Best Mouthwash For Tooth Infection (Our Top 5)

In this blog post we are going to learn about which is the best mouthwash for tooth infection and also about what causes tooth infection.

Best Mouthwash For Tooth Infection 

Tooth infection is quite an uncomfortable situation to be in and the pain associated with a tooth infection can be very excruciating. All a person with a tooth infection would want is to get relief from the pain immediately. However, the bitter truth is that there is magic potion that will kill the tooth pain immediately. Proper dental treatment and medications such as antibiotics and painkillers are the only permanent solution for tooth infection

However, at times we might not have a dentist in our reach, especially late at night. In such a situation a mouthwash that will help in lessening the pain and bringing down the infection is much needed. The best mouthwash for tooth infection that can be safely used for these two purposes is not one but three, which are salt water rinse mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide mouthwash and betadine rinses.  

All the three above mentioned mouthwashes are medicated mouthwashes and they work great in a tooth infection. However, these mouthwashes are not the ultimate treatment for tooth infection. They will only be able to provide some temporary relief and can also be used as an adjunct to the medications and treatment given to you by your dentist. The only permanent solution for a tooth infection is proper diagnosis and treatment by a qualified dental surgeon.

What Are The Various Types Of Tooth Infections?

Tooth infection is an umbrella term which covers many diseases of the tooth under it. There are multiple types of tooth infection with different etiological factors, all of which require a different treatment approach. While a particular tooth infection might just go away with a simple procedure like tooth filling, some may require a complex procedure like root canal or sometimes even extraction of the tooth which is not salvageable. 

The most common type of tooth infection is tooth decay or a tooth cavity. This infection starts when the bacteria in the mouth start digesting food particles that remain stuck to the teeth and during this process they release acids which dissolve the outermost protective layer of teeth, the enamel and form a cavity. It is common to experience sensitivity to air, hot and cold temperatures and sweet and salty foods and beverages if a tooth has a cavity.

 A tooth with a cavity may even become painful if the cavity becomes deep. A bacteria named Streptococcus mutans is mainly responsible for forming cavities in the teeth.

The next type of tooth infection is pulpitis or inflammation of the pulp. The pulp is the core of the teeth which is responsible for keeping the tooth alive. It has different kinds of cells, arterioles and venules and nerve endings which provide blood and nutrition to the tooth and keep it healthy from within. When a tooth cavity reaches the inner surfaces of the teeth and gets close to the pulp, it can irritate and infect the pulp. When this happens the pulp gets inflamed and the tooth becomes painful in return.

Another type of tooth infection, and one of the most serious ones is abscess. When pulpitis remains untreated for long, a part of the pulp or the entire pulp can die. All the contents of the pulp chamber get necrosed and an abscess starts forming under the tooth. This abscess is the biggest indication that the pulp has become infected completely and is now decayed and dead. An abscess is one of the most painful tooth infections

If an abscess is ignored for long and no treatment is taken, the abscess will increase and it can spread to the surrounding areas. It is common for a large abscess to spread to the ear, eye and throat area too. Read this article to know more about a tooth abscess that spreads to other parts.

Sometimes, a sinus tract forms around a tooth which looks like a pus filled blister on the gum. This sinus tract forms when a tooth abscess has been left untreated for a very long time. Our body’s defense system tries to remove the pus and forms a sinus tract for the pus to drain out. This sinus tract may be on the gum or on the face. The sinus tract ruptures and the pus drains out.

What Is The Best Mouthwash For Tooth Infection?

The best mouthwashes for tooth infection, as mentioned above, are salt water mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide mouthwash and betadine rises. These three mouthwashes have anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties in them which helps in killing the tooth infection. They bring down the count of the infection causing bacteria and also help in lessening the inflammation and swelling associated with the tooth that has an infection.

Salt water rinses may sound like a simple thing but they work  wonders in not just tooth infection but after a dental surgery procedure too. Dentists recommend salt water rinses after many dental procedures like scaling, extractions, abscess drainage etc.

 Add salt to lukewarm water and rinse with it for a couple of minutes four to five times a day. This kills the bacteria in the mouth, brings down swelling, promotes healing and also reduces the pain. It is the most affordable mouthwash for a tooth infection that has multiple actions.

Hydrogen peroxide is another great mouthwash for tooth infection. It has strong antibacterial properties and is very effective in bringing down tooth infection. Hydrogen peroxide has to be diluted with water first and then used for rinsing. It has to be swished properly around the infective tooth for it to be effective. 

