get rid of any other decay in remaining teeth, then maybe hopefully all the parasites and bacteria and fungi will be gone and hopefully then my gums will start to heal. If you have no decay for certain in your teeth you may need to do a parasite cleanse and get rid of them in other parts of your body, if you don't they keep traveling through the bloodstream setting up home wherever they like, even the gums. Mora therapy is a good way to diagnose and treat any kind of pathogens.

I have been coconut oil pulling with oregano, clove, thyme (they say the best for fungus) neem oil is very good and tea tree oil. Swishing with baking soda and taking internally capsules of oregano, neem, and thyme essential oils. (make sure they good quality essential oils, I use doterra)

For me taking 2 extra strength garlic capsules first thing in the a.m. with 2 heaped teas. diatomaceous earth and good 1/2 teas bentonite clay helps me heaps, then again I have been diagnosed with aspergillus, (a fungus) which I have no idea how I got, then who knows it could have also come from decay. Hope this info. helps anyone with a similar problem, all this has come from many hours of research and listening to oral health summits online.

Oil Pulling and Red Sage Tincture

Posted by Maria (Plymouth) on 05/01/2018
4 out of 5 stars

I also use coconut oil for oil pulling along with red sage tincture a few times a day to help grow the gums back. I have lost a few teeth but really don't want to lose anymore.

I was told by an ex drug addict that her dentist saved her from losing her teeth by rinsing her mouth several times a day with red sage tincture and luke warm water.

My gums are slowly growing back but I'm a smoker so that doesn't help my cause.

Replied by Ash

Drinking "100% orange juice" is almost completely unlikely to do anything beneficial for your gums and teeth. Oranges simply don't contain high enough amounts of vitamin c (ascorbic acid) to provide the body what it needs, especially in cases of vitamin c deficiency. You would literally have to consume a truck load of oranges to get the amount of vit c your body needs to sustain itself. A healthy person required AT LEAST 5,000-10,000 mgs (5-10 grams) of vitamin c per day. Yes, that's right! I said 5-10 GRAMS. Again, that's just a daily maintanence dose for a healthy person. Someone who has the flu can easily tolerate in excess of 100,000mgs of vitamin c before they reach bowel intolerance. Humanity as a whole is extremely deficient in vitamin c. So I suggest you read up on "mega-dosing with vitamin c".

Replied by Michael

Here is a good place to read up on "mega-dosing with vitamin c"

Why A Sick Body Needs So Much Vitamin C

I just ran across that site yesterday, and there are several good articles there on this subject. I have to take at least 50 grams of C a day (ascorbic acid) right now just to keep myself functional. Becoming electrosensitive 10 years ago started a downhill slide in my health such that now, besides many other supplements and remedies (thank you, Earthclinic), I need to live my life according to Vitamin C "bowel tolerance" on a daily basis.