There are plenty of gum abscess home remedies, but none are going to work if you don’t treat the cause of the problem first. A gum abscess happens when food particles get caught between your teeth and gums, causing an infection that can eventually lead to other complications, including tooth loss if left untreated or undetected. For fast and effective treatment of gum abscesses, try these home remedies in combination with other treatments like antibiotics.
Garlic has been used as a home remedy to treat a variety of health conditions, including gum disease and abscesses. According to some sources, garlic can even help kill and prevent tooth decay. To make use of garlic as a home remedy for gum abscesses, crush or chop up a clove of fresh garlic and rub it directly on your gum abscess until you notice an improvement in symptoms. Some users recommend placing cheesecloth over your mouth after applying crushed garlic to your gums, which will help prevent bad breath and keep food particles from getting stuck in your teeth. Garlic has strong antibacterial properties that can help reduce swelling and fight off infection by staving off harmful bacteria that may be causing pain.
Tea steeped from chamomile flowers is an effective home remedy for gum abscesses. The anti-inflammatory effects of chamomile can reduce swelling, calm pain, and combat infection in your mouth. Boil one cup of water, then add 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers and let it simmer uncovered until it’s reduced to half a cup. Pour through a strainer into a mug and drink while warm. Chamomile tea is safe to use multiple times per day until your abscess has subsided.
If you want a home remedy that’s as effective as a trip to your dentist, consider getting acupuncture. This age-old Chinese practice is said to stimulate blood flow in problem areas and alleviate pain. A small study done in 2001 found that acupuncture can significantly reduce gum abscess symptoms within two days—and even eliminate them altogether after three sessions. Talk to your acupuncturist about whether gum pain relief is right for you. And while you’re at it, tell him or her about any other aches and pains you’ve been having too; acupuncture can help treat everything from backaches to insomnia!
Try Herbal Medicine
If you’re prone to gum disease, follow a good oral health routine. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, and maintain regular dental checkups. Gum abscesses are more common in people with chronic gum disease. There is some evidence that not enough vitamin C can lead to gum disease. Vitamin C is found in fruits like oranges, lemons, kiwi fruit, and papaya. Research shows that eating these may help prevent gum disease by strengthening gums and boosting the immune system overall.
Do Hot Salt Water Gargles
To reduce pain, gargle with salt water several times a day. Heat a cup of water on your stovetop and dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in it. (If you have sensitive skin, try using half as much salt.) Gargle with about 1/4 cup of warm salt water for 3 to 5 minutes. This can help ease pain and speed healing. Or you can use cool or room-temperature water to gargle if you find that more comfortable. Once your abscess heals, do not forget to floss every day—or consider using floss picks instead—to keep gum disease from coming back.
Get In The Cold!
In severe cases, it’s possible to burst a gum abscess through pressure and pain. If you’re suffering from tooth or gum pain that is not subsiding, try plunging your mouth into a bowl of ice water or fill your bathroom sink with cold water and place your face over it. The shock of cold may be enough to relieve some of that pressure. Make sure to watch out for any droplets dripping into your eyes—it would be an easy way to give yourself an eye infection! You can also add some salt (1 teaspoon per cup) to soothe irritated gums.
If you want to treat your gum abscess at home, you may be able to kick it by rinsing and spitting with warm salt water, a saltwater mouthwash, or hydrogen peroxide. Some practitioners recommend chewing on willow bark (as in aspirin), taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and applying a warm compress to your gums to ease pain and encourage healing. If your condition gets worse or persists for more than a few days, you should get professional help. You’ll probably need antibiotics and possibly surgical treatment if an abscess doesn’t drain properly or completely breaks through your gum line.
Change Your Diet
Gum abscesses are painful and usually result from decay, so your first step is to change your diet. Start rinsing with warm salt water every day. While it might hurt to start out, most people find that using salt water rinse is far less painful than a regular toothbrush. The reason is simple: Saltwater kills germs, which helps to relieve pain. Continue swishing with salt water until you see your dentist or periodontist (if you have one) and get professional treatment (e.g., periodontal scaling).