Any tooth abscess needs dental treatment, but some home remedies, such as a saltwater rinse or a cold compress, may relieve the discomfort caused by the infection.

A tooth abscess can arise from infections that develop inside the tooth. Bacteria can enter the tooth when it’s chipped, broken, or decaying.

Once the bacteria reach the center of the tooth and the tooth becomes infected, pus accumulates in the tooth. The pus in the tooth swells and results in a toothache.

If not treated, the infection could spread to the gums and bones of the mouth.

A tooth abscess needs medical attention, but some home remedies can relieve the discomfort caused by the infection.

The following home remedies can be applied along with prescribed treatments.

Rinsing your mouth with saltwater is an easy and affordable option for temporary relief of your abscessed tooth. It can also promote wound healing and healthy gums.

To use this remedy:

  1. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of normal table salt with 1/2 cup of warm tap water.
  2. Rinse your mouth with the salt water. Try to swish it around inside your mouth for at least two minutes.
  3. Spit the water out.

Repeat up to three times per day.

Learn more about how to use a saltwater gargle.

Baking soda is another affordable option for treating various mouth and dental problems, and it may help manage an abscessed tooth. You may even already have some in your kitchen cabinet.

Baking soda is excellent for removing plaque in the mouth. It also has antibacterial properties.

To use this remedy:

  1. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of salt.
  2. Swish the mixture in your mouth for up to five minutes.
  3. Spit out, and repeat until you’ve finished the mixture.

You can repeat this up to two times per day.

What are some more uses of baking soda?

Oregano oil is an essential oil that has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. It may help reduce the swelling and pain of an abscessed tooth. Be sure to dilute any essential oil with a carrier oil to prevent further irritation.

To use this remedy:

  1. Mix a few drops of oregano essential oil to 1 ounce of a carrier oil.
  2. Apply a few drops of this mixture to a cotton ball or swab.
  3. Hold the cotton ball on the infected area for two to three minutes.
  4. Remove the cotton ball or swab. Leave the mixture on for at least 10 minutes, then rinse.

Repeat up to three times per day.

Here’s how to choose a carrier oil.

A cold compress will help reduce pain and swelling.

To use this remedy:

  1. Place ice cubes in a dry towel.
  2. Hold the compress against your skin near the affected area.
  3. The compress can be used for 15-minute intervals.

This may be repeated multiple times per day.

Fenugreek may have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It has a long history of use as a home remedy for healing wounds and reducing inflammation.

To use this remedy:

  1. Make fenugreek tea by heating 1 cup of water in a saucepan and stirring in 1 teaspoon of ground fenugreek.
  2. Allow the mixture to cool.
  3. Apply a small amount to the affected area using a cotton ball.
  4. Repeat up to three times per day.

Clove oil has been used since ancient times as a natural toothache remedy. It may have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

It comes in diluted forms as well as the very concentrated clove essential oil. If using the essential oil form, remember to dilute it by adding 3–5 drops of essential oil to an ounce of a carrier oil.

You can use this remedy several ways:

  • Apply the diluted oil to the affected area by placing a few drops on a cotton ball or swab.
  • You can also make a clove oil mouthwash by placing a few drops of the oil into a small glass of water.

Clove oil may be used up to three times per day.

Thyme oil is another potent essential oil. It has antioxidant properties and may kill parasites, fight bacteria, and reduce swelling. Be sure to dilute it with a carrier oil before use.

You can use this remedy several ways:

  • Apply diluted thyme oil to the affected area with a cotton ball or swab.
  • Make a mouthwash by adding a few drops of diluted thyme oil to a small glass of water.

Use the thyme oil up to three times per day.

Hydrogen peroxide has an antimicrobial effect when used as a mouthwash and may help reduce inflammation. It can also help reduce plaque and bleeding gums.

To use this remedy:

  1. Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with two parts water.
  2. Swish the solution around in your mouth, then spit. Make sure not to swallow any of the solution.

Hydrogen peroxide may be used multiple times per day.

What are some more uses of hydrogen peroxide?

Oil pulling is another ancient means of oral hygiene that’s been used to treat mouth ailments.

It’s believed that oil pulling removes toxins from the teeth and gums. Limited studies suggest that oil pulling may be a good treatment for bleeding gums, bad breath, and reducing bacteria. However, there’s not enough scientific evidence to confirm whether it’s effective for use in oral health.

Good oils for oil pulling include:

  • raw coconut oil
  • sesame oil
  • olive oil

Oil pulling is recommended in the morning on an empty stomach.

To use this remedy:

  1. Take 1 tablespoon of your chosen oil into your mouth.
  2. Vigorously swish the oil around through your teeth for up to 20 minutes.
  3. Don’t swallow the oil. Spit the oil out in a garbage can — not your sink — to avoid clogged pipes.

What to know about oil pulling with coconut oil for dental health.

Garlic is another natural remedy with an ancient history of many beneficial therapeutic uses. At least one animal study suggests it might have wound-healing properties.

To use this remedy:

  1. Make a paste by crushing a fresh clove of garlic.
  2. Rub the paste on the infected area.

This can be repeated multiple time per day.

An abscessed tooth is a serious infection that, without dental treatment, can spread to other parts of the face and the body.

If you have a tooth abscess, seek medical advice immediately. A doctor or dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics and pain relief.

They may also need to drain the abscess or remove a tooth. Only a qualified medical professional can drain and abscess. A person should not do this at home since there’s a high risk of complications.

The home remedies listed above are meant as complementary treatments to the ones prescribed by a doctor. You may need immediate antibiotics and dental care.

As long as a person seeks dental treatment, an abscess will usually heal successfully. Left untreated, however, it is unlikely to resolve and can last for months or years, and it may lead to potentially life-threatening complications.

Depending on the severity of the abscess, it may take 1–2 weeks to heal. One treatment option is with antibiotics. Other options include root canal treatment, incision and drainage, and removing the tooth.

Can a tooth abscess go away naturally?

A tooth abscess will not go away without dental treatment. You may choose to seek relief from symptoms of a tooth abscess by trying natural remedies like saltwater rinses, baking soda, fenugreek tea, cold compresses, garlic, oil pulling, essential oil, or hydrogen peroxide rinses.

Can I get rid of a tooth abscess myself?

No. While you can provide temporary relief from symptoms, you’ll need dental care for a tooth abscess.

How do you get rid of an abscessed tooth at home?

The best way to get rid of a tooth abscess is to see a dental care professional. You will likely be prescribed antibiotics and may need other treatment options such as root canal treatment, incision and drainage, and removing the tooth. With appropriate treatment, it generally takes between 1-2 weeks for a tooth abscess to heal.

What is the fastest home remedy for a tooth abscess?

Applying cold compresses, rinsing your mouth with salt water, and using over-the-counter pain relievers may provide the fastest relief for symptoms of an abscessed tooth. You’ll need to see a dental care professional to resolve a tooth abscess, and treatment may take 1-2 weeks to fully heal the abscess.

A tooth abscess is an infection that can lead to complications without dental treatment. The fastest and most effective way to get rid of a tooth abscess — and the pain and swelling it entails — is antibiotics, which a dentist can prescribe.

However, various home remedies — such as fenugreek tea, essential oils, and garlic — may help relieve discomfort and enhance healing.