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Garlic for Tooth Infection - A Natural Alternative

Last Modified on Nov 26, 2015

Garlic for Tooth Infection
A tooth abscess or infected tooth is often one of the most painful experiences an individual is forced to endure. While most conventional treatment options include invasive remedies and even surgery, natural remedies are typically just as effective, if not more so, without the added discomfort of such treatments. Garlic is one of the most effective treatments for an abscessed tooth and can be done in the comfort of your own home.

Abscessed Tooth Treatment Options

While traditional medicine offers treatments for an abscessed tooth, these options are often only minimally effective unless you go the extreme route. Often dentists or oral surgeons suggest over-the-counter pain medications to relieve the pain without actually treating the underlying infection. And, when a treatment is prescribed for the infection, it often involves surgical treatment or at the very least a root canal.

It is important to note that a tooth infection can become deadly if it spreads to other parts of your body, like your heart or brain. An abscessed tooth MUST be taken care of as soon as possible. Please visit your local dentist or emergency dental clinic if your dental infection is worsening.

Garlic - A Home Remedy for Tooth Infections

Natural remedies, however, can function to relieve pain as well as eliminate infection. This dual-faceted treatment aims at preserving the tooth while still treating the condition. Garlic is especially effective for treating the condition as it functions as both an anti-inflammatory agent as well as a natural antibiotic.

How garlic works:

Garlic is considered a member of the allium family. These vegetables contain a unique combination of flavonoids as well as sulfur-containing nutrients, which make them effective natural health remedies. These unique compounds function in several different ways to treat a tooth abscess. Initially, garlic reduces inflammation, which also helps reduce pain in the tooth. The treatment also helps eliminate infection, so it works to naturally correct the condition.

How to use a garlic:

To use garlic as a treatment, select a fresh garlic clove. Peel the garlic and rinse it with warm water. Then, place the clove in your mouth and crush it with your teeth. As you begin crushing the garlic, you should experience a natural numbing sensation. Continue chewing the garlic until the pain has subsided. Spit out the clove and rinse your mouth with warm water. Consider sipping on water with a few drops of peppermint or clove essential oil in it to freshen your breath.

As uncomfortable as an abscessed tooth is, the condition calls for an immediate remedy. Garlic is a safe, easy-to-use option that helps treat the condition at its core.

Continue reading below for more than 70 positive reviews from Earth Clinic readers who have used garlic successfully to treat a tooth infection. Tried this remedy? Let us know what you think!

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User Ratings

YEA (79)
NAY (1)

User Reviews

Posted by Icey (Malaga, Spain) on 10/19/2015

[YEA]  Chewing raw garlic on an abscessed tooth has cleared up over 6 infections for me. Works absolute wonders! And quickly, within a few hours no more pain!

Replied by Chelsea
I had a question. I've had terrible terrible tooth pain. I have a front tooth with a cavity that is falling apart. I am not sure if this is the root of the problem or not but my whole right side of my mouth hurts terribly. I tried the Garlic a little bit ago, it burned a bit and I couldn't hold it in my mouth for a long time due to me being pregnant and wanting to gag. After I used it I felt some relief but now I am in terrible pain again. Is this just the garlic doing it's job?? Or should I try the garlic again?
Replied by Mama To Many Donate

Dear Chelsea,

Garlic can really sting and burn. If you do not prick it or cut it, the burn is less. You can also wrap it in a bit of coffee filter. It will still work. If the garlic is still uncomfortable for you, you could try activated charcoal powder, which also helps with pain and inflammation. I make a tiny poultice with charcoal powder (from the health food store) in an empty tea bag or piece of coffee filter and hold it to the pained area, even overnight.

If you have clove powder on hand, that may work too. It relieves pain and helps infection.

I hope it feels better soon.

