The Benefits of Gum Massage

Gum massage is a great way to improve oral health and keep your gums healthy and strong. Not only does gum massage help remove plaque and bacteria from the gum line, but it also helps improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation.

In this post, we will discuss the benefits of gum massage and how to do it properly. Keep reading!

What is gum massage?

Gum massage, also known as gingival massage, is a simple and gentle form of oral hygiene that involves massaging the gums with one's fingertips. It helps to stimulate blood circulation in the gums, improve their appearance and overall health, and can be used daily as part of an effective oral health routine.  It aims to promote healthy gums by removing plaque from between the teeth, which can lead to gum disease if not removed regularly.

Gum massage is also beneficial for those who have receding gums. Gentle massages can help to reduce inflammation and strengthen weakened tissue. Additionally, it may help to reduce sensitivity around the gum line, a common complaint among many individuals who suffer from periodontal disease or other dental issues.

Benefits of massaging your gums

A woman is checking plaque on her teeth

Massaging your gums gently helps stimulate blood flow and improve overall oral health.  Keep reading to learn about the many health benefits associated with gum massage:

  • Reduce plaque: One of the main benefits of gum massage is reducing plaque build-up on your teeth by eliminating food debris from between the teeth and along the gum line. This helps prevent bacteria from settling on the surface of your teeth and causing cavities or other painful conditions such as gingivitis.
  • Increase blood flow: By increasing circulation in the gums and other areas of your mouth, regular gum massage helps oxygenate your body's cells more efficiently, including those contained within the dental pulp (the tissue inside teeth). This ultimately increases blood flow, helping to promote healthier gum tissue and decrease gum sensitivity.
  • Promote healing: Massaging the gums helps promote healthy gums by accelerating healing time between dental treatments such as tooth scaling or surgery. It also cleanses pockets within the gums, helping them to stay healthy and free of infection.
  • Reduce bacterial growth: Massaging the gums also helps reduce bacterial growth, which can lead to bad breath, cavities, and gum recession. By massaging the gums regularly, you're helping to keep bacteria at bay and your mouth clean and healthy.
  • Prevent potential tooth extraction: Regular gingival massage is known to be an effective way to treat periodontal disease, reducing the chances of tooth extraction due to decay or gum damage.

Overall, gum massage provides several oral health benefits which can have a positive impact on your dental hygiene and well-being.

How often should you massage your gums?

Beautiful smiling woman with healthy gums

Generally, gum massaging should be done every day to help maintain gum health and prevent gum disease, as well as boost and stimulate blood flow, which keeps the gum tissue healthy and strong.  Gently rubbing the gum line with a soft-bristled toothbrush or massaging it with your index fingers can also help remove bacteria that cause gum inflammation.

It is important to note that too much pressure when massaging the gums can cause gum damage and make the gum tissue more susceptible to disease, so always remember to be gentle.

As always, consult with a dentist if you have any gum issues or notice any changes in gum health so that they can provide treatment and advice on how best to maintain a healthy mouth.

How to massage your gums with oil?

Someone is washing his hands

Massaging your gums with oil is an effective and natural way to stimulate gum health. Here are some easy steps to follow when massaging your gums with oil:

  • To begin, use a container, such as a small bowl or saucer, and pour in 2 mL of the oil you want to use.
  • Make sure that your hands are clean before beginning a massage session to prevent the spread of oral bacteria that may cause infection or further damage.
  • Apply the oil to your index finger, soft-bristled brush, or gum stimulators, then rub it around the gumline in a gentle circular motion. This will help stimulate the gum tissue and increase circulation without causing irritation or pain.
  • Continue this motion until all areas of your gums have been thoroughly massaged with the oil.  For maximum benefits, it is recommended that you massage your gums for ten minutes after brushing your teeth every day.
  • After you are done with the massage, rinse your mouth with warm water to help clear away any remaining oil residue from the gum tissue.

Which oil is best for massaging gums?

