Tooth Abscess
Natural Remedies

How to Use a Tea Bag for a Tooth Abscess

| Modified on Jun 07, 2023
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A simple black tea bag can be an effective natural remedy for a tooth abscess. The properties in black tea fight infection and reduce pain and inflammation.

How to Use a Black Tea Bag to Relieve Pain and Reduce Infection

  • Simply wedge a warm, wet tea bag against the gum and surround the tooth.
  • Keep the tea bag in place for 20-30 minutes
  • Repeat the procedure every two hours during the day.
  • Do not sleep with a tea bag in your mouth; it is a choking risk.

If you have ever experienced an abscessed tooth, you know how painful it can be. This black tea home remedy begins to eliminate the infection while quickly relieving the pain and inflammation.

Let us know if you've tried the tea bag treatment for a toothache. Continue scrolling down to learn how the tea bag cure worked for other Earth Clinic readers.

Related Links:

Effective Natural Remedies for Tooth Abscess Relief
Health Benefits of Green Tea: Antioxidants and More!
Natural Remedies to Treat Inflammation
Re-Grow Tooth Enamel

32 User Reviews

5 star (28) 
4 star (3) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by cc (toronto ) on 03/04/2023
4 out of 5 stars

Have a gum boil on my lower molar for 4 days, face swollen and pain on the jaw that I can barely eat! Can't afford to go to dentist, so tried otc pain killers, salt water, baking soda, garlic, hydrogen peroxide, listerine….none of them worked! Tea bag is my last resort …. first one in the morning, reduced my swelling a tiny bit, still in pain and unable to eat. second and third in the afternoon, the “golf ball” shrunk, not as much pain and able to eat a bit of soft food. Applied another one early evening, saw blood on the teabag … now feel far better! Thanks for all the helpful reviews!

Tea Bag
Posted by Ang73 (Rockport, Texas) on 02/24/2023
5 out of 5 stars

Have used the black tea bag before. It definitely works on subduing the pain and pulling infection. You do need to steep it a bit first. And if it hurts to put it on, like it does when it is really bad and they are hot/warm, allowing it to cool to room temperature does not deter effectiveness, I just add a few minutes to treatment time. I cannot adequately express how quickly it starts to work! If you are hurting please try it!

Tea Bag
Posted by Was Skeptical (Palm Desert, CA.) on 06/04/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Finding this site/post made a HUGE dramatic difference for me! I almost can't believe that something as simple as a black tea bag could be responsible for providing me so much relief -- but it's totally true, & it does work.

I had a chipped/cracked molar that caused me no pain or problem, so I put off getting it fixed. It started with an aching kinda sore gum around the tooth for a couple days, which went south super fast.

Within 24 hours, the pain increased substantially, my jaw started to swell, & I knew I had a serious problem. I was taking the max dose of Advil, & Aleve, & neither was helping with the pain. I was so uncomfortable, & couldn't sleep. I was moments away from taking myself to the ER out of desperation, when I started searching for information about picking a dentist who took my insurance, what could be wrong with my tooth, & on various home remedies. When I read about black tea bags helping, I was willing to try anything, but remained very skeptical.

I drink black tea anyway, so I had some strong British tea (PG Tips) readily on hand. So I boiled the water (like I was making a cup of tea) poured it over two bags, just enough to cover them, & let it steep a couple mins. I squeezed the majority of hot liquid out of them, placed one on the tooth, & one between my gums & the tooth, & tried to bite down. The warmth felt super good, & I crawled on to the couch & passed out for a few hours.

When I woke up, I was completely stunned. Not only had the swelling gone down 75%, but I had zero pain! I felt immensely better. I went from gobbling pain medicine with it having no effect, to feeling almost "cured" (so to speak). I repeated the process twice more, before being able to get in to see a dentist. I've taken some time to further research what's going on & I have some tips which I'll list below:

* Use plain BLACK TEA (not Green Tea, Herbal Tea, flavored tea, diet teas, etc.)

* Activate the healing properties of the tea with VERY HOT WATER. I recommend boiled water, but you should think of it almost like the teabag is a 'hot water compress'. The hot water activates the tannins & the other anti-oxidant properties of the tea, plus help soothe the mouth and draw out the infection. You're not putting it boiling hot into your mouth! You'll give it a squeeze and allow it to cool a bit before you put it in your mouth. It's far less effective if you use cold water!

* Have a terry-towel or something handy as you should expect some hot tea/liquid to come out of your mouth, as you're biting down on the bag, but mainly this occurs just at the beginning.

* You may feel better, but this will not "cure" the underlying condition. Don't get me wrong, this really does wonders and helps you in the moment but it'll just buy you some time. You will still need to go to a dentist, unfortunately.

