An abscessed tooth is the result of a painful infection that radiates from the tip of the tooth’s root to the surrounding area in the gum. The causative agent of this painful condition is the decaying of the living part of the tooth, which is referred to as the tooth pulp. The reason for the extreme pain is because the pulp houses the nerve endings as well as blood vessels. Before an abscess forms, the tooth already has accumulated bacteria in the pulp. The multiplication of these bacteria causes the infection to spread from the pulp, reaching the tip of the tooth’s root, and in extreme cases, extending to the bone.
The abscess typically contains debris from the infected tissue, bacteria colonies as well as dead white blood cells (which were part of the body’s immune response). It is important to note that there are several causes of a tooth abscess. The most common is when a cavity becomes so entrenched that it gets to the pulp region, leading to inflammation.
This inflammation is what characterizes a toothache. If medical attention is not availed speedily, there is the risk of the pulp inflammation changing from a reversible condition to an irreversible condition. Once the latter stage is on, the pulp dies, or becomes necrotic to use medical terms. Once the pulp region is dead, the abscess forms from the infection present.
Other causes of tooth abscess include trauma to the jaw, dental treatments gone awry such as when a filling is set to proximal to the sensitive pulp region as well as extreme clenching. The most fundamental symptom of this condition is a severe toothache that does not abate, and is characterized by a persistent pulsating pain. Other symptoms of an abscessed tooth include extreme tooth sensitivity, swollen and reddened gums, pain when eating as well as fever.
More importantly, the death of the pulp in the root may cause the toothache to cease, but this does not necessarily mean that you are out of the red yet; the infection continues to cause tissue death as it spreads. For this reason, make sure that a severe toothache is attended to as a matter of urgency. Typically, the abscessed tooth is treated by draining the infection.
As soon as your dentist books your appointment you may want to check out some of the natural remedies available for this condition. It is important to note that these home remedies are not meant to supplant medical attention, They are in fact, meant to offer transient relief just prior to your appointment. Each of the remedies below contains pertinent information including: the approximate time taken, what you require as well as the difficulty of the same. Note that since most of the natural home remedies required for this condition revolve around proper oral hygiene, these solutions will be quite similar to home remedies required for healthy teeth.
1. Peppermint Oil:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Peppermint oil or fresh peppermint leaves, and a q-tip.
Peppermint oil is used as a home remedy for a myriad of conditions in the oral cavity. This is because the oil’s antiseptic and antibacterial properties work to destroy the causative bacteria of the infection. When these properties are added to the oil’s anti inflammatory nature, you have a remedy that effectively helps you deal with the pain of abscess in the tooth while reducing gum swelling in the affected region. The peppermint oil is available at your local chemist.
- Clean your hands before scooping some of the peppermint oil with your forefingers.
- Apply the oil on the affected tooth, making sure you massage the area gently but firmly. You could use a q-tip in place of your finger.
- Use this remedy twice daily or until you get a dentist’s appointment.
- If you opt for the use of fresh peppermint leaves, use a pestle and mortar to grind the leaves and get the juice. This peppermint juice contains the oil’s active ingredients and works in the same way as the oil. Note that due to the process of steam distillation, the use of the peppermint oil is more effective thanks to its potency.
2. Clove Oil:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Clove oil or fresh cloves, some cotton wool/ toothbrush, and warm water to rinse.
Clove oil, just like peppermint oil, has long been used to treat infections of the oral cavity, thanks to its efficiency in dealing with bacterial conditions. This oil is also ideal for the reduction of pain, and the reduced risk of gum infection. Other benefits of using clove oil include antiseptic and analgesic properties. The latter characteristic goes a long way in treating an abscessed tooth as it numbs the infected region, therefore reducing the pain.
Clove oil is a nutrient-rich home remedy that supplies nutrients to the affected region, and this goes a long way in reducing the spread of the infection to the gum tissue.
Note: Avoid the overuse of clove oil as its analgesic properties can easily lead to the death of nerves in the pulp chambers of the affected and surrounding teeth.
- Place a few drops of the clove oil on a small ball of cotton wool and dab it on the affected tooth.
- The other alternative is to place two drops of the clove oil on your toothbrush, and brush as normal for about 2 minutes.
