Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS
Dental infections are characterized by intense pain, persistent and sharp, manifest abscesses (pus inflammation and accumulation) in the area where the tooth, therefore, can be presented to dental or gingival level. Infections are usually due to a bacterial problem and using natural antibiotics to ward off any dental infection is one of the best courses of action, and some of the causes can be:
- Caries: When it is not treated in time, the situation progresses, allowing the bacteria to penetrate the tooth and even affect the nerve.
- Periodontal disease: When gingivitis is not treated in time, it can transform into periodontitis, and if it is allowed to advance, it can reach the jaw bone.
- Trauma: When a tooth is broken or chipped from a blow, it also becomes vulnerable to bacteria. It can also be caused by a crack or hole in the tooth.
- Sharp object injury: When we introduce foreign objects into the mouth (toothpicks, pens, etc.), this can injure the gums, and if good hygiene habits are not in place, the wound could be exposed to bacteria inside the oral cavity.
Some symptoms that could be suspected are pain when chewing, sensitivity when chewing and with a temperature change, bleeding from the gums, earache or toothache, halitosis, bad taste, fever, sore throat, swollen glands, swollen jaw or cheek, among other much more serious complications. Faced with any of the possible causes associated with the symptoms, it is recommended that you contact your dentist.
In general, infections must be treated with antibiotics; however, there are some recommendations that could minimize or slow down the progression of the infection, and improve pain and some symptoms. It is important always to be guided by a dentist since it could worsen the condition or mistreat the soft tissues in the dental cavity. Some remedies that may improve symptoms are:
Salt water rinses
This warm water rinse could help relieve pain, kill some bacteria, wash away debris, and could break up periodontal abscesses helping to improve symptoms, slowing the spread of bacteria. For its preparation, you can use kitchen salt by adding ½ teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. This also promotes wound healing and healthy gums.
This product dissolved in water and used as a rinse has antibacterial properties and reduces plaque in the oral cavity, and pain. It can also mitigate the odor caused by bacteria. When the abscess is in a tooth, it is recommended to make a paste with water and apply it directly to the point.
Extracted mainly from plants through a process of distillation with water or steam. Essential oils have different uses, such as improving pain, healing, relaxing, among others. It can be applied to the affected area of the oral cavity with a swab, or cotton, and it is also possible to rinse; for any application, it should always be diluted in a small glass of water. Some of these oils are used as antibacterial agents and for pain management dental. Make sure to use pure essential oils of medicinal or therapeutic type (check the label); aromatic oils can become toxic; some examples:
- Oil of Oregano: antibacterial and antioxidant agent. It can improve swelling and pain.
- Thyme Oil: It has antiparasitic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects, which could improve symptoms and control infection.
- Clove Oil: It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which is why it is commonly used in toothaches or dental abscesses.
- Tea Tree Oil: With antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and healing properties.
- Lavender oil: helps the healing process with a calming (mild analgesic) and anti-inflammatory effect.
Herbal tea or fenugreek
Herbal teas or medicinal grade teas contain high concentrations of these herbs and enhance their anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Additionally, there is the Fenugreek tea commonly known to alleviate symptoms of dental infection. Another tea is the so-called goldenseal associated with turmeric and has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antibiotic properties that could be managed in a dental infection.
Hydrogen peroxide or oxygenated water
Commonly used in medicine cabinets and very effective in preventing infections, rinses to reduce plaque and stop bleeding gums. It must be used with care to avoid discomfort, always diluted 1: 1 or equal parts with warm water.
It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties thanks to the fact that it contains allicin in its composition, having the ability to reduce or eliminate an infection. It is recommended to crush and make a dressing with cotton to apply to the affected area.
Aloe vera gel
It is often used for the management of burns and cuts. Since it has antibacterial properties, it can be used in dental infections, improving symptoms of infection. The gel can be applied cold and will improve the result, added to an analgesic effect.
There are well-known alternatives such as the cold compress to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, as well as the consumption of anti-inflammatories and oral analgesics that are available over the counter; however, it should always be consumed under the indication of a health professional and if possible under the indication of your treating dentist, to consume adjusted doses and minimize risks, guaranteeing the effectiveness of the products, additionally, the dentist will define an antibiotic treatment according to the progress and status of the infection associated with the symptoms, defining the appropriate treatment times and the frequency necessary for its treatment.
Works as an excellent anti-inflammatory and has a similar effect similar to chlorhexidine when used as a rinse. It is suggested that this preparation be sufficiently concentrated to improve results. As an essential oil, it enhances the antibacterial and antifungal effect. A few drops can be applied directly to the affected mouth area.
This rhizome or root is widely used as a spice; however; Its high glycerol content gives it many properties, including an antibiotic effect since it can inhibit the growth of various types of bacteria. In fact, it has proven to be very effective against bacteria related to gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease) and one of the cheapest ways how to get rid of a tooth infection without antibiotics. It can be applied as a dressing, chewed, or taken as an infusion four or more times a day.
Manuka honey or natural honey:
Honey from bees as a natural product has different uses in modern diet; however, due to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibiotic properties, honey is sometimes applied on the wound, and in oral health on the site where the infection occurs. Honey prevents bacteria from sticking to the skin or creating the biofilm that colonizes and cause infection.
In its pure form, it is essential for good oral health since the wide variety of natural components helps fight bacteria. It is an excellent natural antibiotic with great anti-inflammatory capacity.
Herbal Tea or Fenugreek:
Herbal infusions or medicinal grade teas contain high concentrations of the herbs and therefore enhance their anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Additionally, there is Fenugreek tea, commonly known to relieve symptoms of dental infection. Another tea is the so-called goldenseal associated with turmeric; it has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antibiotic properties that can treat a dental infection.
Vinegar or apple cider (unprocessed):
after the fermentation process, vinegar is acetic acid and has bactericidal and bacteriostatic activity; that is, it kills some bacteria and inhibits the growth of others. For many years, it has been used for the treatment of wounds and the management of some infections. For consumption, some people dilute it in water and drink it. Common doses range from 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 ml to 10 ml) to 1 or 2 tablespoons (15 ml to 30 ml) per day, it is best to start with small doses and avoid taking large amounts. In the case of oral health use, it is suggested to rinse; however; long-term use is not suggested as it may cause tooth enamel discoloration.
There are well-known alternatives such as cold compress to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Anti-inflammatories and oral analgesics are available over the counter; however, they should always be prescribed by a health professional, or your treating dentist. You may be told to consume adjusted doses to minimize risks to guarantee the effectiveness of the product. Additionally, the dentist will define an antibiotic treatment according to the progress and status of the infection as per the symptoms, suggesting the frequency of treatment.
If you have any questions about this or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Islands Family Dental as well as our Facebook page. We look forward to your visit and will make a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, Newbury Park, and Port Hueneme will be able to guide you towards the best treatment to take care of your health and return your best smile.
- Dr. Pedro Pablo Martínez. I have a toothache infection: how do I cure it and what complications can it cause? Dental Gazette. 5 August, 2020 (internet) (consulted 03 May 2021) Available at: https://www.clinicaferrusbratos.com/muelas/infeccion-muela/
- Kitty Jay. 10 Home Remedies for a Tooth Abscess. Healthline. July 31, 2019 (internet) (consulted May 5, 2021), Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-for-abscess-tooth
- Dental Care. 10 natural remedies for a tooth infection. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY: Guardian Direct. June 22, 2020 (internet) (consulted 4 May 2021) Available at: https://www.guardiandirect.com/dental-care/10-natural-remedies-tooth-infection
natural antibiotics to ward off any dental infection natural antibiotics to ward off any dental infection