10 Home Remedies for a Tooth Abscess

A woman holding her jaw in pain from a tooth abscess.

Tooth abscesses can form in your gums or on the roots of your teeth. Common causes include untreated tooth decay, gum disease, or damage caused by injuries. 

Suppose you’re wondering how to drain a tooth abscess at home to avoid a trip to the dentist. In that case, you should know tooth abscesses are severe dental health issues requiring expert dental care. You shouldn’t attempt to drain the abscess yourself; doing so could cause more severe health issues by spreading the infection. However, you may temporarily relieve your symptoms with reputable home remedies for an abscessed tooth.

Start by reviewing tooth abscess symptoms if you suspect you have an abscessed tooth that needs treatment. Explore the home remedy options for treating an abscessed tooth and use home treatment to alleviate your symptoms until you can see your dentist.

Although home remedies can offer short-term relief, tooth abscesses are severe dental health issues. Untreated bacterial infections can spread and cause life-threatening health problems, such as bacterial meningitis and sepsis. 

Tooth abscess symptoms

Symptoms of tooth abscesses include the following:

  • Fever
  • Foul mouth odor
  • Pain from chewing
  • Pain from biting
  • Sensitivity to temperatures
  • Severe toothache
  • Severe toothache spreading to your ear, jaw, or neck
  • Swollen lymph nodes

1. Rinse with saltwater 

Saltwater rinses eliminate bad breath and keep your mouth clean. These rinses also effectively reduce your pain and manage your tooth abscess symptoms. All you need for a saltwater rinse is half a teaspoon of salt and half a cup of warm water because salt dissolves better in warm water. Mix the salt with the water. Fill your mouth and swish it to reach all parts of your mouth. 

The rinse should last approximately 120 seconds before you spit the saltwater out. Use the saltwater rinse up to three times daily, as needed.

2. Aloe vera gel 

Aloe vera helps reduce swelling and fight bacterial infections. Rubbing aloe vera gel on your abscess effectively combats symptoms at home until you can see your dentist. 

3. Baking soda rinse 

Baking soda is an excellent option for homemade mouth rinses because it helps fight bacteria and plaque and keep your teeth looking their best. Combine a cup of water with a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and rinse for five minutes. 

Another variation of this recipe calls for half a cup of water, half a teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt.

4. Cold compress 

Cold compresses are easy to make because ice and a dry towel are all you need. Wrap the ice in the towel and place the compress against the skin nearest the abscess. You can keep the compress in place for up to 15 minutes and repeat this as needed to alleviate pain.

5. Garlic paste 

Get a clove of garlic and crush it into a paste you can apply to the abscess. You can apply garlic paste to the abscess several times daily. 

6. Apply fenugreek tea

Fenugreek is an herb that’s popular in Mediterranean and Asian foods. It’s known for impressive health benefits, including promoting insulin production, reducing blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, and fighting infections. Combine a teaspoon of fenugreek with a hot cup of water. Let the mixture cool before using a cotton ball to apply it to your abscess. You can use this treatment up to three times daily.¬†

7. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can reduce swelling, fight your infection, and reduce plaque buildup. Make a hydrogen peroxide mix by combining two parts of water with one part 3% hydrogen peroxide. If you use half a cup of water, combine it with a quarter cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide.

Spit all of the mixture out after you’ve thoroughly rinsed your mouth. Repeat as needed.¬†¬†

8. Make oregano essential oil

Create an oregano essential oil mix by combining the essential oil with a carrier oil. Apply this treatment to your abscess with a cotton swab. Hold the swab against the abscess for 120 seconds before removing it. Rinse the essential oil from your mouth after 10 minutes. 

Oregano essential oil is an effective home treatment for pain and swelling because it’s an anti-inflammatory. You can use this treatment up to three times daily.

9. Make clove or thyme essential oil

Making clove essential oil is comparable to making oregano essential oil. You will need the following:

  • Carrier oil: 1 ounce
  • Clove essential oil: 3 to 5 drops

You can use water if you don’t have carrier oil. Once you mix the ingredients, you can apply the mixture to your abscess using a cotton swab.¬†

Thyme essential oil is another effective abscess tooth home remedy. You’ll need a few drops of the essential oil. Combine the essential oil with an ounce of carrier oil. Apply the mixture to the abscess with a cotton ball up to three times daily.¬†

10. Oil pulling

You can treat abscessed tooth symptoms with one tablespoon of sesame, olive, or raw coconut oil. Swish the oil in your mouth. Ensure you reach all parts of your mouth and swish the oil for up to 20 minutes. Spit the oil out in your garbage can.

Absolute Dental makes dental care affordable

We understand dental care can be expensive, particularly if you don’t have insurance. That’s why we have the following payment options available:

  • Care Credit: We accept payments via Care Credit
  • Medicaid: Patients can use Medicaid to pay for dental healthcare services
  • Reputable insurers: We accept dental care plans from several insurance companies, including Humana, United Healthcare, and Health Plan of Nevada
  • Smile Saver Program: Our Smile Saver Program covers general dental services, such as dental checkups and discounts on other dental care costs

Turn to experts for your dental health needs

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Absolute Dental offers general and emergency dental care to patients throughout Nevada. Whether you need emergency services in Las Vegas, Reno, or Sparks, we have experienced dental teams ready to provide the treatment you need. We also have a Spanish website for Spanish-speaking patients.

Call us at (844) 876-4536 to learn which of our locations accepts walk-in patients needing emergency dental care. (844) 8‑SMILE‑NOW
(844) 876‑4536


Is Baking Soda Mouthrinse Safe and Effective? (2023). 

Leiva, C. (2021). How Do Saltwater Rinses Help Your Oral Health?

Tooth abscess. (2022).

About the Author

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Dr. Joan Landron

Currently serving the community at Absolute Dental since August 2008, Dr. Joan Landron graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1997.

She further honed her skills with a general practice residency at Metropolitan Hospital and underwent specialized training at New York University’s Implant Program for General Practitioners. Specializing in services such as X-rays, examinations, cleanings, crowns, and more, Dr. Landron brings a comprehensive approach to general and cosmetic dentistry, including implants.

A proud member of the American Dental Association, Nevada Dental Association, and Southern Nevada Dental Association, she cherishes her free time by spending moments with family, reading, and maintaining her health through exercise. Dr. Landron takes immense pride in being a part of the Absolute Dental team and is dedicated to her patients at the Absolute Dental – Nellis in Las Vegas, ensuring they receive the best care possible.

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