Replied by Mary

I am in alot of pain with this red and swollen gum I can't sleep or eat until I'm not hurting anymore I'm going to try this black tea see if will work I hope lord thx for the info.

Replied by Brenda
(Santa Ana, CA)
5 out of 5 stars

I tried the salt water, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and OTC pain reliever—nothing worked until I followed the tea bag remedy posted here. THANK YOU! It sounds crazy but I was in throbbing pain and willing to try anything. And, no—the tea bag did not stain my teeth:).

Tea Bag
Posted by Nathan (Palm Coast, Florida) on 10/12/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Green Tea Cure: The teabag thing really worked. I've been fighting this abscess tooth for 3 days dosing myself with amoxicillin and ibuprofen and the swelling just kept going up. I found this method while price checking dental procedures and decided to give it a try. I've only ever tried one other home remedy (potato slice to draw out stuff in my foot) but this one worked very well. Thank you.

Tea Bag
Posted by Tooth Hurty (Uk) on 09/17/2018
5 out of 5 stars

You are all wonderful WONDERFUL people!!! I have had a bad tooth for a couple of weeks and have managed to contain it with painkillers and clove oil. But yesterday it erupted and today has been unbearable. Every time anything touched my tooth it was like a red hot poker.... I visited this site earlier and tried the teabag treatment... I am in heaven! I haven't seen any pus come out, but my tooth is merely slightly uncomfortable - I will try it again later this evening just to make sure, but all I did was dampen an ordinary teabag and roll it up and bite on it.... I suddenly realised that biting didn't hurt. At lunchtime I could only eat my sandwich by taking a mouthful of water with each bite of sandwich so it went to a mush I could swallow.... at teatime (I'm in the UK) I was happily able to chew on the poorly side. My headache has gone... I don't feel sick... my cheek is normal size... my head doesn't feel like it will explode!! I honestly can't believe the results from this! Thankyou all so much for your comments - you really are amazing!!!

Tea Bag
Posted by Karen (Smithsburg Md) on 04/13/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I've used a warm, wet black tea bag on an abscess MANY times within the past few years & its worked everytime. This is a life saver!! I had braces for 9 years straight after my dental office closed & no other dentist would touch another docs work. It completely ruined my teeth. When I was finally able to take my braces off, my teeth litteraly crumbled into pieces. I've gotten my top teeth replaced but not the bottoms yet. I get an abscess about every month. This is the only thing that's actually helped me!!

Replied by Dave

How much caffeine would someone using green tea as a poultice for an hour or more end up ingesting? If we steep green tea for 5 minutes we end up with about 20mg while the lethal dose appears to be in the several gram range. How much would we get by leaving the tea bag between the gum for an hour or more?

Any reason to worry?

Replied by Pat

The caffeine content doesn't change with the amount of time. Caffeine is water soluble and all of it is extracted near instantly, so those 20mg stay 20mg.

Tea Bag
Posted by Sharon (Sheffield, Uk) on 01/30/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Was googling natural remedies for tooth abscess, discovered this site thank you thank you,

After being in pain from Friday till Sunday night, painkillers weren't helping much at all, I was in agony non stop throbbing in gum, did the wet tea bag and the pain relief was immense, the swelling went down and the pain stayed away till I managed to get to the dentist for treatment, thank you

Replied by Kay

You might also want to use this method (and drink) with white tea bags. Studies show that in as little as 2 hours, white tea kills 99% of Staphlococcus and Streptococcus bacteria. It's said to be much more effective than green and/or black tea. [Green tea stimulates the immune system so it would appear to be a good idea to drink both teas]. White tea also slowed the growth of bacteria that cause pneumonia and cavities in teeth. Source: WebMD (I heard about the white tea studies on the news and Googled it).

Tea Bag
Posted by Heather (Ontario) on 09/05/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I found your page while frantically searching for a quick natural remedy for my abscessed tooth. I used the tea bag remedy and it worked. AMAZING!

Tea Bag
Posted by Kate (Scotland) on 07/22/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I had a large tooth abscess which was getting larger very quickly, causing swelling to my face and a lot of discomfort. I tried gargling salt water a few times which slightly helped but then the abscess would grow more. I read about the black teabag trick and applied a warm teabag to the abscess for around 15 minutes. During this time I pressed and squeezed the bag against my sore gum.

To my complete shock when I removed the teabag it was covered in blood and pus which it had extracted from my mouth. The abscess was totally drained, swelling reduced quickly and next day the absess was completely gone.

