An abscessed tooth can be a painful dental condition that, if left untreated, could turn into a serious health concern. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that develops around the tooth, usually near the root, caused by an infection. Symptoms typically include persistent and throbbing pain, bad breath, swollen gums, and sometimes accompanied by a fever.
There’s no substitute for going to the dentist, and a tooth abscess should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible. But, fortunately, there are some home remedies for an abscessed tooth that will help alleviate pain and relieve discomfort until you can get into a dentist’s chair.
What Causes an Abscess Tooth?
A tooth abscess occurs when bacteria finds its way into the dental pulp – the inside of the tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. This can result from a number of reasons, including an untreated dental cavity, previous dental work, a chipped, broken, or cracked tooth. Bacteria can penetrate even the smallest crack or opening, leading to an infection.
People with poor dental hygiene habits, who eat a high sugar diet, and who suffer from dry mouth are more susceptible to developing a tooth abscess.
As mentioned before, a tooth abscess needs to be treated by a dentist to prevent complications. The abscess will need to be drained to get rid of the infection, and then further treatment will vary based on the severity of the condition.
How to Drain an Abscess Tooth at Home?
If you’re not able to see your dentist right away or in excruciating pain and dire need of relief, there are home remedies that will help drain the abscessed tooth naturally and pull the infection out.
Rinse Your Mouth with Saltwater
Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can help offer temporary relief from your abscessed tooth. The salt aids in healing the wound formed from the abscess while also promoting healthy gums.
For this easy at-home solution, simply mix ½ tsp. of salt with ½ cup of warm water. Swish the salt water around in your mouth for two minutes. Spit the water out and repeat up to three times a day.
Try a Baking Soda Rinse
Rinsing your mouth with baking soda is another quick and easy home remedy for an abscessed tooth. Baking soda has antibacterial properties that will help fight the infection. It’s also highly effective at removing plaque in your mouth.
Mix ½ tbs. of baking soda with ½ cup of water and a pinch of salt. Swish in your mouth for up to five minutes and spit out. Repeat this treatment up to two times a day.
Apply Garlic Paste
Garlic has been touted for years as a natural healing agent due to its antibacterial properties. Garlic has also been shown to offer pain relief when used for tooth infections. Take a fresh clove of garlic and smash it into a paste using the back of a spoon. Apply the paste directly to the infected area.
What to Do if a Dental Abscess Bursts on Its Own?
There is a chance that your tooth abscess ruptures on its own. When this occurs, you usually will notice your pain subsiding along with a foul metallic or salty taste in your mouth. If this happens, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
Use a Tea Bag to Soak Up Discharge
Herbal tea bags, either green or black tea, can be used to absorb any pus or discharge that the dental abscess has released. Tannins, the chemical compounds naturally found in tea, have antibacterial properties that help fight the infection.
Dip the tea bag into warm water. Wring out any excess water being careful not to rip the bag. Gently put the wet tea bag over the infected area and leave it in place for a few hours if possible.
See Your Dentist ASAP
Once your abscess ruptures, you may feel like your tooth is better because of the initial relief from pain. However, a rupture usually indicates there is an infection, and it’s spreading. A tooth abscess will not go away on its own, and leaving it untreated can lead to life-threatening complications, such as sepsis. Bacteria from the abscess can find its way into the bloodstream and result in respiratory problems. The infection can also spread to your jaw as well as your head and neck.
If you suspect you have a dental abscess, contact your dentist immediately. Try these home remedies to alleviate pain from your abscessed tooth, but don’t wait to seek treatment and run the risk of more severe medical problems developing. These home remedies are strictly for temporary relief until you can schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Avoiding tooth decay and taking proper care of your teeth and gums is the best way to prevent tooth abscesses. Good oral hygiene includes scheduling regular dental cleaning and checkups. Get your professional cleaning today! Contact VIPcare Dental to schedule your next appointment.