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... and as it happens, my favourite toothache remedy, a simple salt water treatment, also seems to work well on painful tooth or rather gum abscesses (infected pus-filled teeth/gums) by allowing the pus to gradually drain off while killing germs.

As visitor Laurie confirmed, "I had an abscess about a month ago and out of a desperate belief that there must be a natural way to heal it I started to google stuff and found your site and did what you suggested with the sea salt and it went away in a day, it has been gone now for over a month. I have also switched to a toothpaste powder I got at my local co-op that does not have any of those ingredients you mentioned that suppress the natural healing ability of teeth."

As can be read in an internet forum, "no dentist knew anything better so far than pulling the tooth, antibiotics or resection..."

The following is a list of suggestions based on my own and/or others' experience with successfully treating and eliminating dental abscesses and/or the pain associated with them. As you read the many different ideas that have worked for various people (even with extremely painful tooth abscesses), I would suggest you follow your intuition and/or whatever you happen to have available in your pantry, including combining several of these remedies as you feel inspired1...

Water & salt

Put some salt (best to use unrefined sea salt) in a container. If available and to allow the salt to quickly dissolve, pour on a small amount of boiling water. Add cold water to bring the solution to body temperature. Rinse your mouth slowly and thoroughly, hold the brine for a while. Do this as needed both when pain comes up and as a regular "germ-killing" treatment. If pain etc. persists, try making it a stronger salt solution to increase the "pulling" and osmotic power of the rinse.

Keep the infected part clean (salt, baking soda, tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide solution, colloidal silver etc.)

Rinse frequently with disinfectants such as salt, baking soda, tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide etc. (if available, you may use a water pik and if your device allows, add hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, vinegar, iodine17, salt etc. Make sure to flush the water pik afterwards using clean water). When using hydrogen peroxide, make sure to properly dilute it with water and in addition to rinsing your mouth with it, for better penetration you may want to soak a piece of cotton with a hydrogen peroxide solution and tuck or hold it against the abscess.If pain increases, follow for instance with a turmeric poultice. More on using tea tree oil

If pain level allows, include

Oil pulling (oil swishing)

which can bring on dramatic healing of a dental abscess or of the pain from an abscessed tooth, sometimes within a day, sometimes taking weeks, since this simple routine seems to draw toxins from the mouth and, in fact, the entire body (background at Oil pulling for [dental] health).

If you use an anti-viral and anti-bacterial oil such as virgin coconut oil (compare Another tooth-friendly oil? Virgin coconut oil), you may additionally speed up the healing of the abscess. In fact, the Well Being Journal Vol.17 # 6 carries an article on oil pulling which mentions a case where the dentist had removed teeth due to abscess only to see a new abscess to appear. The problem finally disappeared when the patient began swishing his mouth with coconut oil several times a day.

Ramp up your immune system

As with probably all infections, it may be important to strengthen your immune defense. There are many things that can help, starting with eating/drinking healthily, stepping up your natural (or synthetic, for that matter) vitamin C and iodine intake (I recommend seaweed for the latter), destressing (compare The effect of thoughts and emotions on toothache and Emotions and Caries, taking immune-strengthening herbs such as Echinacea, garlic, grapefruit seed extract and many others, using colloidal silver, and doing EFT. Even visualisation can be powerfully effective in killing unwanted "intruders".12

Cleanse and detoxify your body

by juice fasting and/or other detoxification methods you feel drawn to.13

Garlic & garlic powder

Garlic of course is one of "nature’s most potent antibiotics".2

For help with dental abscesses, you can for instance slice a clove of garlic lengthwise and place on the swollen area, leave on/chew on and repeat with fresh garlic until pain and abscess (swelling) subside (which can happen in minutes or take several days; the garlic will burn [and I've seen a report about blisters forming in a person's mouth]).

You could also make a "garlic drink" by mixing fresh garlic with water and use the drink to rinse your teeth and mouth (incidentally, breathing in the fumes is likely to assist with any colds or similar illnesses).

Wet teabag

Already mentioned under herbal toothache remedies, wet teabags are also helpful with dental abscesses. Simply soak the tea bag in water, wring it out, place on the swollen area, then hold it or suck on it or go to sleep. The tea bag helps to bring the infection to a head and absorbs some of the toxins/pus (it may be the tannin [an astringent] content which promotes the drainage of the toxins). After pus is released, rinse with salt water, hydrogen peroxide solution, tea tree oil or other natural disinfectants.

