How To Get Rid Of A Tooth Abscess Without Going To The Dentist?

In this blogpost we are going to learn about tooth abscess and whether they can be treated at home or not. We will also learn about the common treatment options for a tooth abscess.

How To Get Rid Of A Tooth Abscess Without Going To The Dentist?

You can not get rid of a tooth abscess without going to the dentist. No matter which home remedy you try, nothing will cure your tooth abscess until a dentist intervenes in the situation. The internet is full of information about home hacks and home remedies for curing a tooth abscess, but let us tell you the truth, they will now work.

Some home remedies may give you some temporary relief from the pain that comes with a tooth abscess, but they will not get rid of the tooth abscess. Infact, all these remedies may not even work for you at all. Going to a dentist can be a cause of great anxiety and fear. Almost everyone is afraid of going to a dentist and people who have never visited a dentist before, have the worst situation. However, the bottomline is that you can bury your head in the sand for as long as you want, but only a dentist can get rid of a tooth abscess for you.

A dentist’s office might be one of the scariest places that you will visit. All the machines and instruments that a dentist pokes around in your tooth, especially the drilling instrument and injections can scare even the toughest of persons easily. Even though the white coat fear is as real as it can be for some, a dental office is the only place where you will get freedom from the annoying tooth pain and tooth abscess for good.

 Why Does A Tooth Abscess Form?

A tooth abscess does not form overnight. It takes months and months and even years for a tooth abscess to form. If an abscess has formed under a tooth which has a cavity in it, then chances are the tooth abscess has formed because the cavity was ignored for too long and was left untreated when it should have been treated early.

A tooth abscess almost always forms when a tooth cavity is left untreated for long. Before an abscess formation starts, your tooth will give you multiple signals for help. It is not likely that a tooth abscess will form without any prior indications from a tooth. The first and foremost signal which indicates that a tooth needs help is sensitivity.  Apart from developing sensitivity because of erosion of enamel, a newly formed cavity can also make a tooth sensitive, especially to heat and sweet foods. 

Once a cavity forms in a tooth, it starts encroaching towards the inner surfaces of teeth. Once the cavity reaches near the pulp, a tooth becomes painful. Up until this stage, a tooth’s pulp is still safe and the tooth will heal with a simple filling. However, the real trouble starts when this pain is still ignored and goes unaddressed. When this infection progresses further and the pulp gets involved, necrosis of the pulp begins. It takes time for a pulp to get necrosed completely. Once the pulp necrosis completely and the tooth becomes dead, the infection spreads further beyond the root of the tooth and an abscess forms.

A tooth abscess is extremely painful. The involved tooth and its surrounding areas will be tender to touch, inflamed, red and may even smell bad. The tooth feels elevated in the mouth and chewing and swallowing becomes difficult. When a tooth abscess is left untreated too, complex conditions like a cyst, granuloma or bone necrosis can start. This infection can also spread to other parts of the body like the ear, neck, head and at times the heart too. 

Can Tooth Abscess Be Treated At Home?

No, a tooth abscess can not be treated at home. Like any serious infection in the body, a tooth abscess requires proper medical care and attention. By no means should a person try to treat a tooth abscess at home by themselves.

As mentioned above, a tooth abscess is a bacterial infection. Such infection can only be treated with proper medications and treatment procedures. Any at home hacks may seem useful especially if they have provided some kind of relief from the pain and swelling in the tooth. But do not be deceived. This relief is purely temporary and the signs and symptoms of the abscess like pain and swelling will come back. At times these home hacks can even make the tooth abscess worse.

Certain at home remedies like using clove oil, peppermint oil, hot or cold compress, salt water rinses, baking soda etc can easen the pain and infection for some time. However, this effect is short termed and the pain will most definitely return. The only way to safely treat a tooth abscess and get rid of the infection permanently is to visit a dentist and get dental treatment for the tooth in question.

Sometimes, when a tooth abscess is left untreated for a long period of time, the infection becomes chronic and all the associated signs and symptoms stop. Your tooth will stop hurting and all the swelling will go away too. However, do not misunderstand this to a tooth abscess which went away on its own. It is merely a dormant phase of the infection and it will become active once again and in a much more severe form than before.

