How to Get Rid of a Tooth Infection
Tooth infections require immediate treatment from a dentist before you do anything else.Otherwise, the infection may worsen and cause more serious problems. Make an appointment with your dentist right away to get treatment and prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of your body. After you have been treated, there are some natural remedies that may help to support healing and relieve pain as you recover from your tooth infection. Just make sure that you check with your dentist before integrating any of these natural remedies.
Seeking Dental Treatment
Schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.When you call, say that you think you have a tooth infection so that you can be seen as soon as possible. Make sure that you see your dentist even if the pain goes away. Sometimes pain will subside because the nerves have died from the infection. Common signs of a tooth infection include:
- an intense, throbbing toothache that does not go away
- sensitivity to hot, cold, and pressure while eating or drinking
- swollen face and/or cheek
- tender, swollen lymph nodes (lymph nodes are glands located under your jaw)
- flood of bad tasting and bad smelling fluid, which can be white, gray, or yellow
- pain that is relieved by a ruptured abscess
Seek immediate medical treatment for serious symptoms.In some cases, you may need to go to an emergency room or call 911 for treatment. Seek immediate medical help if you have symptoms of a tooth infection and:
- a fever
- swelling in your face
- trouble breathing
- difficulty swallowing
- increased heart rate
Get your abscess drained.If you have an abscess with your tooth infection, then your dentist will need to drain it as soon as possible in order to get rid of the infection. To drain the abscess, your dentist will use a sterile scalpel to cut open the abscess and allow it to drain. You will be given anesthesia prior to this procedure so that you do not feel the pain.
Ask if you need a root canal or tooth extraction.If a tooth infection is severe, then it may be necessary for your dentist to perform a root canal or a tooth extraction. These are two different procedures and your dentist will talk to you about your options.
- Root canal. A root canal involves drilling deep into your tooth in order to drain an infected tooth. Your dentist will then place a crown on the tooth to seal and strengthen it.
- Tooth extraction. A tooth extraction is when your dentist removes a tooth that has become infected.
Use antibiotics as directed.In many cases, your dentist will prescribe an antibiotic to help treat an infection. The antibiotic will help to fight off any remaining bacteria from your tooth infection. Make sure that you take the antibiotics exactly as instructed by your dentist.
- Do not stop taking the antibiotics without talking to your dentist first because this may decrease the effectiveness of any antibiotics that you take in the future.
- Your doctor also might prescribe an anti-fungal medication for you (for the prevention of candida), as well as gastric protection pills for your stomach.
Take non-prescription pain relievers.You may have some pain after your procedure and your dentist may prescribe a pain reliever or advise you to take an over-the-counter pain reliever for pain. Some non-prescription pain reliever options include acetaminophen, naproxen, and ibuprofen.
- Make sure that you read and follow the instructions for use. Talk to your dentist if you are not sure what or how much to take.
Trying Natural Remedies
Rinse with warm sea salt water.Warm sea salt water can help with pain and it may also help to heal an infection.To make a warm sea salt water rinse, mix about one teaspoon of sea salt with one cup of water. Stir until the salt dissolves in the water. Then, sip enough of the fluid to swish in your mouth and swish for about a minute. Spit out the fluid when you are done.
- Repeat this process several times throughout the day to help with pain and promote healing.
Make a garlic compress.Garlic has been shown to have some powerful antibacterial properties.Try using fresh garlic in a compress for a tooth infection. You can either use fresh, crushed garlic or one teaspoon of dried garlic powder mixed with one teaspoon of water.
- To make the garlic compress, place the fresh crushed garlic or garlic powder paste into a clean nylon stocking.
- Gather the garlic into one small section of the nylon stocking so that it forms a small ball or lump.
- Then, apply the compress to the affected tooth and hold it there for about five minutes.
- Repeat this process four or five times per day.
Swish with apple cider vinegar.Some people use apple cider vinegar to help treat infections, so it might help with a tooth infection.Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with about one cup of water. Then, swish the solution in your mouth for about a minute and spit it out. Repeat this rinse a few times per day.
Apply clove oil.Clove oil may help ease some of the pain caused by an infected tooth. There is also some evidence that using a toothpaste that contains clove oil may be an effective treatment for plaque.
- To use clove oil, put a few drops on a cotton swab and dab the oil onto the affected tooth.
- Leave the clove oil on your tooth for about three to five minutes.
- Then, rinse out your mouth with some salt water.
- Repeat this treatment four or five times per day.
Maintaining Good Oral Health
Brush your teeth twice per day.Brushing your teeth in the morning and the evening can help to reduce plaque and prevent cavities. Make sure that you use a fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth and take your time as well. Other good brushing habits include:
- Brush all surfaces of your teeth (front, back, tops, and along the gumline).
- Keep your toothbrush in a stand that allows it to air dry (a moist toothbrush is more prove to bacteria).
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
Floss your teeth twice daily.Flossing is also crucial because a toothbrush cannot reach between your teeth. You can use regular dental floss or pre-threaded flossers to get in between your teeth. When you floss, you should also make sure to:
- Use a long (18”) piece of floss so that you will have enough to floss between all of your teeth.
- Run the floss up and down the sides of your teeth. Do not just pull the floss in and out between your teeth.
- Use a gentle touch. Pressing too hard may cause injury or bleeding to your gums.
Swish with mouthwash after brushing and flossing.Swishing with an antimicrobial mouthwash or a mouthwash that contains fluoride may also help to improve your dental health. Look for a mouthwash that fights plaque and use it after brushing and flossing for extra protection.
Schedule regular checkups with your dentist.Regular checkups can help your dentist to detect any problems, such as tooth decay or plaque build-up. Your dentist can provide treatments to help promote your dental health and fix problems before they get worse. Make sure that you see your dentist twice per year for a cleaning and exam. Also call your dentist if you notice any signs of a problem such as:
- red, bleeding gums
- gums that are pulling away from your teeth
- changes in the alignment of your teeth
- loose teeth
- sensitivity to hot and cold
- constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
To get rid of a tooth infection naturally, start by mixing 1 teaspoon of sea salt in 1 cup of water and rinsing your mouth with the mix several times a day, which can reduce infection. You can also mix the same measurements of apple cider vinegar and water and swish with that. Alternatively, make an antibacterial garlic compress by placing fresh crushed garlic in a piece of nylon stocking and applying it to the area for 3 to 5 minutes, 4 to 5 times a day. For chronic tooth pain from a tooth infection, visit a dentist for immediate care.
- Do not attempt to treat a tooth infection without seeking help from a dentist. Tooth infections can spread to your jaw and even into your neck and head if left untreated. This can lead to sepsis, which can be fatal. Even if the pain goes away, it is important to see a dentist for treatment.
- Never try to squeeze or pop an abscess. You could do a lot of harm to your mouth and spread the infection. Infections on your upper teeth are especially dangerous, as they are closer to bones that are slightly spongy. These spongy bones allow infections to spread quickly to brain tissue.
Sources and Citations
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