Tooth Abscess
Natural Remedies

Tooth Abscess Natural Remedies

| Modified on Feb 05, 2023
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Tooth Abscess remedies on Earth Clinic.

A tooth abscess is an infection at the root of a tooth, under the gum line. Conventional treatments include antibiotics, pulling the tooth, or a root canal. Natural remedies can often relieve dental pain and even heal the infection when an immediate dentist visit is not possible.

Home remedies for a tooth abscess often bring pain relief quickly. Used faithfully, they can often bring healing to an infection and save the tooth. It is of utmost importance to treat a tooth abscess immediately. Bacteria from an untreated infection can spread through the bloodstream and lead to sepsis, a serious and potentially life threatening systemic infection.


Below are a dozen proven natural cures for a dental infection. These remedies fight pain, inflammation and infection. Many of these remedies work well combined with a second remedy.

1. Garlic

Garlic is a powerful antibiotic food. Raw garlic is the most powerful, but garlic powder can be used if that is all that is available. Do not keep raw garlic against delicate gums for a long period of time as a burn may result. Mixing minced garlic with honey or coconut oil before applying the site of pain will reduce the potential of irritating effects while doubling the healing power of the remedy.

2. Cloves

Cloves are a strong antibacterial herb that also have a numbing effect. A whole clove, clove powder or clove essential oil can be used to treat an abscess. A whole clove can simply be held in the mouth at the site of infection. Clove powder can put placed into a tea bag and held in place in the mouth. Clove essential oil can be applied with a cotton bud. Repeat the treatment every couple of hours during the day and reapply at night if needed.

3. Tea Bag

Black tea fights infection, inflammation and pain. Moisten a tea bag and hold it in place against the infection in the mouth. The tea bag can be kept in the mouth for 30 – 60 minutes. After that time, get a fresh tea bag. Do not sleep with a tea bag in the mouth as this is a choking risk.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric relieves pain and is a wonderful antibiotic. Turmeric can be mixed with water or honey and applied directly to an abscess, or it can be taken internally several times a day, just as an oral antibiotic would be used. Golden milk is an effective way to get turmeric into the system regularly.

5. Colloidal Silver

If you make your own colloidal silver, you can afford to be generous with the amounts you use. Hold and gently swish a tablespoon of colloidal silver in your mouth for one minute every hour or two during the day. If you are buying colloidal silver, add a dropperful to a cotton ball and apply to the site of the abscess. Hold the cotton ball in place for 5 minutes, discard and repeat every few waking hours.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

Acetic acid in apple cider vinegar fights bacteria. Add 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to a tablespoon of water and swish in the mouth for one minute every few hours. After your spit out the solution, rinse your mouth with water. The acid in the vinegar can be irritating to your teeth.

7. Oil Pulling

Coconut or sesame oil are healing oils that can be used for oil pulling. These healing oils feel good against the skin and mucous membranes. Put 1 teaspoon of either of these two oils into the mouth and swish around the mouth for 15 minutes several times a day. Spit the oil into a trash can and rinse out the mouth.

8. Hydrogen Peroxide

The brown bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide kills infection. Swish a tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide in the mouth for a minute every few hours during the day. Hydrogen peroxide complements any of the other remedies. Swishing with hydrogen peroxide before other remedies gives a head start in cleaning the area of infection.

9. Honey

Honey is antibacterial. As it breaks down it releases hydrogen peroxide. Apply honey to the abscess several times a day. For best results, use Manuka honey or raw and local honey.

10. Clay

Bentonite clay or French green clay can be used to draw out all sorts of infection, including a tooth infection. Clay also helps to reduce inflammation and pain. Mix equal parts of dry clay powder and water. Allow the clay to sit for 5 minutes. Then apply the clay to the site of the infection. This can be done overnight if the amount of clay is not excessive so as to be a choking hazard. A pea sized amount should suffice.

11. Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal powder, like clay, draws out infection. It also kills bacteria and reduces pain. Activated charcoal powder can be placed in an empty tea bag, moistening and placed against the abscess. Change the charcoal poultice every two hours during the day.

12. Support the Immune System

To maximize the results of any of the above remedies, use additional remedies to support the immune system.

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Elderberry Syrup
  • Astragalus Root

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods and sugar will also help the immune system to work at its best. Drink plenty of water or herbal tea to help the body flush out toxins. Rest and some sunshine each day are important.

