An abscessed tooth is a common term used to describe an infection at the root of a tooth or between a tooth and the gums.
It is typically caused by bacteria that enter the tooth through either a dental cavity, chip or crack and spreads all the way down to the root tip. This leads to pain, inflammation and pockets of pus.
In most cases, an abscessed tooth is caused by severe tooth decay or gum disease (gingivitis). In addition, poor dental hygiene and a diet high in sugar, carbohydrates and sticky food increase your risk of developing this problem.
A throbbing and sharp toothache is a common symptom of an abscessed tooth.
Other signs and symptoms include pain when chewing food, increased sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink, change in taste senses, bad breath, swelling in your cheek, red and sore gums, difficulty opening your mouth, difficulty swallowing food, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw, fever, and general discomfort.
If left untreated, the infection may spread to the bone that supports the tooth and may result in severe life-threatening complications. Even if the abscess ruptures and there is a significant reduction in pain, you will still need dental treatment.
At times, as a result of infection, the pulp in the root of the tooth dies, thus decreasing the pain. This, however, does not mean that the infection has healed as it will still continue to spread and destroy the tissue.
If you notice signs of an abscessed tooth, consult a dentist as soon as possible because it will not get better on its own. As an adjunct treatment, you can also try some natural home remedies to help fight the infection and alleviate symptoms.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for an abscessed tooth.
Garlic has anti-inflammatory and natural antibiotic properties that make it highly effective for treating an abscessed tooth.
It helps relieve pain and prevent the spread of the infection.
- Put a fresh garlic clove in your mouth and crush it with your teeth. Chew it until the pain subsides. Spit it out and rinse your mouth with warm water. To reduce the residual odor, you can add a few drops of clove oil to the warm water.
- Another option is to mix ½ teaspoon of garlic powder with a pinch of table salt and apply it directly on the affected tooth. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, then rinse your mouth with mouthwash.
- You can also rub garlic oil on the affected tooth.
Repeat any of these remedies 3 or 4 times a day for a few weeks.
2. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic practice, can also be used to treat an abscessed tooth or painful gums. This age-old practice helps reduce the amount of bacteria present in the mouth. It helps draw toxins from the mouth and, in fact, the entire body, which promotes both oral and overall health.
- Put 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil in your mouth.
- Swish the oil inside your mouth for at least 15 minutes. Do not swallow it.
- After 15 minutes, spit it out and rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Repeat the process twice daily for about a month for positive results.
Note: Do this on an empty stomach.
Clove is one of the best remedies for any kind of dental issue, including an abscessed tooth.
It has antiseptic, analgesic and antibacterial properties that help alleviate toothache, inflammation and soreness in the gums.
- Dip a cotton ball in clove oil and hold it on the painful area for a few minutes.
- Another option is to place a whole clove between your infected tooth and your cheek. Chew it from time to time to release its juice. Allow the juice to remain in your mouth for at least 30 minutes. Then rinse your mouth with warm water.
4. Black Tea Bag
A black tea bag is another good home remedy for an abscessed tooth. It has tannins that help reduce pain and inflammation. In addition, it contains antioxidants that help fight infection and promote good oral health.
- Soak a black tea bag in warm water for a few minutes.
- Remove it from the water, wring it out and put the tea bag on the affected tooth.
- Leave it there for few hours or overnight.
- Rinse your mouth with a warm salt-water solution.
- Repeat once daily for a couple of weeks.
5. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has disinfectant and antibacterial properties that help kill the bacteria that cause an abscessed tooth.
It also helps reduce inflammation and pain. Moreover, it helps get rid of yellow teeth. For oral health, use food grade, 3-percent hydrogen peroxide solution only.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 tablespoon of warm water. Use this solution to rinse your mouth and spit it out completely. Follow this remedy 3 times a week.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with enough hydrogen peroxide (about 1/2 teaspoon) to make a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area for a couple of minutes and then rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. Follow this remedy a few times a week.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another very effective home remedy for an abscessed tooth. It has anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties that help reduce pain and inflammation while disinfecting the affected area.
- Swish 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in your mouth for a few minutes. Spit it out completely, being sure not to swallow it. Rinse your mouth with warm water. Repeat this process a few times a day.
- Another option is to mix 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it twice daily.
7. Salt Water
Salt has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help reduce inflammation, ease pain, draw out any infection and prevent the growth of bacteria in the mouth.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt or refined salt to a glass of lukewarm water. Mix it until the salt dissolves completely.
- Rinse your mouth with this solution.
- Do this 2 or 3 times a day to clear the infection and reduce discomfort and pain.
As turmeric is rich in antibiotic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, it can help reduce pain and inflammation caused by an abscessed tooth. It also promotes oral health.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little water to make a paste. After brushing your teeth, apply the paste directly on the affected area. Allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
- You can also mix 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of lukewarm water. Use it to rinse your mouth a few times daily.
- Another option is to mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1 teaspoon of olive or mustard oil. Apply this mixture on the affected area. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing your mouth with warm water.
Repeat any of these remedies a couple of times daily.
9. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil contains antibacterial and antioxidant properties, making it a good remedy for an abscessed tooth. It also boosts immunity and helps the body fight tooth infections and speed up the healing process.
- Apply a few drops of oregano oil directly on the affected tooth and gums and leave it for at least 15 minutes.
- Prepare a mouthwash by mixing 3 to 5 drops of oregano oil in ¼ cup of warm water. Swish this solution in your mouth for about 10 minutes, then spit it out completely.
Repeat either of these remedies 3 or 4 times a day.
Peppermint works like a miracle when it comes to pain due to an abscessed tooth. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation as well as prevent the spread of infection.
- Rub a few drops of peppermint oil on the affected area using your fingertips for a couple of minutes.
- Also, extract fresh peppermint juice from the leaves and apply it on the affected tooth.
Follow either of these remedies a few times daily.
- Apply a cold compress on your cheek near the aching tooth for a few minutes to get pain relief.
- Drink ½ glass of wheatgrass juice daily on an empty stomach to get relief from abscessed tooth discomforts.
- Brush and floss your teeth twice daily.
- Always use toothpaste containing fluoride to reduce the risk of developing an abscessed tooth.
- Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to rinse your mouth properly to prevent infection.
- Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months to ensure proper cleaning of the teeth.
- Stop using tobacco and quit smoking.
- Avoid chewing too much gum.
- Limit consumption of sugary items and rinse your mouth properly after eating sugary items.
- When suffering from an tooth pain or infection, avoid caffeine.
- Follow a healthy diet.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings.