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.