Tooth Abscess Symptoms

Symptoms of a tooth abscess include severe pain, tooth sensitivity, bad breath and fever. Lymph nodes may be swollen. Pain may radiate to the neck or head. You may or may not be able to see an area of infection beneath the gum near the area of pain. Tooth pain can be so severe that work or school become impossible. Over the counter pain medications may not sufficiently stop the pain.

Continue reading to learn what our readers have to say about the most effective remedies for an infected tooth. Did you try one of their remedies? Please share your feedback!

Additional Pages of Interest:
Toothache Remedies

Activated Charcoal

9 User Reviews
5 star (8) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by PB (NC) on 04/23/2022
5 out of 5 stars

I had three abscessed teeth recently, thought I only had one. I still had to wait a week after getting a referral from the dentist before seeing an Endodontic specialist. I mixed up some bentonite clay and activated charcoal; then applied it to a strip of press n seal that I had cut to fit around the gums above my three abscessed teeth. I then applied the mixture of charcoal and clay paste it to my infected gum area and changed it with a fresh one every couple of hours. I also put a fresh one on before bed time and left it on my gums over night.

That mixture of clay and charcoal took out the pain and discomfort. I did not have any issues with the press n seal sliding around my gum area either. The trickiest part was getting the consistency right with the clay and charcoal paste. A little trial and error went a long ways. The right side of my face had swollen up so I put clay on it and then small strips of press in seal to keep it moist. The swelling in my face and gums continued to go down. I always keep a bottle of capsules of activated charcoal and bentonite clay handy especially when traveling.

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Ira (Zuid, Holland) on 09/23/2020
5 out of 5 stars

I had an infection under a tooth, where I already had two times a rootcanal treatment and I refuse to do a third one as more and more I start to think that this is just another business model for dentists. I applied a paste of activated charcoal and water on a cotton ball and left it overnight. The pain subsided. I also continue oil pulling, baking soda rinses and I apply lemongrass oil, but after nearly 12 hours the pain still has gone.

Replied by Jean

I had read about a procedure for an abscessed tooth in the Reader's Digest. I talked my dentist into doing it but he said there were no guarantees. $25 was the cost. It involved drilling through the tooth to the infection, flushing the infection out, then filling the tooth. I still have that tooth and it healed perfectly, nerves and all, according to the later X rays. - Jean

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Karen (Mead, Wa) on 02/20/2018
5 out of 5 stars

This past Saturday, I developed an abscessed tooth. By Sunday, I was hurting bad enough that I went to the store and bought charcoal. Before leaving the parking lot, I mixed a small amount of with a couple drops of clove oil and used a paper towel to pack the gums with the mixture. within 45 minutes the pain was drastically reduced. Once I got home, I mixed up some more charcoal with cloves and olive oil. I soaked a cotton ball with the mixture and put it on my gums, left it there a couple hours. That night I took a heating pad and ice pack to bed, switched them out a couple times before going to sleep. Monday morning, the left side of my face was swollen, but there was no pain. Of course it was a holiday weekend so the dentist was not in that day, but I called and left a message on their answering machine. I did get a call back and scheduled an appointment for Tuesday morning.

All day Monday I was pain free. Monday night I slept with a charcoal pack on my gums. Still no pain the next day. The dentist looked at the x-ray and said I had two areas of raging abscess. He was shocked I was not in pain, so I told him about the charcoal. When he looked in my mouth, he was an area on my gums that was very swollen, red, and oozing. He was able to drain some of the pus out, but was surprised that the abscess had come to the surface. I asked him if that could be a result of the charcoal pulling the infection out and he agreed it might be. I am scheduled for a root canal on Friday. Until then, I will keep up with the charcoal packs.

Replied by Rosie
5 out of 5 stars

Your message really helped. I have got a raging abscess under tooth and been using charcoal and the pain has dramatically dumbed down. I'm hoping it will help draw infection out too.

Replied by Kathryn

Why did you have to get a root canal if you had no pain. Was it not possible to heal?


Infections in bone are hard to heal and can spread to other parts of the body via LPS- Here is an explanation from Google search to clarify term.

Lipopolysaccharides (LPS), also known as endotoxins, are large molecules consisting of a lipid and a polysaccharide composed of O-antigen, outer core and inner core joined by a covalent bond; they are found in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. It will destroy the bone and your overall health left unattended.