I did not require any other treatment at all- literally 15 mins of he teabag had cured my abscess. Please please try this if you have a similar problem, I can recommend highly enough. Natural remedy are the best! :)

Replied by Joni
(New Jersy)
1 out of 5 stars

Does it hurt at first? Cause mine is killing me with the tea bag on.

Replied by Sam
(Atlanta GA)

I put one of those fancy Starbucks tea bags over mine. It was black tea. Earl grey. And it started to hurt. So I immediately took it off.

Replied by Scorp
5 out of 5 stars

I am currently dealing with a gum boil/abscess by a broken tooth...I got a lot of pus out today from the tea bag method, so I am going to keep it up. Thank you for posting this.

Replied by Maryann
(Sayre PA)
5 out of 5 stars

I read all the comments while I sit here with an abscess. I'm trying the tea bag method and now the swelling is going down after the first try. Thank you all for all your comments cause I tried everything and this is the only thing that works.

Tea Bag
Posted by Channy 34 (Pa) on 02/26/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Had a really big abscess, and HAD to go to the ER because I was in so much pain and so swollen I looked like a bullfrog. Anyway, they put me on strong I.v. antibiotics and painkillers immediately and sent me up to get an x-ray done. Doctor looked at them and said that thing is like the size of a golf ball, but it's more a job for a dentist than us. Then she whispered to put a black tea bag on it when I got home....

Got home, dampened down a black tea bag, and put it around my tooth for about 20 mins. Got mad that it wasn't working (lol, ) and took it out. 5 minutes later my mouth erupted in abscess liquid disgustingness! It was the worst thing I've ever tasted, and I was spitting that stuff out for, it seems like, forever, but holy cow does it work.

Replied by Cathey
(Swansboro, Nc)

I have a dental bridge that is very old but don't have insurance to see the dentist. I started with a terrible toothache last night and took numerous doses of ibuprofen. Got up this morning and my face is swollen under my left eye and face/tooth area extremely painful. I am trying the teabag....praying it gets under the opening of the bridge to the infection. Will update you with results. Thank you all for sharing your experiences.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Cathay, besides whatever else you are doing, you can try rinsing often with diluted salt water.

Replied by Isabel

I would use oregano oil just put it direct on the tooth 3 times a day and on the bottom of your feet before going to bed, I did that for 3 days when I was schedule to have a root canal done that was 4 yrs ago, you have to mix oregano oil with olive oil.

Replied by Cathey
(Swansboro, Nc)

A friend gave me 5 days of amoxicillian 500 mg. I took 2 on Monday morning and 1 every six hours (this is the 3rd day today). I tried the teabag, hot water soaks even tried ACV but no relief. Face is still very swollen. Back to putting the warm teabag on gum around tooth this morning but am wondering how will this infection come out? I am flat broke and know a dentist won't take me. Any info you can give me will be greatly appreciated. For two days I had a fever of 102 to 103 which seems to have broken. Help!!

Replied by Steve

Try DMSO 20% mixed with colloidal silver 80%. The DMSO will cause the silver to penetrate underneath the bridge and kill the infection. Swish for 20min and spit it out. Repeat until infection is gone.

Replied by KT

Dear Cathey,

It sounds like the teeth are abscessed. You could try holding a garlic clove between your teeth until the burning stops. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. There are several encouraging posts here on EC about using a garlic clove for a tooth abscess. In fact, it was my first search and successful remedy from here.

Getting a waterpik waterflosser would help keep debris and slivers of food from getting caught under the the crowns. This should be done after every time you eat. Since the bridge is old this could have been going on for a long time so it's going to take awhile to heal. After you floss, swish with a cap full of peroxide with a little water for two minutes. Oil pulling three times an hour has been recommended here and would also help until that infection is gone. Good luck!


Tea Bag
Posted by Logan (Us) on 01/30/2017
4 out of 5 stars

Warm tea bag pulled some of the infection... Still painful but released the infection pressure.... Broken tooth exposed nerve.. Not in position to pay for a dentist... I have chronic epilepsy also and that's part of reason for broken teeth... Thank u for this remedy... My wife told me about it and I thought no way this will work but I have to give props to her, she was right.

Tea Bag
Posted by Joe (Ralph) on 12/28/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I've tried anything & everything to make the awful tooth pain to go away. I can handle pain pretty good, but toothache pain is another story! So, late this evening my mother ask me have I put a wet tea bag on it yet & I said no ma'am & kept put orajel max and other liquids similar on the affected area. I took 2-3 Otc meds to help ease the pain, & nothing.

So, about 2 hrs later I got get a wet tea bag & place it in my mouth around the tooth & after about 5 mins I notice the pain easing. After about 15 mins it was feeling a lot better. I left it on for another 15 mins for about 30 mins total!!! When I removed the teabag the swelling had gone way down and the pain was gone!