 Many people start believing that their tooth infection has healed on its own in such a situation. What they do not know is that the worst is yet to come. When this dormant infection becomes active again, all hell breaks loose. The pain and swelling is much worse than before and often this infection becomes unresponsive to painkillers too. Such an abscess is called a phoenix abscess. Read this article to know more about what a phoenix abscess is.

Should A Tooth Abscess Be Popped?

Under no circumstances should a tooth abscess be popped. Conditions like a sinus tract in the gum or jaw can tempt a person to squeeze and pop it. However, this should not be attempted. Popping a tooth abscess can lead to serious consequences like worsening of the infection and spread of the infection. Let a sinus tract to pop on its own. Our body’s defence system knows its work and it will pop the sinus tract on its own and the pressure in the tooth will get relieved.

Secondary infections can form if an unsterilized equipment like a needle or a pin is used to prick a tooth abscess. Not only will it cause pain and damage to the tissues, the germs on the needle or pin can get transferred into the tooth and can make the infection worse. Such an infection can spread to the adjacent areas and can even cause fatal infections like space infection and sepsis. Read this article to know more about space infections in the mouth.

What Are The Signs Of A Serious Tooth Abscess?

Whenever a tooth starts to hurt, it should be treated as a red flag and you should visit a dentist immediately. A tooth abscess is already a serious condition which should be treated at the earliest. There are certain signs your body will give that indicate further worsening of a tooth abscess. These signs are:

  • Worsening of tooth pain.
  • Increase in swelling.
  • Swelling spreads to the surrounding gums and teeth.
  • Facial asymmetry becomes apparent.
  • Redness around the tooth.
  • Swelling in or under the eye.
  • Swelling under the jaw.
  • Swelling in the cheek area.
  • Fever.
  • The area involved becomes warm.
  • Inability to chew and swallow easily.
  • Inability to speak normally.
  • Inability to close the mouth as the teeth hurt upon touching each other.
  • Inability to open the mouth.
  • Foul smell front the tooth.
  • Sinus tract formation on the gum or the outside of the cheek.
  • Pain in the ear on the same side as the infected tooth.
  • Tinnitus or buzzing in the ear.
  • Fracture of the tooth on its own while chewing.

All these signs are serious indicators of a worsening tooth infection and should not be ignored. Visiting a dentist should be your top most priority under any such circumstance.

Frequently Asked Question (How To Get Rid Of A Tooth Abscess Without Going To The Dentist)

What kills a tooth abscess?

Antibiotics prescribed by your dentist will kill a tooth abscess. This along with the required dental treatment will together kill the tooth abcess from the root and will make sure that the infection dies and the tooth heals properly.

Is gum abscess an emergency?

Yes, any kind of tooth and gum abscess is a dental emergency and you should visit the dentist immediately if you are suffering from any kind of oro-dental abscess. If an oro-dental abscess is left untreated, it can spread and lead to serious complications which can even become life threatening at times.

What to do if a gum abscess bursts in the mouth?

Rinse your mouth with warm water mixed with salt. Rinse for a couple of minutes several times in a day and make an appointment with your dentist immediately. Salt water rinse will help to flush out the abscess and reduce the swelling and pain in the infected tooth.

What does gum abscess look like?

A gum abscess looks like a small blister which is full of pus. It will be red and swollen and it will also be tender to touch. A gum abscess may burst on its own and you will feel relief from the pressure and pain in the infected tooth.

How do you sleep with an abscessed tooth?

Sleeping with an abscessed tooth can become difficult and even impossible if the pain has become worse in the night. The best you can do is to sit up straight for some time and sleep with your head elevated. Take a painkiller to reduce the pain.


Tooth abscess is a serious ailment which needs immediate medical attention. Ignoring a tooth abscess can have serious complications and the treatment will become more complex and also expensive. It is best not to ignore a tooth infection and visit a dentist at the earliest to save yourself from a great deal of discomfort later on.


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