Turmeric (curcuma longa)

can swiftly take away abcess pain and reduce the inflammation. Mix a teaspoon with some water to achieve the consistency of mud. After cleaning your mouth (see above under "Keep the the infected part clean"), apply directly to the tooth abscess or put some of the mix on a cotton ball or a piece of cloth before placing it on the infected spot (be careful not to accidentally stain something, turmeric readily gives off its yellow colour).

Additionally, you can take turmeric internally, for instance mixed with stevia or xylitol in a warm drink.

Another method consists in swishing with turmeric (add for instance half a teaspoon turmeric and one teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water, or oil pull with oil mixed with turmeric, and/or brush your gums and teeth with these mixes.

Yarrow

Infused/heated a little in olive oil -- use q-tip to apply to painful tooth (it doesn't have to be warm to work - just use a little heat to infuse it into the oil and it can be used cold). This helped a site visitor with very bad abscess pain.

Borage oil / olive oil / cabbage leaf packs

See the descriptions given under Dental cavitation infections: therapeutic self-health approaches?.

Oil of cloves against pain from dental abscess

See Toothache remedies: herbal and plant-based.

Cold water / ice packs

Similar to the remedies listed under Toothache: numbing the pain, to lower the pain, help with the swelling and keep the tooth infection from spreading, you may run cold water on the abscess and/or use an ice pack.

Propolis tincture (alcoholic extract)

Dip a cotton bud or ball in the propolis tincture (or use your clean finger) and apply on the abscess, holding for a while (any initial burning sensation should quickly subside). Propolis among other things is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial (see background on propolis).

Urine treatment

More at Urine therapy for the healing of teeth and gum problems. Urine, disgusting as it may sound to the uninitiated, can be a true sovereign remedy for issues relating to teeth and gums.

Ichtholan

The following testimonial and treatment suggestion for jaw abscesses involving Ichtiolan (a black "drawing ointment" possibly not available outside Germany, info at www.ichthyol.com/abscesses_furuncles_ichtholan_50.html) has been translated by Healing Teeth Naturally © 2009 from a German discussion forum based on the self-healing teachings of Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer3.

"I repeatedly get a swollen cheek from my lower molars. .... I am sure I don't have caries, I think implants are resistent to tooth decay. But the bone, the bone... I often get boils there the size of a cherry and they can hurt like hell. My health insurance doesn't pay for a resection and cleansing and I am glad they don't. Such a thing would just add further damage to the bone which is about to self-cleanse and wants to rebuild itself.

I've found my own remedy which eases the pain within minutes though I have to accept keeping my swollen cheek for a while. It does take a while for the pus to be drained out of the cheek. It's possible that salt water would help here.

So what I do to get rid of the pain is use Ichtholan, applying it to the cheek from OUTSIDE. This draws the pus into the cheek, removing the pressure (and thus the pain)..."

Comfrey

Judging by a minor success report I've received, comfrey poultices applied externally may prove helpful as well.

Colloidal silver

With its antibiotic and anti-microbial properties, colloidal silver is another good DIY remedy for abscesses, used for instance as a colloidal silver spray. More

Cepacol

Dental researcher Dr. Gerard F. Judd4 recommends: "Abscesses can be offset by holding Cepacol (14% alcohol) in the mouth 5 minutes."

Homeopathy: Hepar sulfuris (Hepar sulph)

In the same German Hamer forum mentioned above, a comment (translation © by Healing Teeth Naturally 2009) recommended the following:

"As you are surely aware, homeopathic remedies aren't simply prescribed for a disease [but rather tailored to the individual person]... but with things like [abscesses] I've had good experiences using the following on my husband and friends:

  • Hepar sulfuris in either D 12 or C30
  • Allow 3 globules of D12 to dissolve in your mouth or
  • Dissolve 1-2 globules of C30 in a glass of water. Take one teaspoonful.
  • Repeat only when the necessity arises, i.e. when "the engine which has started to move is coming to a standstill". Otherwise don't take any and you will see that it helps.

Hepar sulfuris is the remedy for people with a proclivity for suppurative abscesses and boils."