I fell asleep for about 4 hrs and woke up in a little pain and placed the teabag back on the area again. Once again in 5-7 mins I notice relief! I then repeat the same thing as before but this time leaving the teabag in my mouth and around the tooth for 45-50 mins! I noticed a little blood and puss this time on the teabag! So, this works!!! I taste a bit nasty but it's nothing compared to the pain I was in!!!

Tea Bag
Posted by Robin (Ohio) on 09/25/2016
4 out of 5 stars

I have been battling with a couple abscesses on my top right gum for almost 2 weeks now. I had read about using a tea bag to help with the pain and extraction of the pus and blood. Today I finally tried it. My gum feels so much better already! I'm going to do it 2 more times today and for the rest of the week. Thank you for publishing this remedy.

Replied by Cindy

I've been on antibiotics over 2 weeks, switching to new medications two days ago when I saw dentist had X-ray been googling everything known to man salt water rinse hydrogen peroxide rinse been doing Tylenol Motrin. The last 3 days it's double it size, it's tender as can be. My abscess is from lack of medical care for broken tooth for 3 years. It didn't bother me till now. Today I'm trying the tea bag and hope this golf ball size abscess decreases.

Replied by Teena
(Melbourne, Australia)
235 posts

Cindy, try clay paste or coconut oil. And yes, you could use them together.

Tea Bag
Posted by Cherrygirl5496 (Spokane, Wa) on 09/05/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Yes, the tea bag works 100%. Last night I was in so much pain I was seriously thinking about heading to the ER. I couldn't take it anymore. I thought OK, if this teabag thing doesn't work then I'm going in. I wet a black tea teabag and placed it on my gums and around the tooth that was causing the toothache. It started to relieve the pain right away. I laid down with the teabag still in place and fell asleep. I woke up about 4 hours later and was pain free. I took the tea bag out to rinse it and noticed that even without it there I wasn't in pain. It's been about an hour or so and I'm still pain free. This WORKS! It will get you by until you can get into your dentist. I tried just about everything I could think of last night and nothing worked like the teabag did.

Tea Bag
Posted by Baern (San Antonio, Tx) on 07/27/2016
5 out of 5 stars

My rear left molar gets infected often. I cannot afford dental work and am not in a situation to easily obtain antibiotics, so I did some reading, tried this, and this is how it worked out. I want to start off by admitting that I'm a smoker and my gums would make a dentist cry. That said...

I swished with warm salt water first, and then steeped a Bigelow black teabag in boiled, hot water for 3 minutes, as if I was actually making a normal cup. I dumped the tea out (yuck) and put the bag in the back of my mouth and chewed down on it. I watched an episode of a TV show to shift my focus from the bag while spitting out the tea (I hate tea) juice mixed with my saliva every once in a while. The worst of the pain subsided for me after about 5 minutes but I kept it on there for a half hour. The swelling went down and the pain was gone. The second time I did this, I felt a tight pinch on my gum and when I took out the bag, some puss and yuck had collected. I'm assuming the bag drew out the nasty or I tore it off after pulling it out. Either way, each session made the area more free of debris and yuck.

At night, I did the same thing but swished with warm chamomile tea afterward and lightly chewed on the bag. Chamomile has analgesic properties and is an anti-inflammatory, so that worked out well AND I was able to get a full night's sleep after chugging a cup of the stuff after swishing. When I woke up, the pain was still gone and the swelling didn't come back until a few hours into my day. Basically, you just find a combination of whatever works for you, be it garlic, clove oil, black tea, peppermint, etc and keep at it every 4-6 hours until you can see a doctor.

To summarize my personal method:

1. Swish and gurgle with salt water or hydrogen peroxide (if you can stand it) to get the grunt of the gunk out.

2. Clamp on steeped bag for a half hour.

3. Drink hot peppermint tea (day) or hot chamomile tea (night) afterward for the extra boost.

4. Take it easy with your toothbrush throughout the day and ensure you sterilize it after each use to negate putting infection right back in your mouth.

5. Repeat 1-3, as needed, every 4-6 hours.

For me, the infection went away after a week but that was just me, I am by no means a doctor, so take my case as anecdotal at best. Again, I'm a smoker so my body takes longer to heal and I cut back while I had the infection. If you're a smoker, try to smoke less when you have a tooth infection.

Heed my warning: This is just a bandaid. Your tooth is still impacted and a breeding ground for bacteria to collect in. If you have an impacted tooth or any gum disease, you need to see a dentist asap because the infection will definitely keep coming back. You do NOT want the infection in your bone or worse: travel to your brain.

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