Natural Cures: Receding Gums and Gum Disease

| Modified on Jun 16, 2022
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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

1 User Review

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
2 posts

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.

Diatomaceous Earth

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Teresa (Texas) on 03/05/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Diatomaceous earth taken in water daily for several weeks helped tighten receding gums. I think it is high in silica.

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.

Replied by Elaine

Keep your tongue in the roof of your mouth. It is very hard to breathe through your mouth if your tongue is in that position. Easy to do when you are walking. Not so easy during sleep...

(London, UK)

A paper tape over your mouth at night works brilliantly and helps change the habit of mouth breathing in a week or two!

Multiple Remedies

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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

1 User Review
4 star (1) 

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.

(somewhere, europe)

Good grief Michael!! Cold and snow??!! Here in these parts we're almost melting in the heat!!!

Replied by Michael
(New Zealand)

Hello Antrius of Cyprus,

I have fond memories of Cyprus in the 1960s: Famagusta etc!!

If you are experiencing difficulties sourcing Peppermint toothpaste in the future, you could do worse than to try out PROPOLIS (BTW, my spell check offered "Acropolis" - interesting in the light of where you're from! ) toothpaste as a substitute.

My wife swears by this product for dental issues. Her brand is NZ made and claims to include Calcium Carbonate "For cleaner, whiter teeth" as well as (obviously) Propolis, so if you are against abrasives OR allergic to bees or bee products, you would not want to use it.

But, it is also claiming to be Paraben and Fluoride-free and offers antimicrobial protection. It is a natural, herbal and mineral toothpaste. Other ingredients were listed on the box, which I seem to have unfortunately re-cycled!! You could try Googling those maybe?

Prior to this, she was using a well known product for "sensitive teeth" - you may know that one? However, the Propolis cuts the mustard much better she claims - a very happy Chappie. Don't be put off by the grey colour of the paste.

All the best to you and Cyprus and Greece- our thoughts are with you with those fires!

As always, it would be nice to get feedback.

Cheers from Down Under

(V. cold and heavy snowfalls in NZ to-day!! )

Salt Water

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Bas (California ) on 10/16/2019
5 out of 5 stars

I've tried several remedies and nothing was as effective as a simple daily gargle of salt water. It completely restored my gum wellness in less than a month!

Sea Salt + Baking Soda Mouthwash

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 02/21/2022
5 out of 5 stars

I have been experiencing loose teeth due to bone loss, receding gums, gingivitis. This will eventually lead to tooth loss. As an experiment, I'm trying to re-mineralize my teeth and gums and destroy the gingivitis for the past 30 days and the results are amazing.

So here is what I've been doing.

Make a natural re-mineralizing mouth wash.

Materials needed:

* Sea salt (NOT Table salt) 2 TBSP
* Baking Soda 6 TBSP
* Water 1 liter
* 1 Liter empty soda bottle


Add 2 tablespoons of sea salt and 6 tablespoons of baking soda to the empty bottle. Add water to about within 2 inches from the top and cap bottle. Now shake the bottle til salt and baking soda are completely dissolved. Your mouth rinse is now ready. I keep this bottle in the shower and use it as a mouth wash while I'm showering. Swish it between teeth for 2 minutes. Then spit it out. Do this once daily.

Next, I changed out my toothpaste for a tooth powder (Dr. Christopher Herbal Tooth and Gum). I remember reading about glycerin used in toothpaste and how it coats the teeth and prevents any absorption of any kind. “When glycerin is spread over the surface of our teeth, it leaves a film or residue which does not easily come off — it can take somewhere between two and three dozen rinsings of the mouth to completely remove it.” I think this is part of my problem with my teeth. So, I switched to an herbal tooth powder with nothing but herbs and spices in it. Results: The jaw bone and teeth are MUCH stronger. Not lose and wiggly anymore and don't move around when I push on them. Pain in my upper teeth and gums is almost gone (think god).

Overall they feel better. I will be continuing this treatment for a few more months based on the improvements I've already seen. Using a sea salt mouth rinse to aid in dental health is by no means a new practice. In fact, many ancient medical scripts refer to the use of saltwater.

There are even a few papyruses dated as far back as 16000 B.C. in which Egyptians detailed how to use their recipes to treat a variety of medical ailments. One of the most commonly used treatments seems to have been utilizing salt for its anti-infectious properties. The Ancient Egyptians were not alone in their understanding of the benefits of salt; the Greeks are another ancient civilization that had an early understanding of the anti-inflammatory benefits of using salt. The presence of salt and baking soda in your mouth increases its pH balance. The environment that results is very alkaline, and bacteria cannot survive in an alkaline environment. Bacteria is only able to thrive in an atmosphere that is very acidic. When salt is used on a regular basis, bacteria will not be healthy enough to reproduce, resulting in a healthier mouth.

Replied by Mama to Many

Wow, Rob, that is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Replied by Barb

Be certain products used have no glycerin-like ingredient to close up tooth surface. Take care of bones with sun, vit d3 and k2. Thank you for this. I'm gonna try.

Replied by Mel

VITAL MINERALS/vita-mins!! You have started on the right track. If you have bone loss then you need boron/borax and definitely sea salt, bicarbonate.... Search Earth Clinic for information on taking boron/borax as they have extensive info on this here. Boron will activate your parathyroid and help you absorb and properly distribute minerals to your body where they are needed. Take Boron to strengthen your bones and stop bone loss in it's tracks. Boron is also a strong detox, anti-fungal agent so use this wisely and liberally.

Congratulations! You have discovered the secret of Vitamins/ Vital Minerals/ vita-mins. Can you see the slight of hand the ruling elite have played on us? Minerals are vital to proper functioning of our bodies and sea salts contain an abundance of these. Get the most out of your current solution by adding boron to your regime.

Replied by Carola

Thank you! This problem began for me when I started using a mouthwash with glycerin as one of the ingredients! I would never have realized had I not read your post. Thanks so much!

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.

Turmeric + Peppermint Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sam (Miami) on 04/20/2019
5 out of 5 stars

Mix ground turmeric with coconut oil, add 1 drop of REAL (most is fake as it is so easy to make it in a lab. Never buy on Amazon) peppermint oil, put it in a teeth tray, wear for 20 min or longer at least 3 times a week. Floracopea and Young living oils are authentic.

Replied by Simon

Could you tell me the amounts for each of these? Does turmeric stain the teeth?