How to Treat an Abscess Tooth at Home

Are you suffering from a painful abscess tooth? Do you want to learn how to treat it at home? You’re in the right place! In this blog, you’ll discover practical tips to help ease the discomfort of an abscessed tooth so you can get back to living your life.

Quick facts: Treating An Abscess Tooth At Home

  • ✅ Home remedies for a tooth abscess, such as rinsing with salt water or applying a cold compress, can help to reduce the pain and swelling of the abscess (Source: Healthline).
  • ✅ It is important to see a dentist as soon as possible when dealing with an abscess tooth. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body (Source: Colgate).
  • ✅ Antibiotics are commonly used to treat a tooth abscess, and pain relievers may be prescribed to reduce pain and swelling (Source: WebMD).
  • ✅ A dental procedure such as a root canal, tooth extraction or drainage of the abscess may be necessary to fully treat a tooth abscess (Source: Mayo Clinic).
  • ✅ According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are certain risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing a tooth abscess, such as poor oral hygiene, pre-existing dental conditions, smoking, diabetes, and certain illnesses (Source: CDC).
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    An abscess tooth is a pocket of infection that forms around the root of a tooth or in the area between two teeth. It is caused by bacteria entering the dental pulp, which leads to inflammation and an accumulation of pus. Symptoms can include pain, swelling and sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.

    An abscessed tooth requires professional medical attention, however there are some things you can do in the meantime to help alleviate symptoms and reduce inflammation while awaiting dental care. This guide will outline how to treat an abscess tooth at home with simple remedies like:

    • Applying cold compresses
    • Using saltwater rinses
    • Taking over-the-counter oral medications

    What is an Abscess Tooth?

    An abscess tooth is an infection of the dental pulp (the innermost part of a tooth that contains live cells and nerves) that causes pain and swelling in the mouth. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection that can enter through cavities, cracks, or chips in the tooth. The bacteria form a pocket inside the pulp, filling it with pus, leading to an abscess.

    Symptoms include:

    • extreme pain when chewing or biting down on something,
    • redness of the gums around the affected area,
    • gum sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and
    • swelling of the gums around the affected area.

    Treating an abscess tooth at home typically involves obtaining antibiotics from your doctor as well as over-the-counter pain relief medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce your discomfort while you wait for your appointment with a dentist. Additionally, make sure you maintain good oral hygiene habits including brushing twice daily and flossing regularly to prevent further complications from arising due to an untreated abscessed tooth.

    Symptoms of an Abscess Tooth

    An abscessed tooth is an infection in or around the root of the tooth. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth may include intense pain, swelling in the jaw or neck area, fever, chills and a general feeling of being unwell. Other signs that you may have an abscessed tooth include a bad taste in your mouth, visible pus from the affected area, and bad breath.

    If left untreated, an infected tooth can be serious and cause permanent damage to both the tooth and surrounding tissue. It is important to seek medical attention for any symptoms of an abscessed tooth as soon as possible to help reduce pain and speed up recovery time.

    Treatment for an abscessed tooth may include:

    • Antibiotics to treat the infection.
    • Draining of the abscess.
    • Extraction of the affected teeth.

    Causes of an Abscess Tooth

    An abscess tooth is a severe dental infection caused by bacteria in the mouth that has spread to the interior portion of a tooth and its surrounding tissue. It is typically characterized by swelling, pain, and tenderness of the gums around the affected area.

    The main causes of an abscessed tooth are:

    • Deep cavities
    • Periodontal disease (gum disease)
    • Injury to the mouth

    When bacteria accumulate in a cavity it breaks through the enamel and infects the nerve within. If left untreated, it can develop into an abscess which disrupts blood supply to the affected tooth. Poor oral hygiene that leads to plaque build-up on teeth can also lead to an abscessed tooth as well as improper eating habits such as consuming sugary foods and beverages which can cause cavities. Other causes include traumatic injuries such as biting down on something hard or grinding teeth while sleeping.

    Treatment Options

    Treating an abscessed tooth at home can be an effective way to reduce the pain and pressure associated with the infection, however it is important to note that it is not a substitute for professional dental care. There are a variety of treatments that you can use to help reduce symptoms and manage the infection, so let’s take a look at some of the cat abscess treatment options available:

    • Rinsing with warm salt water.
    • Using a cold compress.
    • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
    • Prescription medications.
    • Antibiotic medications.
    • Drainage of the abscess.

    Home Remedies

    Home Remedies can be used to treat an Abscess Tooth. These treatments are usually focused on reducing the pain and swelling associated with an abscess while providing relief from other symptoms.

    One of the most common home remedies is to use a hot compress, which helps reduce swelling and relieve pain in the affected area. Additionally, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be taken to help alleviate discomfort.

    Other home remedies for an abscessed tooth include:

    • Rinsing with saltwater or a mixture of baking soda and water.
    • Taking garlic supplements.
    • Eating foods that contain probiotics like yogurt or kefir.