Replied by Orh
(Ten Mile, Tn)

OHIO, ORH here, boy howdy, you right on the money. You teeth control far more than most know. Each goes all over your body. I have told the story of my high dollar dentist in Knoxville and his wife. She was a model and did not want to have the tooth pulled. She died instead of breast cancer. He told her she would. He cries when he tells that story. We don't need doctors, we need Native American Medicine Men, that know what plant will help you get through your problem. EC is the best we have in the here and now.


Activated Charcoal
Posted by Knowtruth2014 (Charlotte, Nc) on 05/09/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Hi all....I am a sceptical about everything unless I have proof lol. I just have to share my story about last night. I lost a pretty good size filling about two months ago. Yeah yeah I went to the dentist and he said it either has to be pulled or you need a root canal and crown. I was thinking on the 2 because the 1st option is cheapest. I've been thinking on the issue for far to long now. Like its 2 months later. Well I started brushing my teeth with Activated Charcoal out of the little capsules that you buy at the drug store. (My smile is whiter now) hehe ok last night my tooth that I have been thinking about started throbbing ouch. 4am I am still awake hurting like $#%T. Throbbing tooth ache. I took some of the Act. Char. and mixed it with a few drops of brandy! Pain makes u try anything. I made a paste and soaked a very small piece of gauze in it. Kept packing the tooth and in 45 mins to an hour my pain was gone. How this happens I do not have a clue. But it happened and hey I'm all the better for it. I am going to call my dentist soon. I might just pay the 40.00 to get another x-ray just to see if the infection is gone before he pulls my tooth. Thanks everyone for listening.

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Laura (Sydney, Nsw) on 08/04/2012
5 out of 5 stars

First off I'd like to thank everyone for contributing to this site.

I had a severely abscessed tooth after eating too much sugar thereby depressing my immune system & had read about people putting bentonite clay on for treatment well I didnt have any so poured out an activated charcoal capsule between my gum & cheek & had instant relief from the pain.

I slept with it overnight & it greatly improved. I did it every night in the beginning, it just sucked out the infection but treatment must continue so even if you just do one night a week then once every 2 weeks then 3 & gradually downgrade it & keep up a dose for maintenence because an infection can still persist after the pain has gone.

good luck everyone.

Replied by Joy
(Battleground, Wash)

An abcessed tooth is really a pain and the decision to have a root canal can be a thoughtless one since we trust our dentist. The dentist that created the root canal decided later that it was unhealthy and wrote a book called the root canal coverup.

Hope you make wise choices with your teeth.. I would make different choices... if I only knew then what I am dealing with now.

If you have denture questions a wonderful site for answers FREE

Implants are also very dangerous as they are a point of impact for a potential crack or infection in your jawbone.

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Sharon (Wesley Chapel, Florida) on 02/25/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Hooray for charcoal! I had a very bad toothache and it was late at night. I used the charcoal mixed with clove oil and in 30 min the pain was reduced by half. By the end of the hour, it was down to nothing. I left it on overnight, and the relief was amazing. When I got to the dentist office, they smiled and said they knew about it, and it was not well-known. l used some activated charcoal l had at the house for stomach issues.

Replied by Terri
(Denver, Co)

I know you wrote about charcoal for tooth pain awhile ago, but I would like more info how to use it. The person at the health store said it would probably taste bad. Do you just use the contents of 1 capsule and a few drops of clove oil and put it on with a cotton swab? How long do you leave it on. Thank you!

Replied by Mama To Many
(Tennessee, Usa)

Dear Terri,

I don't know if the person who wrote the original post is still around on EC.

We have used charcoal and clove oil in the mouth. The process you suggest sounds fine. Charcoal doesn't taste bad. It doesn't have a taste; it is kind of gritty. Clove oil is strong, but effective. You can leave it in until it is washed out with our own saliva. You can repeat as often as needed.

Do not do this near the time you take prescription medications as the charcoal can adsorb them.

Let us know how it goes!

~Mama to Many~

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Arizona_sunsets (Casa Grande, Arizona, U.s.a.) on 08/02/2011
1 out of 5 stars

I have had a very bad abscessed tooth, so I have been trying all kinds of things on here because I cannot afford a dentist.

