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A tooth abscess refers to a buildup of pus in the center of the tooth due to a bacterial infection. If left untreated, this can lead to severe complications. Therefore, it is vital to get proper treatment and take proper care of the infection and other symptoms.
Popular Home Remedies
The following home remedies can help improve tooth abscess and associated symptoms.
1. Apply garlic
Garlic is known to act as an anti-inflammatory agent and has an antiviral effect against periodontal pathogens. However, these properties have not been tested in human clinical trials and, therefore, are not yet reliable. (1)
How to use: Grind 4–5 garlic cloves into a smooth paste and apply on the affected area for around 15 minutes.
2. Use clove oil
Similar to garlic, clove is also considered an anti-inflammatory and antiviral agent. (2) However, there are not enough scientific studies to back this claim.
How to use: Add a few drops of clove oil in a teaspoon of almond, olive, or coconut oil and apply on the painful tooth.
3. Use tea bags
Green tea possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help fight dental diseases. (3)
How to use: Place a peppermint or green tea bag in your mouth for around 15 minutes.
4. Rinse with essential oil
Peppermint, tea tree, and thyme essential oils are found to be effective against oral pathogens. (4) However, further studies are required to establish the efficacy of these essential oils.
How to use: Dilute two drops of the essential oil with one glass of water. Use this solution to rinse your mouth.
5. Apply turmeric, ACV, or oregano oil
The direct application of oregano oil, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar to the affected teeth are purported treatments for dental problems. (5)(6) However, various large-scale clinical trials and studies are required before establishing the use or efficacy of these ingredients. It is essential to seek medical care for a tooth abscess.
Self-Care Tips to Aid Relief
The following measures can help relieve and limit the pain and pressure on an abscessed tooth:
- Refrain from consuming extremely hot or cold foods and drinks.
- Avoid tobacco usage and smoking as it can increase the chances of bacterial plaque.
- Consume a well-balanced, healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods, and lean protein.
- Include cool and soft foods in your meals, such as mashed potatoes and bananas, to prevent irritation.
- Chew your food on the opposite side of the tooth abscess to prevent injury to the affected tooth.
- Avoid flossing near your abscess, and use a soft toothbrush when brushing your teeth.
- Limit caffeine consumption as it can lead to dental problems such as cavities. (7) However, moderate consumption of coffee could help prevent gum diseases due to its antioxidant properties. (8)
- Refrain from chewing gum with high sugar content to avoid cavities. Opt for a sugar-free gum that induces saliva production to neutralize the acids in your mouth.
- Apply a cold or warm compress to the cheek near the source of toothache for a few minutes to help reduce the inflammation and numb the pain.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water to help relieve the pain.
Tips to Prevent Tooth Abscess
Practicing proper dental care measures is important in preventing tooth abscess. These measures include the following:
- Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride-containing toothpaste. Use low-fluoride toothpaste for children below 5 years.
- Avoid consuming a sugary diet, especially sugary snacks.
- Floss your teeth or use an interdental brush for cleaning between your teeth daily.
- Change your toothbrush as soon as the bristles fray. Replace your toothbrush every two months.
- Refrain from drinking carbonated beverages when possible and rinse your mouth thoroughly after consuming them.
- Consume plenty of water, preferably fluoridated tap water. A parched mouth is at a higher risk of tooth infections and cavities. (9)
- Avoid frequent snacking between meals. Snacking induces acid production in the mouth, which can cause tooth decay when frequent.
- Schedule regular dental checkups and visit your dentist immediately if you have a cracked or loose tooth.
It is vital to get proper medical treatment for a tooth abscess to prevent complications, including the spread of infection. Schedule regular visits to the dentist for teeth and gum cleaning twice a year to prevent dental problems such as a tooth abscess.