Please note that homeopathic remedies can be cancelled out by simultaneously ingesting certain other substances.5

Homeopathy: other remedies

A number of homeopathic remedies are said to help with abscesses, such as Aconite. Holistic dentist Dr. Bill Wolfe (www.drwolfe.com) recommends for dental abscesses:

  • Belladonna - Best used for early dental abscess accompanied by redness and throbbing.
  • Bryonia - Use for acute inflammation or if pricking pain is relieved by firm pressure.
  • Hepar Sulphuris - Use for abscess accompanied by pus formation.
  • Myristica - Use when swelling is accompanied by numbness of the area.
  • Pulsatilla - Use when the pain is accentuated by heat and relieved by cold water.
  • Pyrogenium - Use when pus is present without drainage.
  • Silicea - Use to hasten the discharge when pus is draining.

A private comment found on the internet reported that with localized infections, they've successfully used Hepar Sulphuris to "gather" the infection, following it with Silicea to expel the infection (using medium potencies C12C - C30).

Tissue salt number 4 for tooth root "pus pockets"

See Homeopathy and tissue (cell) salts in treating dental problems.

Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

A powerful healing agent and a natural part of our body, sodium bicarbonate is always worth adding to whatever else you do, or even trying first thing. More about Baking soda

MMS (Miracle Mineral Supplement)

This is a relatively inexpensive substance available online and has been used to successfully combat various infections incl. in the dental area. More about MMS and its apparently powerful effect against dental abscesses.

Cashews/cashew shell oil

are said to help abscesses to heal. Apparently bacteria involved in tooth abscesses are usually gram-positive, and anacardic acids found in cashew shell oil and (likely) in raw cashew nuts are lethal to those bacteria.6

Dried peppermint leaves (oats)

Place some dried peppermint leaves around the abcess or tooth, spit out after a few minutes. Repeating this a number of times during the day should bring the abcess "to the boil". Open the boil with a pointy object (needle etc.), repeat the peppermint treatment. Also rinse with warm salt water. "Oats will work to draw out an abcess, but peppermint relieves pain as well."

Activated charcoal

A great natural remedy/detoxifier, but not really inexpensive, see Activated charcoal compress.

Calcium bentonite clay

Another natural detoxifier also used for dental healing, see Bentonite clay for swelling & pain in gums & teeth.

Magnets

A while ago, I came across the following intriguing reference: "My experience covering about 20 years indicates that most infections in teeth as a result of root canals or abcesses can be eliminated permanently by magnets."7

Eating raw tomatoes / tomato paste pack

Try eating a number of raw tomatoes in a row, your abscess may burst. A similar recipe against gumboils calls for "Hunt's tomato paste" (I assume any tomato paste will do) to be used as a compress on the abscess, with the tomatoes' acidity helping to soothe the pain and bringing the abscess to a head.

Oil of Oregano

See herbal toothache remedies.

Red clover (trifolium pratense) tea

Red clover flowers reputedly are not only an effective anticancer herb8 but according to a recipe found on earthclinic.com, 1 teaspoon of red clover in a strainer/infuser, steeped in a cup of boiling water for a minimum of seven minutes and drunk twice daily is very effective against the pain of an abcessed tooth (reduce to just one cup a day after the pain subsides).

Onion

See Onion, green onion & onion flowers.

Apple cider vinegar

Dab some (preferably organic) apple cider vinegar on the abcessed tooth/gum area. Make sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards since vinegar will leach calcium from your tooth enamel9 (and if you use apple cider vinegar regularly, see Foods to handle with caution for more suggestions how to minimize any possible damage).

Fenugreek (trigonella foenum-graecum)

Suggested application to draw the infection from an abscessed tooth: make fenugreek into a tea and use as mouthwash, also apply directly by soaking gauze or cotton with the fenugreek tea and place on abscess (renew every hour). If required, lance the abscess to help it drain.

Another suggestion is to use fenugreek in powdered and/or boiled form as a pack to help draw out toxins.

Wheatgrass juice or powder

Wheatgrass, a rich source of chlorophyll and other nutrients, is claimed to have amazing healing benefits and has been used in cancer treatment as a nourishing and detoxifying agent14. Apparently it also has been used in the treatment of advanced gum infections. In The Wheatgrass Book, Dr Ann Wigmore reports dentist Homer Judkin's stunning successes in controlling Vincent's angina (trench mouth) and advanced cases of pyorrhea with chlorophyll injections into the gums.