I took coffe filters, cut them up into small pieces, filled them with charcoal from charcoal pills, wetted them lightly, then pressed them around my problem areas, they did great for maybe 15 mins. , tried this twice with the same results. Also, my pain was extreme after they stopped working.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

You can try to do the same but with ground cloves.

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Kristi (Cleburne, TX) on 05/28/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Regarding Tooth Abcess:

My son has recently had to deal with tooth abcess and gum pain due to a mouth injury. He eventually had a root canal.

We tried many concoctions, but the only thing that gave him relief from the pain was to make a paste with a very small amount of water and activated charcoal (get this at a health food store or your pharmacist). We put the thin paste on a piece of paper towel and tucked it in between his gum and lip. He left this on for hours at a time. After a few times it helped the swelling, redness and pain. He did this until he could get an appointment for a root canal.

Replied by Ethersteve
(Lexington, Kentucky)

I'm so glad I read your comments about your experience as a medical missionary and what you've mentioned about your friend's experience as well. I'm likely to go ahead and try the remedy myself. I'm looking for a natural alternative to antibiotics to remedy an abcessed tooth and it seems that charcoal is the answer. I'm sure you already know that technology is well behind mother nature in curing the uncureable such as cancer.

I'm one of the lucky few who decided to go with instinct rather than my doctor's advice when approaching treatment for my own stage 5 (yes - stage 5) squeamous cell carcinoma. Instead of becoming a lab animal for experimentation, I put my faith in God and mother nature to take care of me come hell or high water and guess what? Through a regimen of supplements, nutrition, and positive vibes with friends and family in life I pulled through. Surely would have died within the year if I had followed my doctor's advice. That was 8 years ago and no signs of relapse. It's refreshing to hear that others are enjoying the same type of success - 40-50% huh?

Anyways, thanks for the confirmation of my lifestyle and advice for my abcess! I had an abcess in the same spot 5 months ago that doc's and dentist told me would need removal of the tooth immediately but I wanted to keep my tooth and never had it pulled when the abcess went away with penicillin. I'm gonna try something natural this time. So glad I came to this site and read yours and others posts! Thanks,

Alpha Lipoic Acid

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Annette (Cuy Falls, Ohio) on 06/13/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Several years ago, my husband had an abcessed tooth. A filling had been broken out for some time and we did not have dental insurance. He went to a health food store and asked about a remedy for pain relief. The propietor highly recommended Alpha Lipoic Acid. My husband bought the 50mg caps, which were the least expensive. Back then, he weighed 230 pounds (6' tall). He took 2-50mg caps of Alpha Lipoic Acid every 4 hrs, 4 times daily, for 7 to 10 days, decreasing the dose after the pain was gone.

I can attest to this remedy also, because some time later, I had a toothache that would not quit. I treated myself with Alpha Lipoic Acid. It was kind of like a do-it-yourself root canal. My pain subsided each day and was totally gone within 3 days. I continued to take it a few more days. My tooth is still A-OK 10 years later. Did not require any dental work, even though I've been in for cleaning and x-rays several times since.

On a polar opposite note, I have been reading about Urotherapy - a little known frontier with claims of curing numerous aliments, including various cancers. Each of us have this readily available, tailor-made, built-in health dispenser at no cost. Research online, as it's limited experimental findings are under wraps among med books (has been for years). I did try it myself for a lower abdominal ache, after other natural remedies did not work over a 2 month period. I searched for a cure and found it. After 2 weeks of drinking a few ounces of 'mid stream in the morning', all pain was gone. Never had another symptom of who knows what. No, it doesn't taste bad. Think of it as intended - it's personalized medicine that won't harm you, but most likely will cure you. Do the research. I've found it tried, true and an essential entry in my emergency home care journal.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by kira (Guildford, United Kingdom) on 05/22/2007
5 out of 5 stars

For severe tooth pain such as in the case of an abscess, the only thing that has worked for me is 750mg daily Amoxicillin. I have tried clove oil which is extremely powerful but does not kill the pain even if you drink the stuff and can make the pain worse as an abscess is about pressure build up from toxins under the tooth and so needs to be burst in some way.

