A dental abscess is a potentially painful type of tooth infection where the pus builds up in an affected area. The bacteria in these areas can accumulate to the extent that an intensely painful sensation, redness, a bad taste in the mouth, food sensitivities and even gum or facial swelling can develop. Getting rid of the bacteria in the infected area can help reduce symptoms and heal.

There are several types of tooth abscesses or gum abscesses that can affect almost any area in the mouth. Both tooth and gum abscesses are treated through professional treatments. A home remedy can ease pain after your treatment is complete. You should see a dentist for a firm diagnosis and to discuss the best treatment options for your situation.

As leading providers of a range of dental treatments in the Brighton and Hove area, we are in an ideal place to explain a bit more. Please get in touch with us if you would like to book an appointment.

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Dental Treatments to Get Rid of an Abscess

You cannot normally treat a dental abscess yourself, but good hygiene can prevent them from forming. Clinical treatment options to get rid of a tooth or gum abscess include:

  • Root canals: As the cause is most often a build-up of infected pus, drilling into a tooth and removing the infected pus may be the most straightforward treatment. If a tooth abscess has become so bad that it causes swelling, then this is the most useful option. Physically removing pus will also prevent extra stress on the body’s immune system.
  • Draining the abscess: If your abscess happens to be in an area on the gums, a dentist can make a small incision to drain the bacteria. For healing wounds like this, a dentist may first suggest you rinse with warm water before applying a cold compress to gums with abscesses to reduce any swelling. If a gum bleeds they may also use a cotton ball.
  • Tooth extraction: If the tooth cannot be saved, for instance if the abscess occurs as a result of severe tooth decay, then the only option remaining might be pulling the tooth. If you have a combined abscess, such as one that affects both the teeth and gums, you might require tooth extraction before treating the surrounding area for infection.
  • Medications: Because the issue is an infection you might respond to antibiotics. This can quickly get the infection under control, but the symptoms do not go away as fast.  If a patient is unable to take antibiotics, such as if they have a compromised immune system, one of the more invasive treatments described above might be necessary.

Treatment suitability varies by patient, so a dentist will determine the course of treatment for each case. You can book an appointment with one of our team if you are in Brighton and Hove.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Pain After Treatment

Once a dental abscess forms, home remedies will not likely help to treat the root cause. After your treatment, healing abscesses will often respond to home remedies such as:

  • Mouth rinses: A saltwater rinse or baking soda rinse has antibacterial properties that can be good for easing symptoms and flushing the infection, especially if an abscess is on the gums. To make a mouth rinse, mix a ¼ to ½ a teaspoon of each, or the same ratios of both, together in warm water – then rinse the mouth, gargle, and spit it out.
  • Clove oil: The use of clove oil is a traditional remedy that has been widespread since ancient times. It works well for toothache, so it will be helpful after treatment or when waiting for an appointment. You can use just a few drops of concentrate or a diluted solution on a swab or cotton ball before gently applying to the area 1 to 2 times a day.
  • Soft foods: Eating naturally soft foods such as soup, mashed potatoes, or soft white bread can help after treatment. Avoid foods like crusty bread, crisps, nuts, and other harder foods, as well as anything that might hurt the teeth when chewing, or by scratching a sensitive healing gum. You can also try drinking fruit smoothies for extra vitamins.
  • Over-the-counter-medications: Many painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol can help control pain from an extracted or drilled tooth, or a drained abscess. Ibuprofen is a good option as it can control swelling. The tooth and gums will be red and inflamed with all the irritation during any treatment, so painkillers work very well.

You cannot treat an abscess at home; you can only control the pain. You should never attempt treatment yourself. Home remedies will prevent, reduce, or eliminate the majority of the worst symptoms.

What About Oregano Essential Oil?

Oregano essential oil is a folk remedy used to treat all sorts of dental pain, and many other types of health issues. However, there is no clinical evidence to prove its efficacy. While oregano contains many polyphenols and flavones that may be beneficial to a person’s diet, an essential oil solution with carrier oil will not treat your dental abscess – though oregano oil is still harmless to try.

close-up of teeth. gum disease in a woman, periodontal disease. tartar removal, dental treatment

Helpful Tips For Preventing a Dental Abscess

It might not be necessary for an invasive dental treatment, as simple changes in dental care and hygiene might prevent an abscess from forming in the first place. People can try the tips we’ve listed below to stop dental abscesses from forming, as well as preventing many other dental and oral health issues:

  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily, ideally after every meal
  • Switch to a fluoride toothpaste or try a fluoride mouthwash, which helps reach under the tooth and in the periodontal pocket
  • Use a good quality toothbrush and get a new one every 3 months; you can also try a soft-bristled brush to prevent pain from brushing after treatment
  • Attend regular dental checkups to make sure problems do not worsen
  • Avoid smoking tobacco or using any other tobacco-related products

General hygiene and dental care is the key to preventing a dental abscess so there is a huge benefit to practising the habits we’ve provided here. Your dentist can also advise on better dental care techniques for your situation, which will help avoid the need for treatments which can often be invasive.

How to Get Rid of an Abscess Explained

Several dental treatments can get rid of an abscess quickly and many aftercare tips will help you to soothe the pain without antibiotics. By using simple preventative strategies and easy at-home techniques to help avoid gum or tooth infection, dental abscesses won’t become a worry.

If you have symptoms of a dental abscess or require any other type of dental treatment in the Brighton and Hove area, we can help. We even have many helpful options for nervous patients, so everyone can complete their treatment in comfort. Get in touch to book an appointment today.


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