Suggested application would be for instance swilling it in your mouth like a mouthwash and/or applying it directly to the area of concern (similarly with wheatgrass powder [available online and likely in some health food shops] diluted in water).

Goldenseal/yellow root (hydrastis canadensis)

Goldenseal among other properties is credited with being anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. To remove the swelling and pain from an abscessed tooth, try applying as long as tolerable (goldenseal is very bitter).

Some abscess healing testimonials

A real-life abscess story (1):
tooth root infection & homeopathy

(contributed anonymously) "I once had a bridge removed only after it had given me pain signals for many months which I regrettably didn't heed. What had happened in this time is that the bacteria which had started infesting the area of one of the bridge pillars had had ample time to proliferate in their cosy, largely anaerobic confines.16 The dentist said I had "gangrene" in my root and saw a money-making opportunity by cutting into my jaw (doing surgery) etc. This area continued to be uncomfortable/painful (but only when applying stronger pressure on the tooth), denoting the presence of a smouldering infection at the root level.

I asked a spiritual healer friend to help heal my tooth root infection with the homeopathic remedies he used. He determined the correct remedy15 via a "biotensor" and I proceeded to take the remedy for c. 3 weeks in a row.

I didn't notice any effect initially. Then the right side of my face started to contort (in an effect somewhat akin to what you see in Dali's pictures) - the problematic tooth was in my right-hand upper jaw. The right side kept swelling, even reaching the area of my right eye, I still had no idea what was happening since the process was basically painless. Finally, about three weeks into taking the remedy, I had an impulse to look at my tooth in a mirror. Lifting my upper lip with my fingers, to my great surprise I discovered a huge boil (an abscess measuring c. 1.5 cm in width x 1 cm x 8mm) which had formed above the root. When I touched it with my finger, it burst and emptied its contents - which was odourless (i.e. contained only dead bacteria or "products").

That is how I got rid of the bulk of this tooth root infection, a sensitivity to strong finger pressure remained but has reduced to virtually nil over time..."

(There are of course other approaches as well, see Tooth root infection remedies.)

A personal abscess/swollen gum story (2):
rotten molar & fluoride

(contributed anonymously) "My dental real-life testimonial involves a molar in my lower left jaw which I had been (unsuccessfully) trying to save after its large gold filling had fallen out which I didn't have replaced. The tooth's large cavity was blackened inside and much brushing didn't improve its condition. Following dietary gaffes such as sugar consumption, this hollowed-out tooth was often painful to use. In fact for months I couldn't chew with it at all without pain, forcing me to use the other side of my mouth. Eventually I managed to improve its condition to the point where I was again able to chew soft foods on that side of my mouth. The root area of this molar however showed a continuous distinct swelling.

In an effort to strengthen and build up the tooth further, I started using fluoride toothpaste, fluoride gel and fluoride rinse10 repeatedly, vigourously brushing the area and allowing it to sink in for a long time.

Shortly thereafter and two days after having blackstrap molasses and apple mango juice (second day just apple mango juice, each time diluted with some water, but still clearly acidic), all hell broke loose in that tooth and the gum underneath swelled to a huge size. While pain started only as a numb feeling of pressure/pain, in one to two days it developed into a huge, hot, aching swelling, waking me up from sleep.

By eating healthily (Budwig mix11 with whole cucumber, broccoli, onion, carrot, arame [seaweed] and raw milk) and treating myself with salt water, salt (directly on abscess and swollen area then spitting to drain fluid and probably toxins) and tea tree oil, I managed to sleep and wake up soothed and painfree. The swelling became less of a hard boil, still very swollen but clearly healing and eventually dwindling to a mere largish protuberance which remained very visible, while feelable and sensitive from the outside, however. Within a few days, the tooth and root were back to their previous state.

I see a clear connection between actually poisoning my mouth with fluoride and the resultant enormous swelling that developed, with the fluoride instead of supposedly strengthening my ailing tooth in fact contributing to its toxic state and actively poisoning the tooth/gum terrain. My body then tried to discard and deal with the toxic load by developing the largest swelling it ever had (the largest width of the gum swelling in the tooth root area reached nearly that of my index finger during that crisis)."