I rubbed my tooth-brush rigorously on the abscess itself which hurt a lot, but tons of puss and blood came out that needed to come out as it is poison and what causes the pain in the first place. The colour of the puss is like a dark yellow/orange and there is often a huge amount of it if the abscess is particularly large in size. I could not burst the abscess any other way and this is the only real way of doing it and without seriously hurting yourself or your gum.

For general tooth pain not caused by an abscess, the only thing that will stop pain, is medication unless the tooth pain is mild enough to bear it. Very few people can cope with pain and so the ones that can't, they need something that is going to work and that only comes in the form of pills - not garlic, cloves and things on here that are for more tougher folk with stronger pain threshold.

I cannot cope with tooth pain at all and often suffer from abscesses and I have tried everything out there and nothing works except only for strong antibiotics. A mild tooth ache is another thing and anything will work for that as long as it stings and draws out the source of pain such as warm salt water. Dental pain comes in many forms but the worst is by far toothache caused by an abscess and to which the only cure is relief gained by bursting as much of it as possible and with an object that isn't going to cause damage. The toothbrush is the best and only real sure way of bursting an abscess It takes some pounding on the gum with the bristles to break the top layer of the abscess skin, but once you have done it and the puss and blood come, you know then that you have begun to relieve yourself of the pain an abscess does provide.

I talk from experience and with common sense.

Replied by Jen
(Mukwonago, Wi/usa)

Regarding tooth abcesses esp. "bumps" if, you drain them.. Remember that is PURE poison, if swallowed can make you extremely ill ans can even cause death. Also, they hurt so bad... A great way to drain... A little less painful than rubbing something on top of it, use a sterilized pin/needle and it will natuarally drain, just make sure to collect that poison... A emergency room near me, will do this for u with the use of a hospital syringe and actually draw out the fluid, may be worth a shot to ask them.. They even numbed it first!!

Apple Cider Vinegar

5 User Reviews
5 star (5) 

Posted by Meagan (Brooklyn, Ny) on 02/18/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I had a huge abscess on my tooth and was in terrible pain. I decided to gargle with ACV and literally as I was gargling I was feeling the abscess with my tongue and I could feel it softening! After I spat out the vinegar I started noticing the abscess was draining, which alarmed me because I didn't want the bacteria getting in to my body. I decided to just keep spitting as much as I could without purposely swallowing the bacteria. Within an hour of using the Apple Cider Vinegar gargle, my once huge abscess was now flat!!! I'm still going to make a dental appointment but What a Relief!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Dv (Israel) on 08/16/2013
5 out of 5 stars

For a dental abscess, all you really need is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and dental floss, if you have dental brushes that fit in between your teeth, even better. Floss, brush, drink diluted ACV around 2 tbl per glass. If you're not able to swish and swallow, add honey, dilute even more. Twice daily, within a day or 2 amazing results. If you can adjust diet to avoid infections all together even better, if not keep ACV in the house.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Tonya (Miami, Fl) on 08/25/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I have been in pain for the last 4 to 5 days and last night was the worst I was in tears from the pain and after trying my usual pain relievevers(mouthwash, sensodyne, and aspirin, motrin or advil) it didn't work like always when ur body gets used to something it stops being as effective, so I gargled with apple cider vinegar and it worked a miracle on my sore gums. It was so bad I could barely open my mouth to speak. So to anyone who had tried other methods and they don't work, try the vinegar gargle, it should help.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Diana (Bragg Creek, Ab Canada) on 07/16/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I have been taking ACV for other issues, and have had some pretty serious issues with an abscessed and cracked tooth I cannot afford to get fixed. They hurt and I was getting bumps in my gums from the infection. . . Then it stopped, but I had no idea of any connection. . . I ran out of ACV last week, and sure enough, I was having issues with my teeth again. I bought an organic brand ACV this morning drank 2 tbs in water, and had another dose this evening, the infection is almost gone again. I always take 2tbs of ACV in water in the morning and late afternoon for general good health reasons, but the tooth thing is a wonderful bonus. Who would have ever guessed.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Debbie (Bonita Springs, Fl) on 11/01/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I had an abcessed tooth about a month ago and had no antibiotics for it. It was on a weekend so I couldn't go to the doctor. I have some organic apple cider vinegar so I thought, what the heck? Rubbed some on the infected area a few times and it went away. You'll want to rinse your mouth with water afterwards because of the acid in the vinegar. And yeah, the straight vinegar was nasty tasting but it sure helped with my pain.