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Charlotte (London, Uk) on 08/22/2015

[YEA]  I've been quite fortunate with my teeth, insofar as I have only ever had to visit a dentist once. I had an abscess on an impacted wisdom tooth and a cracked molar which was begining to show signs of decay. After he had prescribed antibotics for my abscessed tooth, he informed me that given its position (I have a lot of overcrowding in the rear of my mouth) it would have to be extracted under general anaesthetic. When I came back to him a week later, abscess having cleared up, he extracted my cracked, partially decayed molar, as he'd told me that it was gone beyond the stage where a filling would have sufficed. Then, as soon as he had taken it out, he told me that the roots were healthier than he'd previously thought, and that it could have been saved with a filling. I was really upset over that, as I take good care of my teeth and didn't fancy the prospect of losing one, I brush and floss twice daily and use a good mouthwash. Not only that, but my extraction was a complete nightmare, I bled out for so long that the dental nurse had to pack and repack my gum for over an hour. I continued to bleed, though not as heavily, till seven o' clock the next morning, and by that stage I was weak and feeling ill, somewhat traumatised, and very upset. As the dentist was abrupt and not at all sympathetic, and given my first impression of dentists in general, I swore that I would never go back. Just a little background, so everyone understands my dentist phobia, sorry if it was a little long winded.

Anyway, last Christmas, I cracked my left premolar whilst eating a hard centred sweet. There were no signs of decay, but the nerve had been a slightly exposed. I took care not to allow any food into it, but refused to go anywhere near a dentist for a filling. Then, last week, I was eating crisps (potato chips to Americans :-)) and a sharp end of crisp went right down into my exposed nerve. I actually cried out when it happened, as it had sent shockwaves of pain all throughout the left side of my face. It subsided, but the next morning it was niggling, which got grandually worse as the day wore on. Two days later, the pain was persistant - very much like the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia. I went to the pharmacy and bought a temporary filling which I put in myself, hoping that it would be enough to kill the pain. No such luck. It got progressively worse and the whole gum swelled. My mother told me to make an appointment with the dentist, as she believed that an abscess was forming, but remembering my last experience, I refused to go.

Instead I turned to home remedies and painkillers. Clove oil offered temporary relief in the beginning, but as the swelling grew, it had little effect. I tried oil pulling, which calmed it initially, but then seemed to make it worse. I rinsed with salt and water, but it made no great difference. The only thing that offered an, oh so brief, respite, was cold water. I was in total agony, and so desperate that I took to swishing alcohol around the efffected area, which only burnt my gum and inflamed it more.

Desperate and driven mad with pain, I searched online and found this site. Just last night I tried the garlic remedy.

I cut a clove in half and placed each on either side of the effected tooth. It stung like hell and I almost collapsed from the pain, but I persisted. I then chewed the clove on the effected side - still burning like crazy - then swallowed the juice and spat out the chewed clove. Last night was the worst of all. I actually cried with pain as I felt something pulsating within my gum. Today, when I went to lie down, as I hadn't slept all night due to the pain, I felt one excruiating blast of agony, then my mouth began to fill with a sticky substance, which brought immediate relief. The abscess had burst. I took care to spit out the pus - there was a lot of it - and rinse my mouth with salt and water.

Thankfully, apart from a little tenderness in the gum and the nerves in my lower jaw, the pain has gone and the swelling has disappeared, and this I attribute to the garlic. I have now been pain free all evening and all night, so yes, garlic really does work. It did what clove oil, oil pulling, alcohol (not recommeded, as it burns the gum, but I was desperate), salt and water by itself, a near overdose of ibuprofen and paracetmol (not recommended either) failed to do; it got rid of the abscess and relieved my pain. The pain I experienced on applying it was well worth it, so, yeah, I would strongly, going by personal experience, urge you try this if all else has failed, as it really does work.

Replied by Angelia
I sure thank all of you for posting about your experience with garlic!

I lost my filling due to the candy "sugar daddy" Yep, first bite of that hard caramel took my filling right out!

Never had any problems and my filling has been gone for months but when the pain started, it started! I did the temporary filling along with the clove oil for pain. It worked for a couple of months but has returned but this time with a swollen face and a headache. "I start a new job this week" I do not have the money for the dentist and do not want to lose my tooth so here I began my search of ways to heal naturally and affordably!

I'll let y'all know how it goes...sleeping with garlic tonight :)

Thanks again,


Replied by Anu
[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]   Use garlic carefully. It may burn skin if you keep it in direct contact of skin for long time. I accidentally burned my cheek and jaw though tooth ache was gone. Now my cheek and burn jaw is burning like a hell.
Replied by Angie
My teeth do not hurt but I have been suffering with dizziness, clogged ears, off balance and blurry vision. With no pain at all could I have an abscess tooth.

Posted by Bellarose (Los Angeles, CA) on 08/20/2015

[YEA]  IMPORTANT NOTE: all products I used were 100% ORGANIC.

