Essential Oils for Gums (Swollen or Receding)

Are your gums feeling irritated? Do they look red and swollen? Do they bleed when you brush them lightly? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it may be time to see your dentist.
Oral health can spiral out of control quickly — and if you have a serious gum disease issue, such as gingivitis — you’re going to want to try to combat it as soon as possible.
Natural remedies — including essential oils for gums — can help, and this guide is designed to let you know about the best oils to use for your specific gum conditions as well as to help you understand the common gum maladies that affect many of us throughout our lifetimes.

Are you ready to learn about how to improve your oral health? Let’s get started:

Common Gum Issues


Thrush is a common problem caused by an overgrowth of fungus in the mouth. Various issues can trigger thrush, including radiation, chemotherapy, antibiotics, and HIV. Thrush is white and curd-like in appearance and can appear on the inner cheeks, palate, tongue and back of the mouth.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a virus that affects many toddlers and children who are in grade school. Symptoms include blisters on the tongue, cheeks, soles and palms as well as a fever and sore throat. The infection often disappears after about three days.


Herpangina is a disease that also affects grade schools children from about three to 10 and is a cousin of hand, foot and mouth disease. The symptoms also are very similar, with small blisters appearing on the back of the mouth. Like hand, foot and mouth disease, the infection often lasts about three days.

Canker Sores

Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are white lesions that can appear on the gums and inside the lips and cheeks. They often appear in children as well as adolescents and usually heal in about two weeks. The cause is not entirely known, but food sensitivity and stress could trigger the sores.

Oral Herpes

Oral herpes, also known as HSV I, is caused by the same herpes simplex virus that causes genital herpes, or HSV II. It has been reported that about half of adults in the United States have been infected by HSV I, of which there currently isn’t a cure. The virus stays dormant in the body and then appears after shedding—resulting in painful blisters that appear on the lips, mouth and other mucous membrane tissues—such as the nose—for up to two weeks.
Dental caries 

If you are experiencing tooth decay, you may also get dental caries. It is the leading cause of children 12 and under losing their teeth and is one of the most common oral infections today. It is caused by the “Streptococcus mutans” bacteria.


Early gum disease is called gingivitis. It is the condition occurring in your gums when bacteria gets into the crevices of your gum line and stays there to produce a variety of toxins. Those toxins make your gums swell and bleed while you are brushing. If you do not treat gingivitis, then it can lead to periodontal disease—which can lead to pneumonia.

Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis that is left untreated can spread to the bones below the gum line and cause periodontal disease. The gums become inflamed as pockets begin forming around the teeth and the bones in the gum line begin to decay. It is the most common reason for adult tooth loss and can lead to complications with your lungs.

Best Essentials Oils for Gums

cinnamon essential oil

1. Clove and Tea Tree Oil

Clove and tea tree oils are two natural essential oils that have antibacterial properties and can help to prevent gingivitis. You can either gently rub these oils on your gums or brush your teeth with them. To do this, apply two drops of the oils onto your finger or toothbrush twice a day.

2. Coconut Oil

Try a technique called “oil pulling” to help fight the early signs of gingivitis. To do so, take about a tablespoon of coconut oil and mix with a few drops of clove oil, which has an antibacterial property. You also can use another antibacterial oil with coconut oil. Swish it around in your mouth for a few minutes before spitting it out.

3. Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon essential oil has antibacterial and antifungal attributes. It also helps to fight against the proliferation of Streptococus mutans, which was mentioned above as the leading cause of tooth decay.

4. Peppermint Essential Oil

Use peppermint essential oil to fight bacteria that live in an environment — like your mouth — that doesn’t need a lot of oxygen to live.

5. Myrrh Essential Oil

Myrrh essential oil is a natural oil that acts as a natural soothing agent as well as an antiseptic. It’s especially good at healing mouth ulcers and creating an environment that is healthy and free from bad bacteria. In addition, it may help support blood flow in your gums — which further helps your gums stay healthy.

6. Spearmint Essential Oil

Similar to peppermint essential oil, spearmint essential oil helps wounds in your mouth and ulcers heal more quickly. That’s because it is a natural and strong antiseptic. In addition, it has the power of helping your gums feel more soothed, which is especially welcome if they are irritated.

Other Natural Remedies for Gums

In addition to using essential oils to help relieve and heal some of the natural gum issues that many of us will face in our lifetimes, there are additional remedies you can try that will aid in the overall health and healing of your body, such as:

  • Brushing and flossing properly and regularly.
  • Eating a healthy diet: Cut out the sugar and caffeine while adding lean protein, vegetables and fruits to your diet. In addition, watch the alcohol and unnecessary sweets intake, as it harms the enamel of your teeth, make your gums sensitive and lead to tooth decay over time.
  • Make an easy saltwater solution and swish it around in your mouth a few times before spitting it out. Repeat. This helps to neutralize bacteria in your mouth.
  • Make your life less stressful. Health is a whole-body experience. If you are stressed, you can have a compromised immune system and this can lead to other conditions, including gum infections, heart disease and lung disease. Historically, people who are stressed financially, for example, are more likely to develop periodontal disease. Who knew!
  • Reduce inflammation of gums by making a cool tea compress. To do this, boil a tea bag and allow it to steep for a few minutes. Take it out of the tea and allow it to cool. Then, apply the tea bag to your gums, pressing gently for about five minutes. Repeat until you feel your gums are soothed.
  • Make an easy honey rub for your gums. Honey has antibacterial attributes as well as antiseptic ones. Gently dab honey on your gums and allow it to sit for a few minutes before consuming your sweet treat.

Are You Ready to Restore and Refresh Your Gums?

The American Dental Association long has reported that a sickness or poor condition affecting your gums is never just about your gums. In fact, poor oral health and gum condition can be linked to poor heart health. The way to improve your entire body’s health is to make sure you are approaching the maintenance of your body in a holistic manner. And, that means caring for your gums in the proper way to ensure optimal oral health and performance.

If you are experiencing the common gum issues we’ve outlined in this guide, then try natural essential oils to see if they improve. Also, make sure you are checking in with your dental health professional — as he or she can diagnose your issue and let you know if you are on the right track with natural treatment or if you need more serious medical care.

And, as with all good oral health — remember that you can’t rely just on essential oils to fix your gum issues. Healthy gums are part of a bigger commitment to healthy eating and drinking habits as well as regular and proper brushing. With just a few changes and a commitment to forming good habits, you’ll be on your way to keeping your mouth and gums healthy, happy and fresh!