Red, inflamed and tender gums characterize dental abscesses. Pockets of pus and dead cells are being eliminated from the body through an infective process. Treatment usually consists of thorough drainage and cleaning, and may involve tooth extraction or antibiotic medication. Home remedies can temporarily alleviate pain and may speed healing.
Over-the-counter pain remedies such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help, especially if the abscess is periodontal, involving areas surrounding the tooth and causing general malaise, fever and swollen lymph glands. Phyllis Balch, nutritionist and author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," suggests supplementing with B vitamins and probiotics, found in yogurt, kefir and other fermented foods, to bolster the immune system against the infection that is causing pain. These nutrients also help your body recover a normal balance of "friendly bacteria" after you take prescribed antibiotics.
Heat and Cold
Ice packs are a standard remedy for toothache for good reason; they relieve swelling and pain. Heat from a hot water bottle or warming pad can also make the pain from an abscess feel better, and has the beneficial effect of increasing circulation to fight infection. It is fine to alternate treatments, 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.
A mild saltwater solution, swished around and repeated frequently, can relieve pain. Balch suggests the use of an infection-fighting herb: "Echinacea tea or extract in warm water can be used as a mouthwash for dental abscesses. Be sure to prepare it warm and rinse your mouth with it every two hours." People with an autoimmune disease should not use echinacea.
Poultices are made from substances ground to a paste and applied to cloth, or between layers of cloth, and moistened. Poultices when applied on the outside of a swollen cheek reduce inflammation and thereby relieve pain. Balch recommends the herb chamomile used as a poultice to treat dental abscesses. She also advises drinking a cup of chamomile tea three or four times daily for this condition, and getting plenty of rest.
An ordinary teabag is a different type of poultice. Placed against the abscess, it should have an astrigent effect and relieve pain. A cotton ball saturated with baking soda and salt will have a similar action.
Do not use moistened aspirin tablets or full-strength hydrogen peroxide in the mouth. These substances can cause increased tissue damage and chemical burns.
- Phyllis Balch, CNC, "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," 2004
- Colgate Oral Care: Abscess
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
How to Relieve the Pain of an Abscess Tooth
If you have ever experienced the pain of an abscessed tooth you want the best pain relief as quick as you can...
How to Treat a Tooth Abscess
A tooth abscess can happen to anyone at any time. The situation can become very painful and frightening, as facial swelling often...
How to Make a Poultice for a Toothache
Toothaches don't always wait for a convenient time to occur. Sometimes you can develop dental pain when you have no access to...
How to Heal an Abscessed Tooth
An abscessed tooth is an infected tooth that generally occurs between the root and the gum and can come on either gradually...
How to Self Treat a Tooth Abscess
A tooth abscess is a pus filled bump that appears on your gums. These are caused by teeth that are rotten and...
How to Relieve a Face Swollen From a Toothache
A face swollen from a toothache occurs when facial and oral tissues become inflamed due to injury or infection. Your facial swelling...
How to Make a Bread Poultice
Bread poultice is beneficial in healing boils, skin infections and splinters. When applied to the skin like a compress the poultice will...
How to Treat an Abscess With Home Remedies
It's not advisable to treat a dental abscess at home, but there are home remedies for treating the symptoms. Find out why...
Relieving the Pain of an Abscess Tooth
Relieving the pain of an abscess tooth can be done by applying a numbing agent on the infected area, taking ibuprofen or...
Home Remedy for an Abscessed Tooth
A home remedy for an abscessed tooth is to pop the abscess with something sharp and sterile to drain the infection. Use...