Tooth Infection: Home remedies

Torbram Dental weighs in on common home remedies for a tooth abscess (infection). (Source: Healthline, 10 Remedies for a Tooth Abscess, Written by Kitty Jay, medically reviewed by Christine Frank, DDS, July 31, 2019,

A tooth abscess is a buildup of pus in the tooth cavity, often caused by bacterial infection. People often mistakenly dismiss toothaches and associated symptoms as harmless in the initial stages, and medical attention is rarely sought. Instead, they resort to quick fixes in the name of home remedies to alleviate their pain. Torbram Dental reviews the common home remedies used and their effectiveness. 

Salt water rinse

Torbram Dental explains, “Salt water is an isotonic solution that has disinfectant properties. Therefore, making it desirable to reduce bacteria in the mouth. The healing properties are the reason salt water gargling is often recommended after certain medical procedures. We advise you to limit the number of rinses to 3-4 per week as too much salt water can erode the teeth enamel, cause bleeding or irritate your gums.”

Baking soda

Torbram Dental says, “Baking soda is commonly misused as a home remedy rather than its namesake. Patients must be warned that baking soda is an abrasive compound that can erode your teeth’ enamel and cause teeth sensitivity. The damaged enamel can further lead to cavities making it a poor choice for treating tooth abscesses. Also, baking soda can weaken dental fixtures and the adhesives of braces. Patients are recommended not to use baking soda as a remedy.”

Oregano/ Clove/ Thyme essential oil

Torbram Dental expresses, “Oil and water do not mix. This is a known fact. Essential oils must be diluted in a carrier oil or solution. Although an essential oil is the natural extraction of a plant, it should never be applied neat on any area. Keep in mind that once digested, the oil will most likely coat or leave a residue on the esophagus lining or stomach. This could cause irritation and can potentially burn the digestive tract. Suppose you are interested in trying this particular at-home treatment. In that case, it is best to consult with your dentist or a herbalist who specializes in essential oils. We think it is best to use essential oils for other purposes like diffusing, cleaning solutions, or self-care products like creams and lotions. We offer the same advice regarding the other essential oils (clove and thyme) mentioned in the article.”

Cold compress

Torbram Dental recommends, “Cold compress is the best solution for teeth abscess since it helps reduce inflammation. Never use heat as it can draw out the infection. A cold compress will also help subside the pain until you seek medical intervention.”

Fenugreek tea

Torbram Dental advises that “Fenugreek is usually harmless, explaining its widespread use in Indian cuisines. But in large doses could prove harmful as it can cause congenital disabilities, making it dangerous for pregnant women. Some people have reported severe allergic reactions and skin irritation. Fenugreek may also cause indigestion, bloating, diarrhea, and unpleasant urine odor.” 

Hydrogen peroxide

Torbram Dental warns, “Gargling with Hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous as it can cause serious gastrointestinal issues if swallowed. Swallowing hydrogen peroxide up to 3% concentration is harmless. Still, the food-grade hydrogen peroxide has a concentration of 35%, making it an ill-advised option, especially for children. A report found that patients developed gastrointestinal issues after using a 3% hydrogen peroxide mouthwash during a medical procedure”.

Oil pulling

Torbram Dental states, “Oil pulling is relatively harmless when done the right way. But inhalation of oily substances or accidental swallowing of the oil can contaminate your air passages with toxins and oral pathogens. This has been reported as a cause of lipoid pneumonia. Also, the rigorous motion of oil pulling can cause jaw discomfort and make you nauseous.”


Torbram Dental suggests, “Garlic is a popular ingredient with multiple health benefits. It can also temporarily alleviate toothache, but consuming raw garlic can cause bad breath, body odor, stomach upset, heartburn, or acid reflux. It is also known to cause an allergic reaction in some people.” 


In conclusion, Torbram Dental advises you to consider the side effects of home remedies before using them. Also, Torbram Dental recommends seeking medical intervention as soon as possible for effective and timely treatment. 

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