Tooth abscesses aren’t common, but they can be a serious and painful dental condition. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus, usually near the root of the tooth, caused by an infection. Symptoms include sharp shooting pains in the tooth, sensitivity to hot and cold, and redness and swelling of the gums. In extreme cases, your face and mouth can swell, and bacteria from the abscess can enter the bloodstream, leading to respiratory problems.
Fortunately, there are many abscessed tooth home remedies that can provide relief. Let’s look at some treatments you can attempt yourself if you suspect you’re suffering from an abscessed tooth.
What causes an abscessed tooth?
Several things can cause a tooth abscess. The most common causes are bacterial infections that have spread to the tooth, including gingivitis, periodontitis, and other types of gum disease.
People who don’t brush their teeth regularly or adequately enough will have poor oral hygiene and are more likely to end up with gum disease or a tooth abscess.
An abscessed tooth can also be caused by a weak immune system or other dental issues such as a chipped or cracked tooth. Weak tooth enamel or a dental infection that has been left untreated can also lead to an abscess.
Those who eat a diet high in carbohydrates and sugary, sticky foods will be more at risk of dental problems such as an abscessed tooth.
How to tell if you have an abscessed tooth
If you have an abscessed tooth, you’ll feel excruciating pain, in the form of a severe toothache that’s constantly present. You’ll also feel a sharp, shooting pain in your tooth every time you eat, which can be so bad that you’ll have to eat with just one side of your mouth. You’ll also be more sensitive to hot or cold foods and water.
Tooth abscesses also cause a discharge, which is often foul smelling and will give you bad breath. You’ll also notice redness and swelling in the gums that surround the affected tooth.
In more severe cases, the swelling can extend to your face. You’ll feel an intense, throbbing pain, which can affect your ability to swallow and is also likely to cause difficulty sleeping.
What does a tooth abscess look and feel like?
An abscessed tooth will feel very painful, and you’ll likely have very sensitive teeth and feel sharp pains while eating. If you look in your mouth, the gum surrounding the tooth will look very red and swollen. In severe cases, an abscessed tooth may make your face look swollen.
Can a tea bag help an abscessed tooth?
One of the most common home remedies for tooth abscess is an herbal tea bag, ideally one containing black or green tea. Dip the tea bag into warm water and then wring out the excess water. Be careful that you don’t damage the tea bag while doing so. You can then put the wet tea bag over the abscessed tooth. If possible, lie down and leave the tea bag in place for a few hours. Repeat this treatment as often as you need to until your tooth starts to feel better.
Tannins, which are chemical compounds naturally found in tea, have been shown to have antibacterial properties, which makes them a popular home remedy for fighting infection. The tea bag may also help soak up any pus or discharge released by the abscess.
If any pus or discharge has been released from the affected tooth, you can rinse your mouth out with a hydrogen peroxide solution. This can help prevent the area from festering.
What helps abscess tooth pain?
One popular remedy for reducing abscess tooth pain is to flush the area with coconut oil. First, rinse your mouth out by gargling with warm water. This helps get rid of any discharge. Then put a tablespoon of coconut oil into your mouth and swirl it around your mouth, concentrating on the affected area. Do this for between fifteen and twenty minutes without swallowing the coconut oil. After this time, you can spit the oil out and rinse your mouth with warm water again. It’s best if you gargle with coconut oil twice daily until you start to notice an improvement in your tooth.
Coconut oil also has antibacterial properties, which may allow it to offer relief for an abscessed tooth and sore gums.
Alternatively, you can try gargling with a mixture of warm water and salt, which may help promote wound healing and fight infection. If your face is swollen or your teeth are very painful, you can also put a cold compress against your face.
Another common home remedy for an abscess is apple cider vinegar. First, rinse out your mouth with warm water and then use a tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Gargle for up to twenty minutes twice daily. Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce pain and inflammation.
Can a tooth abscess go away on its own?
A tooth abscess is unlikely to go away on its own without any treatment. If you have an abscessed tooth, doing nothing is likely to make it worse and could lead to bacteria entering the bloodstream, which can cause other health problems. If you can’t get to a dentist immediately, try one of the above home remedies listed above and consult your dentist for further advice.
Is a tooth abscess an emergency?
A tooth abscess can be a dental emergency, so it’s best to start one of the above abscessed tooth home remedies as soon as you begin to notice problems. Schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible, and try out some home remedies while you wait. Delaying treatment isn’t advisable as abscesses can cause more severe medical problems to develop.
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