Tooth Abscess
Natural Remedies

Garlic for Tooth Abscess, Infected Gums and Teeth

Apr 18, 2017

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. Over 70 of our readers have reported a cure using garlic to treat their infected gums and teeth.

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 - Most Popular Remedy for Tooth Abscess

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 reviews from Earth Clinic readers who have used garlic successfully to treat a tooth infection, infected gums and painful toothaches. Tried this remedy? Let us know what you think!

109 User Reviews  

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Posted by M.r. (Arizona) on 04/17/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Garlic is a miracle cure! I've had an abscess above my tooth for a few weeks. I did not want to go to the dentist and get the lecture for something I already know is my fault. I was searching online and came across different sites that had garlic on their list of natural cures. This was the only site where I saw reviews. After reading the reviews and heading the warnings (possible chemical burns), I decided to give it a try. Yes it burned like h***, and I walked around with stinky garlic breath but it worked like a charm. After applying off and on periodically yesterday for as long as I could take the pain, it was half the size it was in the morning and I could see the abscess was draining. By this morning I had one little spot which was gone by the afternoon (rinsed with salt water instead of garlic since I had to go to work). This evening very little pain with the garlic but want to make sure it is healed. I can't believe it but it definitely worked for me.

Posted by Sharon (Berea, Ky.) on 03/22/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Yes, garlic clove worked wonders for my husband.He was in so much pain and jaw was swollen.He used everything and no relief.He used the garlic and within 5 minutes or less the swelling went down and the pain was gone.Thanks so much.

Posted by Leanne (Australia) on 03/18/2017
5 out of 5 stars

My partner was in agony with an tooth infection. He tried codeine, salt water and everything other than garlic. Looking up home remedies I saw garlic is the no1 home remedy. Amazing results as he can now sleep. He said pain went instantly. Highly recommened as it really does work.

Posted by Kt (Usa) on 03/16/2017
0 out of 5 stars

I think I have overdone it with the garlic cloves on an abscessed tooth. I then used a tea bag on it and oil pulled with CO. It is a lower bicuspid I had a root canal on. It is also a tooth without a crown. My gum is raw and sore. It is important to note that this time I did not just bite on the garlic clove. Because I had read posts of people making a paste out of garlic powder, I tucked the clove between my gums and cheek where it was directly over where the abscess had come through. Is there something else I can use to soothe and help my gums heal because that area really looks bad. I also used a charcoal poultice but don't know if I can use that overnight. I'm fearful of infection. I took some CS at five o'clock.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Posted by Andy (Port Huron, Mi) on 03/04/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I have tried everything, including narcotics, orajel, ibuprofen, you name it, I tried it...... But when I put the garlic on my abscess..... Wow... Amazing! Thanks alot!

Posted by Sarah B. (Norfolk, Va) on 02/18/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I'm so thankful that I discovered this God given garlic cure for tooth infection. It hasn't been 24hrs yet and I already see 85% improvement.. I stopped taking Tylenol because the garlic worked much better. The pain went from a 10 to a 2. This stuff really works. The swelling and inflammation has gradually become less and less with each use. But I must say the treatment is not for wusses. It burns at first but I only hold it in my mouth till I can't take the burn no more. I chewed and ate a small clove over the course of about 20 to 30 minutes and rubbed my gums with it. Then later on I ate another larger clove repeating the same process. At about six am I repeated the same process with a huge clove but I only ate half. Then at noon I repeated the process with another half. By noon I had almost no pain at all but repeated the process anyway because like a course antibiotics I want a steady stream of it in my system. I also stopped taking my Tylenol at noon and still no pain! I had an appointment with the dentist to get an emergency tooth extraction at noon which I cancelled just to give the garlic a fair chance and so far so good!

Replied by Stephanie

I just started using the garlic and still am a bit uncomfortable. Especially when I chew it😞

Replied by Kt

Here is a post from Earth Clinic in 2012 that encouraged me greatly. I hope it does the same for you, KT:

[YEA] 07/05/2012: Happynurse66 from Santa Monica, California, United States: "I woke up 3 days ago at 6am with a bad toothache. I went to bed the night before at 11pm with not a hint of pain. I called and saw my dentist that morn (Monday). She sent me to an endodontist.

The endodontist said I had a tooth abscess (top tooth, #4), "a real bad infection" to the root of my tooth, and that I need a root canal. He drilled my tooth and and drained pus. I asked, "How come I didn't have any pain at all the night before, and I woke up with such bad pain 7 hours later?" He said I had a "flare up". I had also self-medicated myself with ibuprofen 600mg at 6am when I woke up that day and at noon. After draining my abscess, he filled the hole, and his assistant gave me 600mg of ibuprofen (4pm). He then put me on a stronger antibiotic than he usually prescribes (Augmentin instead of Amoxicillin) and prescribed Vicodin. I have to take Augmentin twice a day for 7 days until gone. He told me to take 600mg ibuprofen every 4 hours continuously for for 3-4 days to help keep the swelling down. My gum and face were swollen. I was to take 1 Vicodin every 4-6 hours, as needed, for (breakthrough) pain. I got to the drug store and took my first dose of Augmentin and Vicocin at 5pm, one hour after leaving the endodontist. I have to return to him to do more dental work in 2 weeks, which I already have an appointment for. He says he can't do any more work until the infection is gone.

