A gum abscess can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Fortunately, there are many home treatment options that you can try to help alleviate the symptoms associated with a gum abscess. However, these home treatments don’t replace professional medical treatment, so see a dentist as soon as possible. If left untreated, a gum abscess can spread to the jaw, neck, and face, leading to more serious health problems.
What is Gum Abscess?
A gum abscess is a pocket of pus that forms in the gum as a result of bacterial infection. There are several types of gum abscesses; each type occurs in a different location and for a different reason.
A gingival abscess forms near the gum line, and it is usually caused by trapped food particles or a foreign body, such as toothbrush bristles. A periodontal abscess forms in the gums deeper than a gingival abscess, and it is caused by periodontitis (an advanced form of gum disease) that has been left untreated.
A periapical abscess occurs at the tip of a tooth root. It is caused by a bacterial infection associated with an untreated cavity or gum disease. These abscesses can cause severe pain and swelling. Other signs and symptoms include:
- A pocket of pus in the gums
- A painful swollen area near the tooth
- Pain with biting or chewing
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Pus discharge
- Loose tooth
- Fever or swollen lymph nodes
Gum abscess home treatment can help relieve pain and swelling while you wait to see a dentist.
Gum Abscess Home Treatment
To help reduce pain and swelling associated with a gum abscess, you can try the following treatments at home:
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water: Mix one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Swish for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Repeat several times a day. A salt water rinse has anti-bacterial properties and is one of the common methods for gum abscess treatment at home.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever: Ibuprofen (Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help reduce pain.
- Apply a cold compress: Put an ice pack or a cold compress on the outside of your cheek near the affected tooth. This will help to reduce pain and swelling.
- Gently brush and floss your teeth: Tooth brushing and gentle flossing are important for removing food particles and foreign bodies that can be trapped in the gum and between teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and be gentle when brushing around the area of infection.
- Use an antimicrobial mouth rinse: An antimicrobial mouth rinse can help to reduce plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Follow the directions on the package for the best results.
Natural Home Treatment for Gum Abscess
- Clove essential oil: Clove oil is a natural treatment that can be used at home to relieve the pain associated with a gum abscess. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. Before use, dilute the clove oil in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Then, place a few drops on a cotton ball or swab and apply it to the affected area. Also, clove oil can be used as a mouth rinse by adding a few drops of oil to a cup of water.
- Oregano essential oil: Oregano oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which can help reduce pain and fight infection. Dilute the oregano oil in a carrier oil before use, then apply it to the affected area with a cotton ball or swab. Oregano oil can also be used as a mouth rinse by adding a few drops of oil to a cup of water.
- Thyme essential oil: Thyme oil has antimicrobial properties, which can help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. To use it for a gum abscess, dilute the thyme essential oil in a carrier oil and apply it to the affected area with a cotton ball or swab. It can also be used as a mouth rinse by adding a few drops of oil to a cup of water.
- Baking soda: Baking soda has antibacterial properties. To use it, mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and a pinch of salt in 1/2 cup of warm water. Swish the mixture around your mouth for up to 5 minutes. Spit it out and rinse your mouth with plain water.
- Garlic: Garlic contains compounds that have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to treat a gum abscess by crushing it and applying the paste directly onto the affected area.
- Oil Pulling: Oil pulling is an ancient technique that involves swishing oil around your mouth. It can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. To use it, swish 1 tablespoon of coconut oil around your mouth for 10-15 minutes and then spit it out. You can also use sesame or olive oil.
Can Gum Abscess be Treated at Home?
No, gum abscesses can not be treated at home. Visit your dentist for professional treatment because home remedies can’t clear up the infection. The treatment depends on the underlying cause and severity of the abscess.
If the gum abscess is caused by trapped food particles or foreign bodies, your dentist may recommend professional teeth cleaning to remove the debris.
If you have an abscess caused by advanced gum disease (periodontitis), your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning procedure (periodontal cleaning) to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to restore damaged gum tissues and bone caused by the infection. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to help fight the gum infection.
If a tooth is the cause of the abscess, your dentist may recommend a root canal to relieve pain and stop the infection from spreading. Tooth extraction may also be an option if the tooth is too damaged to repair.
Gum Abscess Home Treatment – Conclusion
A gum abscess is a collection of pus that forms in the gum due to bacterial infection. It can be a painful and uncomfortable experience. Many home treatment options can help relieve pain and reduce swelling associated with a gum abscess, including over-the-counter painkillers, warm salt water rinses, and cold compresses.
While several home treatments can help relieve pain, you should visit your dentist for professional treatment, such as antibiotics, periodontal cleaning, root canal, or tooth extraction. If left untreated, a gum abscess can lead to serious health complications.