A tooth infection, also called tooth abscess, generally occurs due to dental decay, which is a result of poor dental hygiene. However, a tooth infection can also occur due to traumatic injury and previous dental work. Tooth infection is a bacterial infection that causes a pocket of pus to form at any part of a tooth. Tooth infection often causes dental pain, swelling, and tooth sensitivity in the affected tooth. Without dental abscess treatment, tooth infection may spread to other parts of the mouth or even the brain.
Tooth infection is a very common dental disease. A report showed that about 27 percent of people within the ages 20 and 64 have an untreated tooth infection. When the bacterial infection gets into the tooth root, it causes an accumulation of pus, which leads to an abscessed tooth. Tooth infection doesn’t go away on its own, so you need to see your dentist for immediate dental abscess treatment. Early dental abscess treatment is very important to prevent other dental complications. It is, therefore, important that anyone with dental infection should see a dentist immediately to prevent the tooth infection from spreading to other parts of the mouth.
Symptoms Of An Abscess Tooth Include:
- Bad breath
- Foul or salty taste in your mouth
- Loose and discoloration of the teeth
- Swollen, red gums
- Facial swelling and redness
- Serious fever.
- Oversensitivity to cold, hot, or pressure of biting and chewing.
- Throbbing, persistent, or a severe toothache
Before you get to the dentist for dental abscess treatment, here are some things you can do to ease the symptoms of abscess tooth:
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush
- Chew with the side of your mouth away from the affected tooth
- Take OTC painkillers, such as naproxen, aspirin, or ibuprofen to ease the discomfort
Treatments for Tooth Infections
When you visit the dentist for treatments for tooth infections, one of the first things the dentist will do is to recommend an antibiotic to kill the bacterial infection or inhibit its growth.
If your tooth infection is a simple abscess, you may undergo a root canal treatment to eliminate the tooth infection and save the tooth. However, if the abscessed tooth is large, your dentist may have to drain the pus prior to the root canal procedure. Your dentist would cut a small portion of your gum to let out the pus. In the case where the infected tooth cannot be saved, it would be pulled out before the abscess is drained.
Though dental abscess treatment should be handled by a dentist, there are other ways on how to heal an infected tooth naturally. There are some home remedies for abscess tooth. These home remedies for abscess tooth, which can also relieve the discomfort caused by the tooth infection, include:
1. Rinsing with Saltwater
This is the easiest and most affordable home remedy for abscess tooth. Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater creates a temporary relief from pain from an abscess tooth. This method also promotes healthy gums and healing of wounds in the mouth.
This method involves swishing the warm saltwater around inside your mouth for about three minutes before spitting it out. This method should be repeated up to three or four times daily.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is also an excellent and affordable option for eliminating plaque buildup in the mouth. Baking soda also has antibacterial properties which help to kill bacterial infections responsible for abscess tooth. This method involves adding half tablespoon of baking soda and a pinch of salt to a half cup of water. The mixture is swished in the mouth for about five minutes before it is spit out. This method should be repeated twice daily.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
This is an excellent home remedy for abscess tooth. It is very efficient at fighting tooth infection and reducing plaque buildup. All you need to do is simply mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with an equal part of water. Swish the mixture around inside your mouth for some minutes before spitting it out. The mixture can be used multiple times daily.
To avoid complications, the mixture must not be swallowed. More so, a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide may be toxic and produce undesired results.
Other home remedies for abscess tooth include:
- Applying Oregano essential oil to the affected tooth using a cotton ball or swab.
- Cold compressing. This involves placing ice cubes wrapped in a dry towel against your mouth near the affected tooth for 15-minute intervals.
- Applying Clove essential oil to the affected tooth using a cotton ball or swab.
- Rubbing garlic paste on the affected tooth.
Prevention of Abscess Tooth
Nobody wants to experience the pain and discomfort associated with tooth infection. This is why prevention of abscess tooth is more important than dental abscess treatment. Some common practices to prevent abscess tooth include the following:
- Observing proper hygiene practices: dental infection is also caused by poor dental habits. So, following good oral habits would keep your teeth and gums healthy and prevent abscess tooth. Brush with fluoridated toothpaste at least twice daily and also floss at least twice daily to remove dirt from in-between your teeth and under your gums.
- After brushing, do not rinse your mouth immediately with water or mouthwash so as not to remove the protective layer created by the toothpaste off your teeth.
- Reduce your consumption of sugary and starchy diets, especially before bed or between meals. But if you do, brush your teeth immediately after the meal.
- Visit your dentist regularly for dental checkups. This will help to prevent abscess tooth or to discover and treat the early incidence of tooth infection.
Don’t wait till tooth infection disrupts your lifestyle. If you begin to notice any symptom of tooth infection, it is best to seek dental abscess treatment as soon as possible. More so, following good dental hygiene practices will help to protect your teeth from bacteria and plaque buildup that will lead to tooth infections and dental decay.