Tooth abscess, also known as dental abscess, refers to a localized pus collection in a tooth, in the gums, or in the bone that holds the teeth in place. It is a type of odontogenic infection, which has externally spread around causative tooth. Along with discomfort, tooth abscess brings pain, which may interfere with a person’s daily activities. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and remedies for tooth abscess.
The causes of tooth abscess depend on its type. According to Medical News Today, the abscess may be periapical or periodontal in nature. As per the publication, the former is due to the entry of bacteria through tiny holes secondary to tooth decay or caries that form in the tooth enamel or the outer layer of the tooth. Then, the caries develop to the dentine or the soft tissue layer under the enamel and go to the pulp. Progress leads to the involvement of the alveolar bone or the bone the supports the tooth, which results to the latter or periodontal type.
Signs and Symptoms
Tooth abscess presents a number of signs and symptoms. According to Mayo Clinic, these include toothache, which is severe, throbbing, persistent, and radiates to the ear, jawbone, and neck; sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, as well as to the pressure of biting and chewing; facial or neck swelling; tenderness and swelling of the lymph nodes under the neck or jaw; sudden rush of foul-smelling, foul-tasting salty fluid in the mouth and pain relief following the abscess rupture; and fever.
While pain medications are involved in the therapeutic regimen for tooth abscess, home remedies can also be applied to manage the condition.
One remedy for tooth abscess is garlic. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, garlic has natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties that will help soothe the pain and treat the abscess, in addition to preventing infection spread. As per the publication, the person puts a fresh garlic clove in his mouth and crushes it with his teeth, until the pain resolves. A few drops of clove oil mixed with warm water can also be added to reduce the residual garlic odor. An alternative, as per the publication is to mix half teaspoon of garlic powder with a pinch of salt. The mixture is applied directly to the affected tooth or gum and is allowed to stay there for ten minutes, before it is rinsed with mouthwash. The remedies can be done thrice or four times a day for a few weeks.
Salt water, which is also termed as saline, is another remedy for tooth abscess. According to Home Remedies for Life, salt is capable of reducing inflammation, pain, and infection; thus, warm salt water prevents the spread of infection to the other parts of the mouth. As per the publication, a teaspoon of salt is mixed with a glass of warm water. Then, the person rinses his mouth with the solution. The remedy is repeated regularly as needed.
Sleeping with Head Elevated
Another way to manage tooth abscess is thru sleeping with the head elevated. According to Very Well, elevating the head while resting, which includes sleep, relieves pressure in the area where the tooth abscess or pain is.
Tooth or dental abscess is the collection of pus in the teeth, gums, or bone that holds the teeth in place and since it is painful, it may affect a person’s activities of daily living. Along with the aforementioned home remedies, it is vital to seek medical consult from a dentist for adequate assessment, planning, intervention, education, and evaluation.