A coconut with a bottle of coconut oil

Different oils have unique properties and benefits that make them effective for different dental care needs. Here are the 5 best scientifically proven oils to use when massaging your gums:

  1. Sesame oil:  With antifungal and antioxidant properties, sesame oil helps reduce free-radical injury, which is good for those who want to keep their gums healthy and prevent cavities.
  2. Sunflower oil: Due to its mild smell and pleasant flavor, sunflower oil is a popular edible oil.  Studies have found that regular massages with sunflower oil can help reduce plaque buildup on teeth and gums, thereby improving overall dental hygiene.
  3. Coconut oil: Known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, coconut oil is a great option for those looking to reduce inflammation caused by gingivitis, as well as eliminate bacteria in the mouth that can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, or other oral health issues.
  4. Olive Oil:  Studies have shown that massaging your gums with olive oil several times per week can help prevent oral malodor due to its antibacterial activity properties that can help fight against bacteria and germ buildup.
  5. Mustard oil: Often combined with other oils or herbal extracts, mustard oil is especially effective in fighting against infections like gingivitis, and periodontal disease, as well as improving oral hygiene.

No matter which oil you choose to massage your gums with, it is essential to follow a consistent oral care routine and visit the dentist regularly for optimal oral health.

What to avoid when massaging gums?

A woman pours a liquid containing alcohol

While there are many benefits to gum massage, there are some things to avoid while performing this practice, as certain activities can increase the risk of gum disease and tooth loss. Here are some common things to avoid:

  • Do not massage too hard and avoid applying excessive pressure, as this can damage the sensitive gum tissue and increase your risk of developing gum disease or even tooth loss due to recession of the gum line.
  • Avoid the use of products containing alcohol or other chemical irritants on the gums, as these chemicals can irritate the sensitive gum tissues and potentially cause inflammation and other negative reactions.
  • It's important to note that gum massage should not be used in place of regular brushing and flossing and to limit the time you spend massaging your gums to no more than ten minutes per session. Doing too much can cause harm to your gum tissue and could lead to damage if done improperly or too frequently.
  • Be mindful of your technique, as gum massage should be done with light circular motions and not in a sawing motion, as this could also damage gum tissue.

By keeping these things in mind, you can ensure that your gum massage routine is safe and beneficial for your dental health! Always remember to consult with your dentist before starting any new oral care routine.

Frequently asked questions

Can gum massage help restore gums?

Unfortunately, while gum massage carries many benefits, such as improving overall gum health, reducing plaque, and preventing future gum disease, there is no scientific evidence that it can help restore gums.

According to Healthline, there is no single method to restore receding gums.  The best thing you can do for your gums is to maintain good oral hygiene habits and visit the dentist regularly.

What can I use to massage my gums?

You can use your index finger to massage your gums, a soft-bristled brush, or a gum stimulator.  A gum stimulator or gum massager is useful as it has fine, soft points that effectively reach and clean hard-to-reach areas of the mouth.

Additionally, a soft-bristled toothbrush can be used in an up-and-down circular motion to massage your gums, No matter which option you choose, don't forget to be gentle! Too much pressure can cause damage to both gums and teeth.

Can massaging the gums help treat swollen gums?

Massaging the gums can alleviate pain and fight infection associated with swollen gums. By encouraging increased circulation to the area, massaging can reduce inflammation and swelling, as well as alleviate the aching or tenderness that can accompany swollen gums may cause.

It is important to note that while massaging your gums may provide temporary relief, it is not a replacement for tooth brushing and professional dental care. If your symptoms persist despite massaging, you should contact your dentist for further advice and treatment.


Massaging your gums twice a day is the best way to maintain gum health and increase the circulation of nutrient-rich blood, which may help prevent gum disease, as well as help you enjoy a beautiful and healthy smile.

If you have any questions about your gum health or want to learn more about how we can help you achieve optimal oral health, contact us today and book a free consultation at Smiles By Design San Diego!