First time using this site & successfully overcame tooth abscess. Cured within 1 week. Dentist obviously gave me antibiotics which I did not take. Instead, above and beyond all therapies I implemented, RAW GARLIC worked immediate magic.

So heed to this message: if you can stand the temporary yet intense pain/burning sensation upon chewing on a fresh clove of garlic and placing the pulp with your clean fingers or tongue on the abscessed site for as long as you can stand it, it will immediately start working it's miracle. When done with this burning ordeal, swallow all the garlic you have in your mouth.

On the other hand, if you're unable to do so, then consume raw garlic (either sliced up or minced or whole) with fresh food (like a salad) or just chew it and swallow downing some water or liquid right after if you like. The goal is to get RAW GARLIC in your system as soon as you notice an inflammatory situation come up in your mouth/body. I consumed between 4-6 cloves daily and continue to do so to strengthen my immune system.

As a side note, the first 3 days after doing some research and going by what 3 of my FB peeps had simultaneously advised me, clove oil was my 1st form of attack and it literally burned the inside of my cheek, my gum and the corner of my mouth which caused me to stop using it. My inside cheek and gums looked raw with a whitish layer of skin peeling off. Not good. Anyway, surely it aided in the whole process however, in the future I'd only apply it no more than a couple times a day versus about 4-5 times.

Stick to the garlic and frequent peppermint oil and water (about 4 drops oil per cup of water) gargles multiple times a day, especially after eating. Also, I brushed my teeth after each meal with my homemade OraMD (2T sweet almond oil with 40 drops each of Spearmint and Peppermint oils) which I've been using as my toothpaste for about 4 months and LOVE.

One last resource I believe I'm drawing benefit from is using Colloidal Silver. I apply one dropper full in my mouth and tilt head so it covers my healed abscess tooth area for 30sec before squishing around and swallowing. I do this about 3-4 times a day and will continue to do so perhaps until the bottle empties.

May this help you as it's helped me regain my healthy oral balance.

Posted by Alli (Vancouver, Wa) on 10/16/2014

Has anyone had the abscess return after garlic treatment? My son who is almost 8, has an abscessed tooth. He saw two dentists yesterday, and the second one (a pediatric dentist) told us that when the other dentist filled a tooth last year (maybe Feb?) they went too deep and hit a nerve! So, bacteria got in somehow and is causing swelling on his lower jaw. He is not in a ton of pain (or possibly tolerates it well) but the dentist wants to remove his tooth. It's a baby tooth, so I'm curious, if I treat the infection, and continue to use garlic and/or Hydrogen Peroxide, can I wait until his baby tooth comes out? Or should we just have it pulled. They'd need to put a spacer in to keep the surrounding teeth apart until his adult tooth comes in. Any advice would be appreciated. He is currently taking antibiotics, and we tried garlic on his gums this morning, but it does STING! I tried it! I ate some too, and may give him some later today after antibiotics digest a bit.

Replied by Sharon Larson
Palma Mallorca
Use castor oil on the outer jaw. Stops the pain and the castor oil seems to numb it.

Posted by Kathi (Dallas, Tx) on 10/07/2014

[YEA]  I was at work when my abscess started. No grocery stores close to my job. So I couldn't get fresh garlic but went to a pharmacy at Walgreens and got Garlic Oil put it on the tooth and gum. Immediately stopped the pain it is numb now. I will continue to use it until abscess is drained and gone.

Posted by Carlos (Barcelona) on 09/22/2014

[YEA]  Ok so here I am years ago a piece of tooth fell off, my mother asked me to go tot he dentist I didnt want her to pay for that, I got no job..long story short last week I felt some discomfort I looked and it was that big yello thing in my gum. I was scared as heck...

When to the doc today, got an apointment for root canal in 4 days. Just came here hoping for a home solution.

I chewed 1 garlic clove, left it there for a few minutes, this burns like theres no tomorrow. and I have to say I don't have tooth pain whatsoever, just the big inflammation so the pain was very severe to handle without having tooth pain in the first place.

I drank it and went for second round, it burned like theres no tomorrow. I drank it again and now just few minutes later I see inflamation has gone down and I feel a cool refreshing feeling in the area. Definately healing. I'll keep doing this 3times a day and water and salt rinses till my dentist apoinment. Hopefully the abcess is gone by then. All I can say is so far so good.

