Home Remedies for your Oral Health

Everything you need for a healthy mouth could be in your cabinets right now.

I bet you have more therapeutic ingredients in your cabinets than you realize. It amazes me what patients tell me they use for their mouths, sometimes they’re right on, but yikes, sometimes way off. Once, a patient superglued a piece of broken tooth back onto their tooth….but you wouldn’t do that. Just in case, I have chosen some of my favorite common household items and will discuss how to use them, and perhaps, how not to use them.

Home Remedies for your Oral Health you can Find Right in your House

You probably won’t need a prescription or a well-marketed product when you have the following:

Salt – is an astringent which means it draws fluid out of tissue which can reduce inflammation. It’s great for localized or generalized bleeding gums, from slight gingivitis to perhaps eating too much popcorn. If your gums are more tender than usual, without bleeding, you can also use salt rinses. You don’t need to be a scientist to measure the salt into hot water, but use around a tsp of salt (sea salt if you have it), to half a cup of the hottest water you can stand to rinse with. DO NOT USE salt for canker sores, wrong remedy, and ouch!!!

Baking Soda – is a great remedy for canker sores and you don’t need medication for it. A canker sore is an ulceration and it’s acidic, since baking soda is alkaline, the minute it comes in contact with the sore, it begins to neutralize it. All you do is place a generous amount of baking soda on the tip of your finger and dab it directly onto the canker sore in your mouth. I usually do this for myself the minute I feel the sore coming on, and I always make sure I apply it before I go to bed so it soaks in. 9 times out of 10, it’s better in the morning. You can also rinse with baking soda in warm water for mild bad breath. Baking soda can also be used to make a homemade toothpaste, even though, when as a kid I hated if we ran out of toothpaste because my parents made me use baking soda right out of the box, and it’s taken me years to appreciate the taste as an adult, see coconut oil below.

Coconut Oil – can be used for a homemade toothpaste which I prefer over swishing it for oil pulling alone, and I believe it’s more efficient and practical. The combination of both coconut oil and baking soda discourage the harmful bacteria from the biofilm of your teeth. The oil encourages healthy microorganisms while the soda helps neutralize the acidic environment which breeds destructive mouth bacteria. I also love that the oil based toothpaste is viscous which allows for seepage a few millimeters under the gum. You can have fun with coconut oil as a base for your homemade toothpaste by combining coconut oil to baking soda in a 3:1 ratio, then add any pure essential oil you like such as peppermint, which is a natural antibacterial. After you have brushed, I recommend swishing a minute before you spit. Two cautions: it is best to spit in the trash can when using coconut oil as it can clog drains, and never swallow coconut oil as it may contain toxins after swishing and it can also cause a rare lung condition. It is best to clean your brush off with a cloth before you rinse your toothbrush with water, then do a quick brush with the water on your brush.


Clay – bentonite clay is great as an astringent, but any pure clay which many people have for facial masks can be used to make a poultice. My husband has a problem bridge, and every now and then, he gets a gum abscess above it and the poultice helps him every time. However, it can only help a minor gum related problem, not a tooth infection abscess or a major periodontal abscess. Blend a tsp of clay and add ¼ tsp of ginger powder (stimulates the blood vessels), and add goldenseal if you have it as it’s a wonderful antibacterial. Heat water to almost a boil and add enough to the clay mixture to make a paste, then place in gauze or a tea bag or grab a coffee filter and cut a piece to place the paste in. The idea of a poultice is to draw out the irritants and it does this as the clay dries, so hold the poultice directly onto the abscess until the paste is dry. It should be better after about 3-4 times, if not, keep trying, but if it doesn’t go away, see your dentist!!!! DO NOT EVER directly pack clay into your gum, it can cause an infection.

Bentonite clay and clay with ginger poultice

Black or Green Tea Bags – the tannic acid in the tea helps to clot blood. Place the bag in hot water, then, when it’s cool enough, directly place it on the area that’s bleeding. It can help after a tooth extraction.

Flour – do not use superglue for anything in your mouth!!! But you can use flour to make a paste for a temporary glue if a dental crown or bridge has fallen out. Simply mix flour and water to make a paste, then fill the crown about half way. You may want to be sure you understand the position of the crown over the tooth before you fill it with paste.  Press the crown over your tooth and apply some pressure for a minute. Be careful chewing on that tooth until you see your dentist.

Cow Milk – for a knocked out tooth, good to know for parents. DO NOT WASH the root of the tooth with water, immediately drop the tooth in a cup of milk, which is needed to keep the root moist. As long as it is cow milk, whole or any % of fat is fine. Then take it to the dentist ASAP, along with your kiddo, of course.

Author: Cari

Cari has been a practicing dental hygienist for over 30 years. She received her degree with honors and was selected for a rare internship at Eastman Dental School, Rochester, NY. She then went on to receive a BS in Social Work from Nazareth College, cum laude. She has practiced in a variety of offices in Santa Fe for almost 25 years, with dental hygiene experience that has spanned from public health to holistic private practice, to specializing in dental phobic patients. Her commitment to research with a life-long desire to learn is combined with her genuine drive to provide patients with a whole health knowledge base. Cari also brings her experience as a published writer to her role as an oral health blogger. She has written blogs and web pages for Beyond Borders Dental in her role as Director of Dental Relations and Education.

2 thoughts on “Home Remedies for your Oral Health”

  1. Hello
    I was curious what your take on fluoride is? and it’s effects on our health. I come from old school dentistry with the belief that fluoride is the only way to prevent cavities etc. Do you have any natural substitutes that you can recommend.
    Many thanks
    Jane from sunny Florida,

    1. Hi Jane,

      Thanks so much for commenting on this blog. Fluoride in itself is a subject for another blog and deserves full attention to all the different views on fluoride. On that note, the baking soda and coconut oil toothpaste is a great way to prevent decay as it can naturally re-mineralize any weak spots on the enamel of the teeth and can decrease Streptococcus Mutans which are the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Look soon for a blog on fluoride, Cari

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