I've been diligent about taking the ibuprofen (every 4 hours) and Augmentin as directed. I've tried not taking Vicodin, but the pain has been too much. So, I've been having to take Vicodin every 4 hours, with the ibuprofen, yesterday and Tuesday. (Today is Thursday). I've taken Vicodin every 8 hours since last night. I don't like taking pain meds or antibioitics at all, but I knew the infection needed to clear and I couldn't take the pain.

I came across this site, and I've got garlic on the infected tooth at this very moment. Instead of taking my next dose of ibuprofen/Vicodin combo, I went to the store and bought a head of garlic for $.50. I peeled and cut a clove in half. I put one half on one side of my tooth, and the other half on the other side of the same affected tooth. The garlic did not burn initially, as many have reported on this site. But I bit the garlic piece(s) three sentences ago, and I can feel the burn now. It's starting to subside, but the site is also throbbing right now. Ok, so now I'm chewing on the garlic again, allowing the oils of the garlic to penetrate around my toothache. I'm holding on, like everyone here says to do. My eyes are watery/teary right now. The burning/throbbing feeling and teary eyes slowly go away - until I bite into the garlic again. The burning/throbbing feeling and teary eyes goes away again - until the next bite. I try to put the newly-chewed piece of garlic on the affected tooth until the garlic is all chewed up and consumed. I'm holding on!

Garlic all gone now. I'm going to wait a few minutes to allow the garlic to do its thing in my mouth. Then, I'll oil pull with VCO to get the garlicky smell out of my mouth (hopefully). I should add, I drank about 3 tbsp of ACV in about 16 oz water just before I put the garlic in my mouth. I know the beneficial effects of ACV, so I knew it couldn't hurt.

At this point of my writing, I've eaten all the garlic. No burning, no throbbing, and no teary/watery eyes. I've just written a "live" play-by-play of the all-powerful garlic remedy on toothache/abscess. It seems to be working, as I write this. I'll oil pull in about half an hour.

I wish I had read about this remedy before I saw the dentist and endodontist. I wrote a check for $274 to the endodontist that day (half of the cost) and still owe $274 (and that's with insurance! ). Had I known about this cure, it would have cost me half a dollar only to be rid of this pain and infection.

I know I just did the garlic, but so far, so good. I'll keep you posted.

Thank you EARTH CLINIC for your awesome website! Thank you everyone for posting and sharing your experience, strength and hope with me."

Replied by Mary Smith
San Diego

$1600 to endodontist without insurance. Using Tea bag method. Seems to be helping.

Posted by Zalui (United Emirats ) on 01/08/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I will tell u my story with tooth abcess, first I got tooth abcess since my pregnancy after delivery I went to dentist she told that she make surgery as I have already and she doesn't want to damage the crown but I have to wait until she comeback front her vacation (1month).

Well I was so scared that I start searching on websites and I found about garlic and pomegranate powder! I start by crushing garlic it was so painful my tooth abcess was only red but after crashing garlic I observed small yellow spots.I continued using garlic and even was painful but I was happy that it's working after day after I put pomegranate powder on the red area and believe after 10 minutes the area becomes green was shocked I ringed my month with peroxide and greenn becomes white. I continued the process and on the 3 day, my half face become like balloon I was scared but I continued with eating garlic and putting pomegranate powder.

The day 4 my face become normal and all the yellow disgusting thing become small spot . Was so happy and proud of my self I continued putting pomegranate peel on my teeth and crashing garlic but less than before.

4 days later I when drinking hot tea with cinnamon I feel another tooth reacting. So I start putting garlic on the gum were tooth was hurting only with hot drinks and I put pomegranate peel guess what! Another green area appears. Same process, my side of my face right now is puffy. But I am not scared at all because I know it's killing bacteria inside the tooth ( this tooth has filing).

I'm so happy to find out how garlic and pomegranate peel just change my life .please try it u will not regrets I'm waiting another week to make x ray will let u know hhhh and I want to see my dentist face searching for abcess!? Just trying to write in English so excuse my English

Posted by William M. (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) on 12/29/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I AM 85 AND HAD 6 DELTAL IMPLANTES AND FEW WEEKS LATER it because infected PERI-IMPLANTITIS; I am 100% allergic to Penicillin and after taken all the antibiotics the pus was endless... I used my common sense because GARLIC is everything in my cooking I chopped it fine and the juice with my little finger a rubbed well in the guns and felt it becoming NUMBED and the INFECTION was gone for the doctor amazement... GARLIC IS A BLESSED medicine right under our nose... I FEEL YOUNGER FOR MY AGE AND NOW WITH GARLIC I will writing more REALITIES BOOKS as now I can eat and smile like a young man physically... THANKYOU FROM MY HEART

Posted by Ashokan (Gilbert) on 12/26/2016
4 out of 5 stars


I am on visit to USA to have some great time( for about 4 months ) with my kids and grand kids. Right from the 2nd month beginning started developing gum and front tooth infections. Used antibiotics prescribed by my dentist at home (2 doses a day in morning and evening). 3 or 4 days after infections surfaced again. My antibiotics stocks were about to be exhausted and was wondering what to do. I didn't like to put burden on my kids physically and financially and decided to go back beforehand and informed my family about this. I used hydrogen peroxide and salt water mouth washings without any success.