Posted by Francesca (Gila, New Mexico) on 06/06/2014

[YEA]  Thank god for your website! I was in such agony due to an abscessed molar, taking antibiotics and tramadol for pain and received no relief until I found your website with the garlic treatment. The garlic relieved the pain and appears to be drawing out the infection and I am hoping that it will drain the abscess
Thank you for the information the great spirit is indeed great.

Posted by Gabbysue (Haltom City, Texas) on 03/03/2014

[YEA]  When my son was 18 he had a root canal. The dentist put in a porcelain tooth. I assume because it was a back tooth. He is now 27. He told me the other day that the tooth had started to fall out and he pushed it back in. He said it didn't hurt. My first thought unfortunately came to light. The next day he woke up with the left side of his face extremely swollen. I was afraid that when he pushed it back in he also pushed bacteria, etc. in. Not having insurance I came here to see if there was a home remedy. I read a tried and true story from Phil in Manchester, UK from 02/23/13. I knew my son would be too skeptical, so I had him read the story. Being in so much pain he agreed to try it. I gave him a sliver of garlic and told him to hold it on the sore gum for at least 3 minutes. Poor guy, his eyes started watering and I could tell it made the pain worse. After 3 mins he spit it out. About 15 or so mins he ran to the bathroom. The abscess had started draining. He stayed in the bathroom spitting and rinsing with water for 15 mins. The next morning he had no swelling or pain. I am so thankful that I found earthclinic.

Replied by Timh Donate

Ky, Usa
After reading several of Bill's post concerning Biofilms, I did some basic searches on this topic yesterday. Biofilms are particularly present in our teeth & gums. These Biofilms are like baggies, housing & protecting an array of pathogens including bacteria, viruses, and funguses. Controlled studies have shown Allicin, the active ingredient in Garlic, to be a somewhat effective Biofilm remover.

All the recent testimonies concerning garlic and gum disease being cured by Garlic is certainly topical proof of the clinical studies.

Posted by Ida (Us) on 02/11/2014

[YEA]  Thank you everyone! I just used garlic on my sore tooth and it has cleared up the pain. At first when I placed the garlic on the gum around my tooth, it hurt so bad that my ear and jaw throbbed in pain. After 5 minutes it subsided and I can feel the pain is gone and my sore gums are feeling better. My ear doesn't feel plugged up anymore, and my vertigo is gone. This is amazing!!!!

Posted by Taissa (Montana) on 10/30/2013

[YEA]  Wow. I mean, wow! I don't believe it.

I have had a really bad tooth infection for a month now. I have been on three big guns broad spectrum antibiotics trying to clear it up. Nothing will touch it. Nothing touches the pain. Yesterday out of desperation I decided to try garlic. I chopped two cloves, smashed it a bit, waited 5 min then swallowed it with water. I did this about 4 more times, then went to bed. Woke up, and the pain had lessened. Second day, I continued the protocol and tonight I'm pain free. I am seriously pain free. And I never even put a garlic clove on my gum yet because I was afraid that it would burn too much.

So here's what I do: Take two garlic cloves, peel, chop, then smash it a bit to where I see some juice come out, wait about 5 minutes and swallow it back. I put it on a spoon and just swallow. Repeated this about 4 times more.

This really works. The swelling and pressure in my gum is gone and the deep pain is gone. This is truly nature's antibiotic. I've been on three big gun antibiotics and it wouldn't even touch it. Amazing!

Posted by Faith (La) on 10/06/2013

[YEA]  I had a root canal extraction weeks later, I had a big fistuala at the site. Saw two different dentist that said, it was just post surgery trauma. Another dentist said a fistula is a bad infection it is attempt by the body to remove some of the pressure from the bone and tissue so it forms fistula. My MD looked at and said, raging infection and sent me to oral surgeon had the site cleaned out and did cavitation. Apparently the bone graft did not take and gutta percha was left behind and caused big infection. Seven days later stiill had swelling used garlic paste and in a three days. AMAZING swelling is gone. Garlic is miraculous.

Posted by Kelli (Atlanta, Ga) on 09/17/2013

[NAY]  Garlic totally did NOT work for me... As a matter fact it made my symptoms worse... I eventually had to go to the dentist to get treated properly. I had an abcess and applied the garlic to the infected area, hoping to ease the pain and get rid of the infection, however when I woke up a couple hours later my jaw was so swollen. I eventually made my way to the dentist where I'm on amoxicillin and pain meds, although I'm still in pain, glad to know that I got something I know will work... Guess it just depends on the individual..

