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Dossier: Healthy teeth

Home remedies: relief for sore gums

Inflammation of the gums is harmless, but can still be painful and annoying. Simple home remedies can help.

Text: Michael Suter; photo: Unsplash

Healthy gums are pale pink, surround the bottom of the tooth and fill out the gaps between teeth. However, if you experience pain or your gums bleed while you’re cleaning your teeth, you may have gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Usually gingivitis is the result of poor oral hygiene, but mechanical injuries, chemical substances or infections can also be the cause. If the gums are only slightly inflamed, the following remedies can help:

Camomile or sage mouthwash

Rinsing your mouth with a camomile or sage solution is one of the best-known remedies for gingivitis. You can gargle or drink the solution. Camomile and sage have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Natural yoghurt

Sugar-free yoghurt inhibits sulphur-producing bacteria and thus also helps with gum inflammation. It’s also better for your teeth. So you can add natural yoghurt to your salad or muesli.


Blueberries contain the colourant myrtillin, which has an antibacterial effect and prevents bacteria from multiplying. So, eating a few fresh blueberries between meals is not only tasty but also helps prevent gingivitis.

Cider vinegar

Cider vinegar stimulates saliva production and has an antibacterial effect. Take two teaspoonfuls with a sip of water. But remember that the acid contained in the vinegar attacks the tooth enamel in the long run.

Tincture of myrrh, calendula or witch hazel

Use a few drops to make an undiluted tincture. Apply to the gums with a finger and massage the tincture into the skin. Then spit out the saliva. The tincture has an astringent and antibacterial effect.  

Blackberry leaves

Blackberry leaves loosen mucus and purify the blood. Applied externally, they also relieve gum inflammation, among other things. You chew on the leaves, then spit them out.


If you clean your teeth often and carefully, you’re well on the way to avoiding gingivitis. Food residues build up especially in the spaces between the teeth, which encourages the build-up of bacteria. Use dental floss or an interdental brush to remove these deposits. The right dental care is particularly important for smokers, diabetics, people with mouth piercings and mums-to-be. Professional tooth cleaning at the dentist is recommended. The Dental Basic insurance plan is geared specifically towards adults. For example, it pays CHF 100 per year towards check-ups and dental cleaning and covers 80% of the costs for dental treatment up to CHF 2,000 in the same period.