The throbbing and pain keeps you up at night. However, this is worse than some regular old toothache; you are experiencing abscess tooth pain. Abscess tooth pain is caused by an infection hiding deep within your gums at the root of your tooth. This can cause sharp pain, swelling, pus drainage, increased sensitivity, fever, and pain while you eat, drink, and talk. It is definitely not a fun time.

Abscess tooth pain can occur if your tooth has suffered a trauma that caused it to crack or chip. The opening may allow bacteria in to create the infection. Other cases are caused by poor dental hygiene resulting in gingivitis and tooth decay. In many cases, you cannot get to your dentist fast enough to soothe the abscess tooth pain and are forced to be miserable until your appointment. This article will give you some remedies that can be used at home to combat and soothe that pain until you can get to the dental chair for help.

woman with tooth ache crown problem about to cry from pain

Top 4 Easy Solutions for Abscess Tooth Pain

1. Garlic

The use of garlic to relieve abscess tooth pain is popular. Garlic has both anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties because it contains an amino acid called allicin which is rich in sulfur. It also has the ability to temporarily numb the pain through its anesthetic ability.

How to apply:

  • Take a garlic clove and slice a thin sliver from it. Take the sliver and place it directly onto the infected tooth. Allow it to remain on the area for a few minutes. Rinse with water.
  • Add a tablespoon of garlic juice to a cup of water. Gargle with this rinse 3 to 4 times daily.
  • Ingesting garlic can help boost your immune system. Add it to salads or take a daily garlic supplement tablet to help fight the infection from the inside.


  • Refrain from the use of garlic internally for at least 2 weeks if you are approaching a surgery. In some people garlic will promote bleeding in these cases.
  • Also, try to keep garlic from remaining against your cheek for too long. The membrane of your cheek is sensitive and garlic can cause contact burns if allowed to press against it for too long.

2. Clove

Another tried and true remedy for many types of oral discomfort is clove and clove oil. The eugenol that is present within cloves provides some relief through its anesthetic ability. Clove also has antiseptic, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties all of which will help keep bacteria at bay and allow the abscess to heal. This is a great method to use until you can get to your dentist who can then fill any crack or chip to block the bacteria more permanently.

How to apply:

  • Oil application: Use a cotton ball or swab to apply the oil to the affected area by gently rubbing. If you can bear the slight burning and fairly strong taste, allow the cotton ball to remain on the area for a few minutes. If you find the flavor too strong, you can slightly dilute it with olive oil.
  • Whole clove application: Place 2 whole cloves inside your mouth and chew them. This will promote saliva production that will mix with the oils in the clove. Hold some of that liquid near the area affected for a few minutes. Spit out the used cloves.
  • Ground application: Create a paste by mixing a small amount of ground clove with a few drops of a carrier oil such as coconut or olive.
  • Do any of these methods 2 or 3 times a day for relief.

Caution: The use of clove topically for oral pain relief should only be used as a short term method. Extended use can eventually cause damage to tissues. Also, people with bleeding disorders should avoid ingesting clove due to the eugenol which slows blood clotting.

3. Salt Water

You may have grown up hearing or using this in your own home and may have passed it off as an old wives’ tale. However, salt water gargles have disinfectant properties that can combat germs to fight the infection and reduce pain and inflammation too. The warmth of the gargle can even help pull the infection and stop it from spreading.

How to apply:

  • Take a teaspoon of salt (table, sea, or Epsom) and place it into a glass of hot water.
  • Stir the water until the salt has dissolved.
  • Allow the water to cool to a palatable temperature.
  • Gargle with the mixture and gently swish it around before spitting it out.
  • Repeat until the cup is empty.
  • Repeat the process 2 to 3 times a day ideally after eating.

tea bags

4. Black Tea Bag

Black tea is full of antioxidants and tannins which act as an astringent. It can help absorb toxins and pullout the infection. Pain and swelling can also be reduced because of the caffeine which has analgesic properties.

How to apply:

  • Enjoy a cup of black tea to help combat the infection from within. Save the used tea bag.
  • Place the bag on the affected area.
  • Leave it on overnight for relief.
  • Remove the bag in the morning and rinse with salt water.
  • Repeat as often as necessary.

Wrapping Up

Dental pain in general is no laughing matter. It is painful and can impede your daily life making it hard to eat or even speak. Abscess tooth pain is even worse and can be detrimental to your health if left untreated. In those times you are unable to get to the dentist for treatment right away. Therefore, these remedies can help fight the bacteria causing the infection and provide some much needed temporary relief.

What remedies have you found useful to combat abscess tooth pain? Have you found relief with any of the methods listed in this article? Please take the time to leave any suggestions or tips for others seeking relief from the dreaded abscess tooth pain.

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