Natural antibiotics for gum disease

Updated April 17, 2017

Gum disease can be a painful and disturbing ailment. Fortunately, natural medicine offers many gentle and powerful antibiotics that can help prevent gum disease or provide relief. If you think your gum disease has progressed beyond early stages, you should see a GP or dentist for medical antibiotics. When used in combination with traditional medical antibiotics, natural treatments can also help heal severe gum disease more quickly, but consult your doctor or dentist before mixing natural treatments with medical prescriptions.

Sea salt

Salt is an old treatment for the pain, inflammation and infection associated with gum disease because sea salt, or even simple table salt, packs a powerful antibacterial punch. Combine 1 or 2 tsp of salt with a litre of water to make a saltwater mouthwash. If you are on a low salt diet, you may substitute baking soda.


Bloodroot contains powerful ingredients that are believed to help fight gum disease by killing bacteria and reducing inflammation. Bloodroot, also known as Indian paint, contains several anti-microbial ingredients, including sanguinarine, an extract which used to be a component in a toothpaste called Viadent. Try a dose of 1 tsp bloodroot in a cup of water, administered three times per day. If you intend to use a larger dose of bloodroot, consult a herbalist to find out the proper dose for your body size. Larger doses of bloodroot act as a sedative, and an overdose can be fatal.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil helps kill the fungus and bacteria which cause gum disease. Tea tree oil is an effective topical antibacterial and antifungal. Tea tree oil works to remove pus and harmful bacterial cells while leaving healthy cells alone to heal. The oil is best used when mixed with other healing oils for gum disease, including neem oil, thyme oil, oregano oil and olive oil. In addition to its antibiotic effects, tea tree oil also has a stimulant effect on the local production of white blood cells when applied topically.


Neem is an antimicrobial herb used to fight gum disease. It also has anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties that help fight gum infections. Neem is often used in combination with a low sugar diet to reduce the presence of harmful microbes in the body. Neem should only be administered by a qualified herbal medicine practitioner due to its potential side effects. Neem has reported toxic effects on the reproductive system, so stop neem treatment after using it for up to three weeks.


Gentle on your mouth and fierce against bacteria, cranberry has proven effects in reducing viruses and bacteria in laboratory tests. Cranberries can stop the bacteria that cause gingivitis from reproducing in your mouth. Cranberry also helps stop the harmful bacteria from binding to your teeth below the gums, a building problem which is a significant cause of gum disease. Drink 470 ml of high quality, no-sugar-added cranberry juice per day to treat a build-up of bacteria.

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About the Author

Heather Bliss has been writing professionally since 1998, specializing in technology, computer repair, gardening, music and politics. Bliss holds an Associate of Arts in journalism from Moorpark College. She also has a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, San Marcos, completed with a focus on music and performing arts technology.