Young man happily looks in the mirror after using home remedies for gum pain

Home Remedies for Gum Pain

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Experiencing gum pain can raise concerns about your underlying dental health. The causes of gum pain may vary, with some being more serious than others. While professional dental care is crucial for addressing the underlying issues, numerous home remedies can offer you temporary relief from gum pain. 

Continue reading to learn more about what gum pain is, the common causes of gum pain, effective home remedies for gum pain, and when you should seek professional help.

What is Gum Pain?

Gum pain is an unpleasant sensation in the gum tissues, ranging from a dull ache to a sharp or throbbing pain. It may affect a specific area of the gum or spread more widely across the gums. While it is often accompanied by swollen gums, gum pain may also occur independently. The severity of tooth gum pain varies from person to person, depending on the underlying cause of the gum pain.

What Can Cause Gum Pain?

Gum pain can be caused by various factors, leading to discomfort and irritation in the gum tissues. The most common cause of gum pain is poor oral hygiene, which leads to the accumulation of plaque and tartar along the gum line. This, in turn, can lead to gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis. 

Identifying the specific cause of gum pain is essential for effective treatment and the prevention of further complications. Here is a deeper exploration of the common gum pain causes.

Canker Sores

Canker sores, also known as mouth ulcers, appear as small white or gray sores surrounded by a red border inside the mouth. They are typically non-contagious and may occur as single sores or several. While the exact cause remains uncertain, some experts believe that immune system issues, bacteria, or viruses may play a role. Trauma to the soft tissues of the mouth can also trigger their occurrence. When they develop near the gum line, they can be close enough to irritate the gum tissue causing pain.

Generally, canker sores heal naturally within one or two weeks, and temporary relief can be found through over-the-counter medications or home remedies. However, if the sores persist beyond the expected timeframe, it is advisable to seek guidance from a dental professional.

Cuts or Injuries

Gum cuts or injuries can happen unexpectedly and more easily. The soft tissues in your mouth, including your gums, are delicate and can easily suffer cuts due to their delicate nature. Symptoms of a cut on your gums include laceration and bleeding, which results in gum pain.

The top causes include a slip of the toothbrush, flossing too hard, eating sharp foods (such as a pointed corn chip), or using a non-dental item like a toothpick. While many gum cuts will heal on their own, some may require treatment. 

Hormonal Changes

Hormone fluctuations can surprisingly heighten the vulnerability to gum disease in women. Elevated levels of female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, cause increased blood flow to the gums, making them more sensitive and prone to heightened reactions to anything that may irritate them.

Ideally, women may prioritise oral care during certain stages of their lives, including puberty, menstruation, and menopause. During puberty, hormonal shifts can leave teenage girls with red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Menstruation may heighten symptoms like swollen gums, bleeding gums, canker sores, or swollen salivary glands. Menopause may mark significant changes, impacting taste, causing burning sensations, and heightening oral sensitivity. 


A less common yet significant cause of gum pain is sinus infection. The sinus cavities are close to the roots of the upper back teeth. Inflamed sinuses filled with mucus exert pressure on the tooth roots, resulting in pain resembling gum pain. 

If you are experiencing only discomfort in your upper teeth on both sides of your face and not any other signs or symptoms, sinusitis could be the culprit. If you suspect that your gum pain might be from a sinus infection, seek advice from a dentist for appropriate treatment.

Gum Diseases

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a primary cause of gum pain. Bleeding gums may indicate other potential conditions like gingivitis and periodontal disease. Symptoms of gingivitis include swelling, bleeding gums, tenderness upon touch, mouth sores, swollen gums, and a bright red, purple, or shiny appearance to the gums.

Improving your brushing technique or brushing more frequently after meals helps eliminate bacteria and remove leftover food particles and sugary residues that feed them. Bacteria can swiftly form plaque within a couple of hours, which hardens into tartar in just a few days. To avoid plaque buildup, you can try using a toothpaste that provides antibacterial protection for the whole mouth. For instance, Colgate Total Advanced Health fights germs for 12 hours on teeth, tongue, cheeks, and gums, giving you whole mouth health.

Tooth and Gum Abscess

A tooth abscess forms at the root of a tooth, within the jawbone, whereas a gum abscess forms within the gum tissue, typically between the teeth and the gum. When pus accumulates due to infection, it creates a pus-filled pocket known as an abscess. The pressure buildup from the accumulated pus in the abscess results in considerable pain and swelling in the affected area, especially in the gums. 

