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From the day you start to grow teeth as a baby, maintaining good dental health is an essential part of your daily life. I am sure you can remember when you were growing up, your parents’ nightly mantra is to ask you to brush your teeth before going to bed. They know very well that poor dental hygiene is detrimental not only to your oral health but also to your overall health.

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is your lifelong responsibility to avoid a plethora of oral diseases associated with poor oral and dental hygiene. However, once in a while, you will still get those occasional dental problems, and suffering from tooth abscesses is one of them.

Typically, visiting a dentist can solve the problem efficiently, but there are many people, perhaps even you, who fear going to the dentist to resolve this problem. Visiting the dentist has been known to cause anxiety, panic attacks, and sleepless nights even for the toughest of guys.

The good news is that several tried and tested home remedies to deal with tooth abscesses, and in this article, we will explore some of them.


What is a tooth abscess?

Are you experiencing some acute pain or discomfort in your tooth area recently? One of the causes may be the presence of a condition known as a tooth abscess. Most tooth abscesses are caused by a bacterial infection that invades your gums or tooth. As a natural reaction, your body’s immune system signals a defense to attack the bacteria, and during this battle, it can create a hole at the root of your tooth, which will then be filled with pus to form an abscess.

Why do you get a tooth abscess?

Many reasons lead to this condition, but among them, the most common reasons are due to poor dental and oral hygiene. Another reason is an injury or trauma around your face or mouth areas. Tooth abscess does not happen overnight and will take weeks or even months to develop, so you may not know that this was happening until you get a sharp pain.

What are the common symptoms of a tooth abscess?

  • Some of the more symptoms of a tooth abscess include:
  • Throbbing pain in your tooth that might spread to your jaw and neck areas
  • Swelling around the gums on the infected tooth

What are the home remedies for tooth abscesses?

There are a few very effective home remedies you can explore to help you find some comfort and relief from the pain and soreness caused by a tooth abscess and help stop the spot from becoming aggravated. These remedies use natural and readily available household products and can be easily prepared.

Rinsing with saltwater

Perhaps one of the most effective age-old tooth abscess remedies is to rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. Salt has been used for centuries to kill off bacteria not only in your mouth but on almost any infected areas of your body. Besides being a safe and effective way to stop the bacteria in its track and stop the infection, it also offers you some comfort level by lessening the pain and discomfort. Take a ½ teaspoon of table salt and mix it with a cup of warm water. If your tolerance of salt is higher, you can add a ½ tablespoon instead. Make sure that you stir the solution until the salt is completely dissolved.

Take the salt solution, tilt your head backward, and start to gargle the solution in your mouth and throat for at least 30 seconds. Repeat the gargling process a few times in one session and schedule at least three sessions per day for this to be effective. Although some bacteria may not be killed off instantly, it will flush them out, and you can rinse them away.


Garlic has long been considered a proper herbal remedy to help alleviate pain caused by a tooth abscess. Garlic is a plant in the onion family grown in many parts of the world and is a popular ingredient in cooking due to its strong smell and delicious taste.

Apart from its practical use for other ailments, its effectiveness in treating toothache is well documented. The active ingredient in garlic is a sulfur-containing amino acid called allicin which gives garlic its strong smell and anti-bacterial and inflammatory properties. These properties act as a natural anesthetic helping to reduce pain and bacteria caused by an infection. Using crushed garlic cloves on the tooth abscess’s affected area can effectively help ease the pain.

To make garlic paste, peel some fresh garlic cloves, place them into a bowl, and add one teaspoon of salt. Crush and mix them until a smooth paste is formed. If the paste is too dry, try adding a few drops of olive oil to the mixture. You can then apply the paste to the affected tooth for at least 10-15 minutes. The pain gradually subsides during this period. You can repeat this process as and when required.

If preparing the garlic paste is too much hassle, you can pop one peeled garlic clove into your mouth and start chewing.


Using ice cubes is another popular and effective way of relieving a toothache. You can either use an ice pack and apply it directly to the tooth, or you suck on a few ice cubes and direct the ice onto the affected tooth. The relief is almost immediate as the ice will your gums and nerve and provide temporary relief. Although it is effective, the comfort wears off rather quickly, so you may find yourself having to repeat this process constantly.


Vinegar is also another readily available ingredient at home that can help with toothache.

To prepare, soak a piece of clean cloth in vinegar and press gently onto the cheek area of the affected tooth for a few minutes until it draws out the pain and numbs it. You can repeat the process as and when required.

Clove oil

Clove oil is another excellent and effective alternative to treat tooth pain from a tooth abscess. Clove oil contains the ingredient eugenol that has the effect of numbing the nerve tissue of your tooth. You must first dilute the clove oil by adding two to three drops to a neutral carrier oil, such as olive oil or canola oil. Dip a piece of cloth, paper towel, or cotton bud into the diluted mix and apply it directly onto the affected tooth. The numbing effect will occur in about 5-10 minutes. Please do not use the clove oil without diluting as it can irritate.

Baking Soda

If what you have at home is only baking soda, consider yourself lucky as it can be your savior when you are in pain from toothache. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda and mix it with a cup of cold water. Take a piece of cloth or paper towel and dip it into the mixture and gently apply it onto your aching tooth and gums until the pain gradually subsides. Apart from relieving you of the pain, it also kills off the bacteria in your mouth.


If you are a tea drinker, you have the choice of using this remedy to treat your tooth pain. Using regular tea bags soaked in either hot or cold water has proven to be a rather popular and effective method for people who don’t want to prepare their home remedy mixtures. As they are readily available, you can quickly soak them in water and apply them directly onto the affected tooth area until the pain subsides.

Petroleum Jelly

If you have petroleum jelly such as the famous Vaseline at home, you can also use it as an instant home remedy for tooth pain. Dip a cotton bud into petroleum jelly and apply it directly onto the affected teeth near the roots. It can remove at least 90 percent of the pain instantly.

Vicks Vapor Rub

Ah… the must-have product for all homes… Not just used for coughs and colds relief, Vicks VapoRub can be very effective if you have a swollen tooth. Vicks VapoRub is a topical ointment made from a few primary ingredients such as camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol. Don’t worry… you will not need to put Vicks onto the affected tooth itself but instead rub some over the jay and cheek area where the pain is radiating from. You will soon feel the pain subsiding and the swelling reduced.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Like saltwater rinse, as mentioned earlier, you can use hydrogen peroxide to kill off bacteria and helps reduce inflammation on your swollen gums. This home remedy is very effective in healing bleeding gums or toothache caused by a tooth abscess. Mix in equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and water and rinse your mouth with the solution for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. Take care not to digest the hydrogen peroxide solution, and it should not be used for children. Repeat the process as necessary.


The above remedies are not an exhaustive list but a good start to help you deal with the pain caused by a tooth abscess. However, remember that these are only measures to provide you with temporary relief and always have your tooth abscess looked at by a qualified dentist for further treatment and proper care. For more great home remedies, you don’t miss this HERE.