How to Treat a Dental Abscess at Home Before Your Emergency Appointment

A dental abscess can cause significant pain and discomfort. While it’s essential to see a dentist as soon as possible, there are a few steps you can take at home to manage the pain and prevent the infection from worsening until your emergency appointment.


What Is a Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a pocket of pus that forms in your teeth or gums due to a bacterial infection. Common symptoms include severe toothache, swelling in the face or gums, fever, and a bad taste in the mouth.


Steps to Treat a Dental Abscess at Home

1. Rinse with Salt Water

Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help reduce inflammation and kill some bacteria.

  • Mix one teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water.
  • Swish the solution around your mouth for about 30 seconds.
  • Spit it out and repeat up to three times a day.

2. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Use over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage pain and reduce inflammation.

  • Always follow the dosage instructions on the packaging.
  • Do not exceed the recommended dose.

3. Cold Compress

Apply a cold compress to the affected area to help reduce swelling and numb the pain.

  • Wrap a bag of ice or a cold pack in a towel.
  • Place it against the outside of your cheek for 15 minutes.
  • Repeat every few hours as needed.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide diluted in water can help reduce bacteria in the mouth.

  • Mix equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water.
  • Swish the solution in your mouth for about 30 seconds.
  • Spit it out and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

5. Avoid Hot and Cold Foods

Extreme temperatures can exacerbate the pain from a dental abscess. Stick to lukewarm or room-temperature foods and drinks.

6. Use Garlic

Garlic has natural antibacterial properties that can help fight the infection.

  • Crush a clove of garlic to release its juice.
  • Apply the crushed garlic directly to the affected area.
  • Leave it for a few minutes, then rinse with warm water.

7. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Continue to brush and floss your teeth carefully to prevent the spread of infection.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritation.
  • Be gentle around the affected area.


When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

While these home remedies can provide temporary relief, it’s crucial to see a dentist as soon as possible for proper treatment. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Rapidly spreading swelling
  • High fever
  • Severe, persistent pain


Scheduling an Emergency Appointment

A dental abscess is a serious condition that requires professional treatment. These home remedies can help manage symptoms and prevent the infection from worsening until you can see a dentist. Remember, maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are key to preventing dental abscesses in the future.

If you’re dealing with a dental abscess, don’t wait! Book an emergency appointment with us today to get the professional care you need.