If the abscess is not treated, it can develop into a severe infection affecting the jaw bone, teeth, and nearby tissues. Symptoms of a tooth abscess include pain, swelling, and redness in the gums.

Home Remedies For Gum Pain 

When gum pain strikes, seeking home remedies may offer temporary relief. However, it is essential to understand that home remedies for gum pain should not replace professional dental care. Persistent or severe gum pain requires urgent attention from a dental professional for a thorough assessment and appropriate treatment.

Saltwater Rinse

Salt, primarily composed of sodium chloride (NaCl), has long been used as a remedy for oral health concerns. Rinsing the mouth with a saltwater solution is believed to promote gum health and encourage recovery from mouth ulcers. Typically, it involves mixing a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water to create a mouthwash to swish around the mouth before spitting it out. 

Many consider saltwater rinses effective as a gum pain home remedy for reducing inflammation and promoting healing by eliminating bacteria. But, they offer only temporary gum pain relief and do not address the root cause of the pain.

Colgate Pain Out

Colgate Pain Out is an ayurvedic dental gel that provides express relief from tooth pain. Pain Out has natural ingredients like eugenol, camphor, and menthol in a unique anti-eugenol formulation, which provides symptomatic relief from tooth pain. The active ingredient in Pain Out plugs transmission of pain to the brain, thus providing express relief. Camphor provides relief from swelling and menthol provides a cooling and soothing effect. Pain Out is an easy, one-finger application gel. Thus, Colgate Pain Out is readily available, and it provides relief from pain within 3 minutes.

Clove Oil 

Clove oil, an essential oil, contains eugenol, a natural anesthetic that has anti-inflammatory properties. Being a potent pain reliever, it has been used in the treatment of periodontitis and to cure bleeding gums. Utilising clove oil as a home remedy for gum pain may provide temporary relief from pain and swelling. The process involves dipping a cotton ball into clove oil, soaking it with a few drops, and gently applying it to the affected area of the gums. Consult a dental professional if you are having persistent gum pain and discomfort. 

Cold Compresses

One of the most common home remedies for gum pain is a cold compress. Applying a cold compress or ice pack can help reduce swelling, which in turn can relieve pain in the gums. By applying a cold compress, blood vessels in the affected area constrict, which helps numb the area and reduce swelling and gum inflammation. While cold compresses may offer temporary relief, they will not address the root cause of your gum pain. Additionally, it is important to consult with a dental professional for proper treatment and long-term relief.

When to See a Dental Professional?

Even after trying gum pain home remedies, seeking professional treatment from a dentist is essential if you still experience severe or persistent gum pain. It is important to get gum pain treatment if you notice bleeding or pus between your teeth and gums along with the discomfort. Significant gum swelling, particularly when accompanied by inflamed gums, pain, or redness, may indicate the presence of an abscess or other dental concerns. Additionally, if gum pain is accompanied by a fever, it could signal a widespread infection. In such cases, seeking prompt medical and dental care is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.

To conclude, gum pain may arise from various causes and can present considerable discomfort. While home remedies for gum pain may provide temporary relief, consulting a dental professional is essential for addressing underlying health issues. By understanding the causes of gum pain, you can effectively manage your oral health and alleviate discomfort for long-term well-being. Additionally, regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining optimal oral health and preventing dental problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I treat my gums at home?

While trying some home remedy for gum pain may provide temporary relief, it is important to understand that they only offer short-term solutions. For a proper diagnosis and treatment, consult your dentist to effectively address the underlying cause of your gum pain.

2. What is the fastest way to heal a gum infection?

Trying gum pain home remedies such as saltwater rinses, cold compresses, and clove oil application may help in temporarily healing the pain due to gum infections. However, consulting a dentist is essential to getting the right treatment for your gum infection.

3. Does salt water stop gum infection?

Saltwater rinse is one of the home remedies for gum pain, and it may help alleviate symptoms of gum infections and promote healing. However, it may not completely stop the infection on its own. 

4. How long will gum infection last?

The duration of a gum infection varies based on factors like its severity, overall health, and treatment effectiveness. Mild infections may resolve in a few days to a week with good oral hygiene and natural remedies in some cases. Severe infections or those linked to underlying dental issues may persist longer, necessitating professional care.