Alum is a popular home remedy for treating bleeding or swollen gums and for use as a mouthwash. It is a natural astringent and antiseptic that is also effective in pain relief and gum infections.
A traditional preparation calls for using a mortar and pestle to grind 1/2 teaspoon of alum into a fine powder with a pinch of salt, then stirring the mixture into 8 ounces of boiling water until it dissolves and straining the solution before use. Heating the water helps dissolve the alum, and adding the freshly squeezed juice of a lemon makes it an effective breath freshener and mouthwash. Using this rinse two or three times daily is also helpful for treating canker sores, swollen gums and pain caused by tartar build-up, gingivitis, periodontitis and vitamin deficiencies.