What can you do for an abscess tooth?

If you’ve ever had an abscess tooth, you know it’s no joke. The pain is excruciating, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to alleviate the symptoms and get on the path to recovery. In this article, we’ll cover everything from home remedies to professional treatments so that you can find relief and keep your pearly whites healthy.

Understanding What An Abscess Tooth Is

Before diving into treatment options which don’t involve yanking out said tooth with pliers, it’s crucial first to understand what an abscess tooth is. Essentially, it’s a pocket of pus that develops around a tooth root due to bacterial infection; pretty gross if I say so myself (but maybe some people might like watching Dr Pimple Popper videos).

The infection typically occurs when bacteria enter the pulp (soft tissue inside the tooth), usually through a cavity or chip in its protective layer known as enamel. Once inside the pulp chamber, bacteria multiply rapidly causing damage not only at the location but sometimes even spread down to surrounding dental tissues- such as bones or gums yuck!.

As they multiply over time (sometimes very quickly), toxins released during their growth cause inflammation and swelling of nearby gum tissue that ultimately manifests itself as pain – hence why everyone tells horror stories about going for days without eating solid food!

Home Remedies

While seeing a dentist should always be priority one when dealing with any problem teeth-wise-always-(don’t start googling ‘how long does oil pulling take’) there are some things patients may do themselves right off-the-bat:

Maintain Oral Hygiene

This may sound simple enough: brushing more frequently than usual but also flossing adequately once every day helps reduce bacterial build-up on soft tissues between teeth-this was drilled into your head as a child for many reasons.

Use Saltwater

Gargling with salt water can temporarily bring down inflammation and fight bacteria; making it an effective remedy ‘on-the-go’ (because seriously, noone wants to be seen gargling in public!).

Peppermint Tea Bags

Another temporary-oops-there-I-said-it-way too-soon-illness is placing steeped peppermint tea bags against the afflicted area which relieves pain-in-the-mouth (duh) because of Menthol’s cooling effect. This should be combined with other treatments unless prompt professional treatment provided after medical consultation

Professional Treatment Options

These home remedies are undoubtedly useful, especially when immediate relief needed because sometimes all you want is “relief” but worth noting this only solves half of the problem. To put it differently: it’s like applying DEET for mosquito bites, maybe relieved itching and swelling but those mosquitos still out to getcha! So let’s look into some Professional Treatments:


As necessary to stop bacterial growth if infection looks likely “taking antibiotics prescribed will kill bacteria upwards their tracks”. In most cases bad taste or smell caused by the abscess means there’s a small opening at least allowing some draining from infected areas whilst also keeping establishment under control so medicine won’t help interfere with natural healing processes

Root Canal Treatment

In more critical cases when abscess gone beyond tooth enamel root canal identified as appropriate course of action/intervention once dentist assessed everything including patient history taking any medication/describe any symptoms fully understood.
It involves drilling through top layer (as dusting off debris only way see around cavity areas) then removing damaged/infected tissue inside pulp chamber before sealing back up (think putting pipework back together).

Tooth Extraction

Regrettably-if I could underline unfortunately multiple times-removing tooth necessary when it’s beyond saving. This procedure typically reserved for cases of tooth decay so advanced that the drilling/removing infected tissue could destabilize tooth structure, consequently above treatment not viable; alternatively in case there isn’t enough dental structure remaining to support crown installation after doing away with infection and trauma.

Other Professional Treatments

Sometimes useful or even warranted upon a dentist’s inspection even if abscess has been treated/removed:

  • Regular Deep cleaning “Scaling” requiring removal of any plaque/tartar build-up around gum line.

  • A gingival flap surgery is an additional option when pain/infection persistent: removing affected tissue/surrounding pockets where bacteria hiding (under local anaesthesia obvs).


Prevention, they say, better than cure. As such: do everything possible to avoid traumatic blows – which include bruising teeth on hard objects like rocks (yeah-we all know someone who TRIED using their Swiss Army Knife as a bottle opener).

Also, watch sugary treats from popping up between teeth but mainly stay up-to-date with oral care basics including regular check-ups because while sometimes painful hearing about cavities-it’s far less concerning knowing nothing too overwhelmingly stuck up there.


While dealing with an abscessed tooth can be unbearable at times – hence why treatments range from temporary remedies right through root canals and extractions – remember professional assistance must work alongside homecare strategies (or risk going back-and-forth repeatedly). So follow proper natural aid protocols before referring to dentists plus maintain meticulous individual hygiene habits )and as always seek advice early–)—because let’s face it now– no one likes ‘havin’ their pearly-whites feeling shady’.

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