    Lastly, it is recommended to keep your mouth clean by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash.

    Saltwater Rinse

    A saltwater rinse is often used to treat an abscessed tooth, as it helps to flush out debris and bacteria from the mouth. To use this method, mix a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and swish it around your mouth for up to 30 seconds before spitting it out. Performing this action multiple times per day can help reduce inflammation and aid in healing.

    Saltwater rinses may also be beneficial for reducing pain as salt has natural antiseptic properties, which can help soothe irritated tissue. Additionally, saltwater rinses are much gentler on the teeth than other methods and do not require any drugs or medical intervention.

    Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

    A hydrogen peroxide rinse is a simple and effective way to treat an abscess tooth or gum at home. This option involves swishing a mixture of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water in the mouth for 30 seconds. Hydrogen peroxide has been proven to be an effective antiseptic, so it can reduce bacteria in the mouth. In some cases, the solution may even help to reduce pain associated with an abscessed tooth or gum.

    It’s important to note that this rinse should not be used on its own as it may not be powerful enough to fully clear the infection. It should always be used in addition to other treatments prescribed by a dentist or doctor.

    Ice Compress

    An ice compress is a tried and true home remedy for helping to reduce the pain and swelling of an abscess. To create an ice compress, simply wrap a few ice cubes in a towel or cotton cloth and apply to the outside of the cheek near the affected area. Do this in 10-minute intervals (up to 30 minutes per session). Don’t press too hard, as this can cause further irritation if done incorrectly.

    The cold temperature of the compress will help constrict the blood vessels in your face, allowing for better drainage from the infected area and providing some much needed relief from discomfort. Additionally, this treatment will reduce swelling overall.

    Heat Compress

    Heat Compress is one of the simplest methods to treat an abscess tooth. Applying heat in the form of a compress can help reduce inflammation and discomfort associated with abscessed teeth.

    To create a heat compress, fill a clean cloth (cotton works best) with hot water and apply it to the affected area for 10-15 minutes at a time. You should do this 2-3 times per day for several days until the pain and swelling subside.

    It’s important to remember that this treatment does not replace traditional dental care like antibiotics or other procedures recommended by your dentist. Heat compresses are only intended to provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation associated with an abscessed tooth, not to cure the infection itself.

    Professional Treatment

    Professional Treatment for an abscessed tooth typically involves a dental procedure. Depending on the location and severity of the infection, a dentist may perform a root canal, extraction, or scaling and root planing.

    A root canal is a treatment to remove the infected nerve tissue in the tooth while also sealing off the area to prevent further infection. If a root canal cannot be performed, an extraction may be necessary to properly treat the abscess and relieve your pain.

    Another common treatment is scaling and root planing, which involves removing plaque and tartar buildup along the sides of your teeth and between your gum line. Afterward, your dentist may smooth out the surface of your affected tooth in order to reduce any additional irritation or pain caused by bacteria-filled pockets near your gum line.

    Professional treatment is usually necessary to fully treat an abscessed tooth and prevent further infections or complications from occurring.

    Prevention of an Abscess Tooth

    Prevention of an abscess tooth is the best way to avoid the uncomfortable and potentially serious consequences of a dental infection. Brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and visiting your dentist for regular examinations and cleanings are all essential for maintaining your oral health. Additionally, people who already have an abscess should receive antibiotics from their dentist; however, if that is not possible or if you need some relief in between appointments, natural remedies can be helpful in treating an abscessed tooth at home.

    Eating a diet rich in vitamin-C rich foods like oranges and grapefruits helps keep your teeth healthy by providing your body with the necessary nutrients to fight infection and inflammation. Additionally, drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps flush out bacteria in your mouth and keeps saliva levels high which can help keep acid levels neutralized. Finally, gargling with salt water can help reduce swelling along with pain associated with an abscessed tooth.


    Treating an abscess tooth at home is possible, but it is important to remember that professional treatments like antibiotics or root canals are often required. If the pain and swelling don’t subside after a few days of home remedies, seek professional assistance.

    Taking medications such as ibuprofen or using an ice pack to reduce swelling may temporarily help with the pain and discomfort, and saltwater mouth rinses can reduce infection. However, proper diagnosis and treatment from a qualified oral health professional should be sought out if symptoms persist for more than a few days.

    FAQs about: Treating An Abscess Tooth At Home

    Q: Can I treat an abscess tooth at home?

    A: It is not recommended to treat an abscess tooth at home as it can be a sign of a serious infection. It is best to seek professional help from a dentist to properly diagnose and treat the infection.

    Q: What are the symptoms of an abscess tooth?

    A: Signs and symptoms of an abscessed tooth may include throbbing pain, swelling of the face, sensitivity to hot and cold, bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth.

    Q: What are the treatments for an abscess tooth?

    A: Treatment for an abscess tooth may include antibiotics, draining the abscess, a root canal procedure, or in some cases tooth extraction.

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