Home remedies for tooth & gum abscess – Volume 1

home relief for abscess

A dental abscess can be really painful. The goal is to treat them as soon as possible. And while your dentist might not be available right away, he is the only one that can fix it. But in the meantime, you need to relief the pain and there are good, fast and short-term home remedies that can help you.

The important thing is that you don’t ignore an abscess and you should have it treated as soon as possible. Even though it can mostly form on your teeth or gums, the complications can be life-threatening.

Dentists are the only one that can help you get rid of an abscess and you should not attempt to fix it on your own. These home remedies are a good pain relief but they are not a permanent solution to the problem.

Now these remedies won’t work on all types of abscesses equally. Some are good for both gum and teeth while others just for one type:

  1. Cold compress (tooth abscess)
  2. Wedge pillow (tooth abscess
  3. Saltwater rinse (gum abscess)
  4. Baking soda (gum abscess)
  5. Oil pulling (gum abscess)

Abscess pain relief through cold compresses

Abscesses often cause inflammation and swelling which can be painful. In order to reduce the swelling, you can put cold compresses on the outside of your face. But make sure that you don’t keep the compress for longer than 20 minutes at a time. And also, use a barrier, such as a kitchen towel or napkin in order to avoid damage to your skin.

Wedge pillow

Have you ever noticed that your abscess hurts more when you lie down? This is called ‘positional pain’ and makes sleeping rather difficult and unpleasant if you’re having an abscess. However, a good wedge pillow will keep your head elevated, you won’t put pressure on the abscess and you’ll sleep better.

Saltwater rinse

Saltwater has anti-inflammatory properties and can be beneficial for wound healing. So you can rinse your mouth with saltwater 4-5 a day to relief the pain from gum abscesses. For gum abscess you can make supersaturated saltwater:

  1. Take one glass of warm (not boiling) salt water
  2. Add a tablespoon of Himalayan pink salt and stir after each tablespoon
  3. Once the crystals don’t dissolve and sink to the bottom of the glass, you can stop adding salt
  4. Swish the rinse in your mouth gently
  5. Repeat 4-5 times a day

Baking soda to relieve gum abscess

Just like saltwater rinse, baking soda rinse can also be used to relieve pain since it has mild antibacterial properties and can soothe the pain in your gums. Furthermore, baking soda will also stimulate a more alkaline pH of your saliva which is also good. Baking soda rinse can also be combined with other abscess pain relief methods like saltwater rinse. For example

  • You can start with baking soda and warm water 1:1 ratio
  • Add Himalayan pink salt until it dissolves
  • Rinse for 2-3 minutes 3-5 times a day

Oil pulling as abscess remedy

Inflammation and plaque under bleeding gums can also be reduced by oil pulling. This is also a good method in relieving pain from gum abscesses. Oil pulling means that you:

  • Take a teaspoon of unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil
  • Rinse your mouth with it between 1 and 3 minutes
  • Spit it out in your trash can (it can clog up your sink)

In our next blog we will focus on home remedies for abscesses that are good for relieving pain from both tooth and gum abscesses. In the meantime, if you believe that you have problems with an abscess, make sure to contact us and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.


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Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is committed to providing high-quality dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve improved oral health and the beautiful smile you deserve.

Dr. Nguyen has served on the Virginia Board of Dentistry and has many achievements such as: Invisalign Premier and Teen Provider, Pre-Fellow with Academy of General Dentistry, Graduate of Aesthetic Continuum, Engel Institute for Dental Implant Training, WaveOne Endodontic Training, HD President’s Club.

Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, staying active in the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  When he isn’t at work, you can find him playing basketball, tennis, football, or hiking.

“I want to make you feel right at home, exceed your expectations, and provide an amazing experience!”