Three tooth abcesses over a period of three years successfully self-treated (3)

(by O.S., 2014) The first one I treated successfully with celtic salt. It worked quite quickly and I had no further problems. Just had to use a very salty solution which I found a bit trying. The second one I treated with colloidal silver water and auto-urine which also was successful. The most recent one was the worst. My face was swollen on one side including the ear. It was the most painful with an internal swelling. I used 50% DMSO and colloidal silver, internally and externally which really brought down the pain and swelling quite quickly. I also used urine but without DMSO. It also was effective. On the third day I swished with chamomile tea for an hour before bed but had used the aforementioned during the day and chamomile brought the abcess to a head, draining it.

I do oil pulling with sesame oil as directed by Ayurveda and it has been three years now and there is no plaque. Now I swish with urine or colloidal silver a second time during the day to stave off infections in the future.

I had a cavity on one front tooth at the gum line and with all this treatment it is not visible any longer. The good side of an abcess treatment is that all the other teeth benefit. For pain DMSO is excellent.

Dealing with pain stemming from an abscess

The above suggestions and the numerous additional tips and home remedies featured in Natural, holistic and home dental remedies should have allowed you to successfully soothe any pain from abscesses. Another interesting technique someone used to successfully deal with pain from an abscessed tooth can be found at Energetic toothache remedies: Hand treatment/massage with ice.

Tip: more helpful information

See the related Tooth root infection remedies page which reports on nontoxic, non-invasive and/or natural healing approaches based on anecdotal evidence.

Footnotes

1 Also compare Introduction and general advice for effective toothache and dental pain relief.

2 Compare for instance On Garlic’s Health Benefits Against Cancer & Other Diseases: Incl. “Garlic Health Recipes”.

3 Compare for instance www.healingcancernaturally.com/hamer.html .

4 Author of Good Teeth Birth To Death

5 Compare "Antidotes" to homeopathic remedies: something to be aware of and avoid.

6 More at http://charles_w.tripod.com/tooth.html .

7 I currently don't have any more information on this but can add that magnets (correctly applied) certainly have astounding healing properties (from healing cancer to regenerating the cartilage in a knee joint, a "medical impossibility" reported by Dr. Bradley Nelson in his seminal book The Emotion Code). Richard Gerber M.D.'s highly recommended book Vibrational Medicine: The #1 Handbook of Subtle-Energy Therapies discusses various research studies showing the similarity between the effect of a healer and a magnet on different subjects.

8 Compare Red Clover Flowers (trifolium pratense): An Effective Anticancer Herb?.

9 Compare Video: Tooth enamel degrades under citric acid attack.

10 When previously using fluoridated tooth gel, I had been seduced by the gleam my front teeth showed after brushing and thought that the fluoride gel must be good for them. But compare Toothpaste ingredients which could harm your health and Water and toothpaste fluoridation: fluoride ruins teeth for an enlarged and very different (in fact, opposite) view.

11 Compare The basis of Dr. Johanna Budwig’s oil-protein diet.

12 For a powerful example of how someone successfully used guided imagery/visualisation to kill "terminal" cancer, see Guided Imagery and Visualization plus Prayer & Meditation Have Healed Cancer. Also compare this brilliant tooth healing testimonial where a person regenerated their molar via simple visualisation!

13 For many suggestions re detoxification, see www.healingcancernaturally.com/detoxification.html.

14 Compare Testimonial: terminal breast cancer with multiple tumors, heart failure, advanced diabetes with blindness, extreme weakness, complete inability to digest (the wheat grass juice “detox” cancer cure against all odds).

15 "Correct" remedy means the remedy that was correct for my particular case at that particular point in time (each person may need a different remedy, more at Homeopathy and tissue (cell) salts in treating dental problems.

16 For a possible alternative to bridge removal after pain develops under bridgework, see Risks & complications of wearing a dental bridge (scroll to "8 Advice for those who wear a bridge and who develop pain").

17 Caveat: You may wish to completely abstain from taking iodine orally if you carry amalgam fillings in your mouth. As shown for instance in the study "Effect of iodine on mercury concentrations in dental-unit wastewater" (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16002132), iodine can mobilize mercury from dental amalgam. The resulting (temporarily) higher and potentially dangerous dissolved mercury concentrations in your mouth could expose you to an unnecessary (additional) risk. Compare Dental fillings: potential toxic timebombs ticking in your mouth?.

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