However, it should be used with caution. Hydrogen peroxide should never be used in concentrated form and should not be swallowed under any circumstances. Doing so can have extremely harmful effects and cause permanent damage to the body. After spitting out hydrogen peroxide, the mouth should be rinsed thoroughly with plain water. This mouthwash is not recommended for use in children.

Betadine rinse is another great option for tooth infection. Betadine is a strong antibacterial agent and it is also used for cleaning wounds. Betadine rinses are not only great for tooth infection, they also help in treating throat infections. Along with being an antiseptic agent, 1 betadine rinse is useful for tooth infection, specially an abscess and sinus tract. It is also beneficial in mouth infections such as ulcers and gingivitis and other gum diseases. Though it may leave a bad aftertaste, it is one of the best antibacterial rinses for tooth infections.

How Does A Mouthwash Work In Tooth Infection?

When one of these three mouthwashes come in contact with a tooth infection, they start acting on the infection causing bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide oxidises the bacteria and kills them, thereby reducing the overall bacterial load. Similarly, betadine, being an antiseptic, also kills the bacteria. Salt water on the hand brings down swelling as it is warm and also kills the bacteria. 

Once the bacteria start getting killed, their overall concentration also reduces, this way the infection also reduces and the associated symptoms such as pain, swelling, redness etc reduces too. Pressure from within the tooth and under the tooth gets relieved and the pain reduces greatly. When these mouthwashes are used along with medications like antibiotics and painkillers, the cumulative effect increases and there is a faster and better recovery from the tooth infection.

What Are Some Other Treatments For Tooth Infection?

If a mouthwash is used alone for treating a tooth infection, it will not have a permanent effect on the tooth infection. Also, mouthwash is never the first line of treatment for a tooth infection. They are almost always prescribed to be used along with dental procedures and medications. When used in combination with these things, only then the root cause of tooth infection gets eliminated and the tooth heals. 

The mainstream treatment for tooth infection depends on the type and severity of the tooth infection. A simple cavity will be treated by a tooth filling. If the cavity is deep, other procedures like pulp capping and placing a medicament and the floor of the cavity before filling can be done. If the infection has reached the pulp or there is an abscess, a procedure known as root canal will be done.

 If the infection is too severe and left untreated for long, chances are that these treatment options might not work in such a case. Extracting the tooth may be the only option for killing the tooth infection permanently. Therefore, it is important that if you notice any signs of a tooth infection, visit your dentist immediately for proper and timely treatment. 

Frequently Asked Questions (Best Mouthwash For Tooth Infection)

What is the best natural antibiotic for tooth infection?

There is no natural antibiotic that will have a permanent effect on tooth infection and will not cure the tooth infection. However, things like clove, clove oil, peppermint tea, peppermint oil and garlic are some of the commonly used ingredients that help in reducing the sign and symptoms of tooth infection for some time. These ingredients might not always work for everybody.

How do I get rid of tooth infection without antibiotics?

The only way to get rid of a tooth infection permanently is to get your tooth treated by a dentist. Your dentist will perform the necessary dental treatment for you and if required they will also prescribe medications to speed up the healing of your tooth.

Can a tooth infection go away on its own?

A tooth infection will never go on its own. A long standing tooth infection will stop hurting all of a sudden. This does not mean the infection has gone, it only means that the tooth is now dead and pain will return after some time and it will be worse than before at this stage. At this point, the tooth infection becomes so severe that chances are that the tooth will stop responding to painkillers too.

Can you buy antibiotics over the counter?

In most countries it is not possible to buy antibiotics over the counter and a valid doctor’s prescription is needed to buy antibiotics. It is not legal to sell antibiotics to someone who does not have a prescription.

Is ciprofloxacin and penicillin the same?

No, ciprofloxacin and penicillin are not the same. Both these antibiotics have different modes of action, dose and use.


Though hydrogen peroxide, salt water and betadine rinses are very effective in controlling a tooth infection, their effects are only short term. When used in combination with oral medicines, their overall effect is enhanced. They will not stop the infection and will also not cure the infection.  In order to cure a tooth infection, you have to visit your dentist and get the required treatment done. 

Other FAQs about Teeth Infection that you may be interested in.

Can you catch a tooth infection from kissing?

Antibiotics For Tooth Infection

Will Listerine Kill Tooth Infection?


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