- Do not swallow the oil-saliva mixture as it is laden with toxins. Spit it out instead and sip some warm water to rinse your mouth.
- If you opt to use the fresh cloves, simply chew on the whole clove, carefully positioning it between the abscessed tooth and the gum. This allows the extracted juice to act on the abscessed tooth.
3. Raw Garlic:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Fresh cloves of garlic, pestle and mortar, and lemon juice to rinse/mask the smell of garlic.
Difficulty: Moderate (Most people find the aroma of raw garlic pungent, and this makes it a bit difficult to use. If, however, you can muster enough will power, or are at your wits end thanks to the throbbing pain of the abscessed tooth, this does make for an excellent home remedy).
Garlic is an effective home remedy for a number of conditions, largely because of its effective antibacterial properties. Its use in the case of an abscessed tooth helps destroy the bacterial population causing the infection, while preventing the spread of the infection. The presence of allicin, a compound that is sulfur in nature, also helps you deal with the inflammation that characterizes abscessed teeth.
- Peel two cloves of the garlic and proceed to pound them using the pestle and mortar.
- Place some of the ground garlic on the affected tooth and let it sit for a couple of minutes. This allows you to get relief from the pain and inflammation.
- The other alternative as far as this method is concerned revolves around chewing on the garlic cloves, making sure to clench the garlic using the affected teeth. Let the garlic stay in this position for abut half an hour. Repeat the procedure thrice a day. You can use lemon juice as mouth wash if you are concerned about the smell of garlic.
4. Warm Salty Water:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: A teaspoon of salt, and a glass of warm water.
Salty water not only makes for an excellent disinfecting solution, it also has the capacity to reduce the pain and inflammation of the abscessed tooth. Its ability to fight off bacteria also makes it an invaluable home remedy. This is an excellent way to prevent the spread of the infection, and thus improve the condition of the abscessed tooth.
- Place the teaspoon of salt in the glass of warm water and stir to dissolve.
- When the salt is fully dissolved, use the salty solution as a mouth rinse. Repeat this procedure severally throughout your day or until you get medical attention.
5. Turmeric Powder:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A teaspoon of turmeric powder, a pinch of salt, a glass of warm water, and a soft cotton ball.
Turmeric powder is a natural remedy whose range of properties makes it an excellent addition to your home remedies. Turmeric is an effective antiseptic which makes it easy to destroy the causative agents of abscess in teeth. The powder’s ability to reduce inflammation makes it a choice option when you need to get relief. Note that the paste has a deep yellow color that is rather easy to stain, so you may need to get protective gear.
- Mix the salt and turmeric powder before adding the two to a glass of warm drinking water.
- Stir the mixture before using it as mouth wash. Use this remedy thrice a day, and ensure that you get checked by a certified dentist.
- The other alternative to preparing this remedy is to prepare a paste on a tablespoon. Simply place the turmeric powder on the spoon and add a few drops of water to create a smooth paste. Apply and massage this paste on the affected tooth. Repeat the procedure thrice daily or until the infection starts to clear (dependent on your dentist’s advice).
6. Plantain (Raw):
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: Fresh plantain leaves, pestle and mortar, and a soft cotton ball.
Raw plantain is a perfect home remedy when you need to deal with abscessed teeth. the gel squeezed from the freshly cut leaves is both an anti-inflammatory and aids in reducing the swelling of the affected region. Additional benefits of using raw plantain include soothing the area around the abscessed tooth, while gradually eliminating the symptoms associated with the condition.
- Take two fresh plantain leaves and pound them to get a paste-like substance.
- You will then take the crushed leaves and place on the abscessed tooth for about 20 minutes. Once the pain subsides, you can then get rid of the paste before using warm water to rinse your mouth.
Other handy home remedies that you can use to treat an abscessed tooth include baking soda which helps balance the pH levels in the oral cavity, herbal tea bag which effectively clears toxins in the mouth as well as apple cider vinegar (ACV) used to prevent inflammation while reducing the presence of bacteria in the area around the abscessed tooth. As mentioned above, the presence of an abscess on tooth requires urgent medical attention to prevent the infection from spreading to the gum.