Replied by Johnny
Manhattan, New York
[YEA]   Garlic really DOES work. It takes 2 to 3 days for it to absorb into your system totally but anyone saying that it doesn't work, didn't use it. You can't just take a garlic pill and expect it to work.¬†You have to use minced or sliced garlic and the swallow it for it to work. You also can't just put a little bit of it in your mouth for 20 minutes and then spit it out and expect a miracle. For anyone to say that it made any infection worse is full of crap. ALL bacteria and ALL viruses, (including all forms of cancer), cannot stand up to raw garlic. They get blindsided by it and die from it. I use it on cuts and infections and they ALWAYS go away. It's NOT different for any individual. It works on everyone the same way. And that means chew it up and swallow 1 tablespoon every 4 hours for at least 7 days for an abcess. It will take alot longer for cancer but you have to take it for a lifetime once it's gone, just not near as much and not every day. It also is a mild pain reliver, an appetite suppressant, and helps you lose weight by giving you a higher metabolic rate.

Posted by Phil (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 02/23/2013

[YEA]  Well, all I can say is this site has seriously saved me from continued pain. I started getting some tooth pain in a tooth that is currently undergoing root canal treatment last night (Friday - isn't that always the way with dental pain?). Today I've had gum and cheek swelling and some pretty extreme pain. Yesterday I was able to manage the pain with ibuprofen however it has had little effect today. Around 2 hours ago I noticed that there were abscess heads around the tooth. With a small bit of pressure the abscess burst and a mix of yellow/creamy fluid along with what appeared to be blood began to flow out which obviously shows that there is an infection. However, the pain continued. In desperation, I searched for some home remedies due to not being able to see the dentist for another 42 hours. Now, I've never been a believer in home remedies which is probably due to the circles that I mix with; my fiance is a Doctor, her mother is a Veterinary Surgeon etc. However, after reading the thread I rushed to the shop and purchased some garlic. I split one of the cloves and cut a large chunk out of it. I applied the chunk of garlic to the side of the tooth that the fluid had come from... At first it was fine with the exception of a slight tingle in my tongue, however after about 30 seconds the pain really kicked in. I kept it there for as long as I could (about 3 - 4 minutes) and then swallowed the liquid and spat out the remainder of the cloves.

I didn't notice any difference at first (if anything it was now stinging as well as being generally painful), however 20 minutes later the pain literally disappeared. I was sat watching TV holding my mouth and it was as if the pain was just switched off! I'm now able to close my mouth and even chew which is ridiculous considering the pain I was in.

Everyone - this is genuine. If it worked for me (and as I said I'm a firm nay-sayer when it comes to home remedies) then it could work for you!

Posted by Barbara (Idaho Falls, Idaho) on 01/11/2013

[YEA]  I had an infection in my upper eye tooth. It was very painful. I couldn't get an appointment for another week. I tried something I had read about on this site and it worked for me.

I took a large clove of fresh garlic, cut it in half. I formed a little opening in the center and fit the garlic over the tooth. It did burn somewhat. I would remove it after a couple of minutes, then reapply. I did this for about 2 or 3 days... Every time I sat down to watch television. When I did get to the dentist, there was barely any sign of the infection, and no pain.

While thinking about this, just now, I'm wondering if I had cut the clove in half, without peeling it first, it may have made a shield between the garlic and my inner mouth area.

Replied by Sharon
[YEA]   Garlic worked for me too

Posted by Aby (Los Angeles, Ca/usa) on 12/26/2012

[YEA]  I had a tooth infection and called my dentist with the sharpest and most unbearable pain I had ever experienced. He called in a prescription for painkillers and I began to take them, with little effectiveness. They would dull the pain temporarily, but the pain would return intensely before I could take my next dose. The tooth was so sensitive that I couldnt even meet my upper and lower teeth together, without excruciating pain. I wasnt even putting pressure on them, but merely touching them together I read all of the garlic yeas here, and immediately cut a clove in half, and placed it in my mouth in either side of my infected molar. That night I minced garlic and kept it in my cheek as a sorr of poultice, and changged it out throughout the night. Without painkillers, over the next 24 hours, my tooth pain was COMPLETELY gone. I cant stop tellin people how amazing this was.

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