Finally unknowingly I used raw garlic for 2 days. Infection at the end of the gum healed but leaving infection inside the gum not healed resulting in a continuous pain. I felt that I made mistake using garlic. I used antibiotic for 3 days again and got the pain relieved. After 2 days infections surfaced with more teeth. Some how I decided to give another try with raw garlic.

A week has passed with chewing 2 cloves in morning and 2 in the evening. Most of the infections got healed and now I have no pain. I am confident that I can stay with my kids for the rest of planned vacation. Before going back I will report my dental health status again. I suggest readers to review their dental health status before using raw garlic to treat infections.

Posted by Kaysho (St Albans, Uk) on 12/19/2016
5 out of 5 stars

So I have had an abscess - upper right canine tooth - was very infected so it reached my eye socket and I had a course of antibiotics that didnt shift it - after a few days it started to come back and I needed some more antibiotics which still didnt quite shift it - I read about Garlic yesterday and chewed a clove - put it against my gum (which hurts like hell) and then repeated 3 times yesterday.

This morning it was half the size - so repeated garlic against gum for 10 minutes of so - chewing it occasionally to release the pain inducing goodness...(allicin maybe) -

I think by tomorrow it will be totally gone - I am not sure garlic is so healthy if you're actually in good health as I hear it has Sulphone Hydroxyl which I believe makes your brain foggy and doesn't look good - BUT as a cure - like a medicinal dose - 10 out of 10 - for me it was like a 24 hour miracle and I was about to go back to the dentist today.

Posted by Lisa (Raleigh ) on 10/06/2016
5 out of 5 stars

While visiting family in my hometown last week I developed a severe toothache on an upper second molar that had been recently crowned. Used a topical, aspirin and whiskey to help with pain. It throbbed intermittently for two days and at times I had to stop what I was doing for a few minutes until the pain had passed. I've always used alternatives, so looked up remedies and raw garlic was number one. I cut a sliver of garlic and held it on that tooth with gentle pressure for a few minutes, then chewed it up and swallowed. Repeated this several times and the pain I'd had for 2-3 days went from level 6 to a 2. Flew back home and went to my dentist next day who said I needed a root canal on that tooth. Did the garlic a couple more times before my appointment with endodontist today. He was surprised I was referred to him as the testing he did resulted in just slight pain and sensitivity. Sent me home, with a follow up in a week. I'm continuing to do the garlic, and am seeing improvement.

Have been practicing alternative treatments for many years, and I am a HUGE fan of garlic. I use it in cooking quite a bit, but that kills its medicinal properties. I'm going to continue eating it raw, and warn/inform my friends and coworkers about it's lovely odor and miraculous healing properties!

Posted by Sheena (Duluth, Mn) on 08/22/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I am going through an abscess on my upper right tooth now and I have been dizzy, off balance, had pressure in my ears, headache, and even tightness in my neck by my glands and mind you, my upper lip, under one side of my nose, cheek up to my eye is swelling. I've been on antibiotics for almost 24 hrs. But since this morning, I've been eating raw garlic and holding crushed or sliced pieces on my gums and tooth, the ear pressure went away, tightness in my neck went away too. Still a little dizzy. I definitely think it's related to the abscess.

Replied by Adrian

In the last three weeks, I had both top wisdom teeth removed, they had decay and started hurting one at a time during a three week span, it would hurt when I laid down went about three weeks without sleeping well it would go away from a few days and then return, I used Ibuprofen for the pain when it was bad but I decided nothing was going to get rid of the pain long term besides pulling them, they can really mess with your sinuses when infected. It was a nightmare I am happy is over. Get em' pulled if your over 35 and they have decay root canals and fillings just prolong the inevitable.

Posted by Ian (Edinburgh) on 08/13/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Firstly, let me be clear here. I am currently 24hrs into a course of antibiotics for a seriously swollen abscess. I had an abscess on the same tooth 3 weeks ago and was prescribed antibiotics. I tried various home remedies at the time (salt water, tea bag, turmeric to name a few) and it took a full 4 days for it to disappear. I hadn't however tried raw garlic. This time I got no warning as I did the last time, I woke up yesterday with what felt like a golf ball in my mouth, swollen from my top lip up to my left eye and in quite a bit of pain so I went to the dentist who prescribed more antibiotics and a follow up in a week. I couldnt wait another 4 days so I tried garlic this time.

Late last night I cut a clove of fresh garlic in half and mashed it flat with a knife, I put it between my upper gum and cheek for as long as I could stand the sting then chewed it up a bit into the damaged tooth and swallowed it with water (to fight it from the inside as well). I left it 10 mins and repeated with the other half and went to bed as the pain was subsiding enough to get some sleep. This morning I went straight at it again with the aforementioned method and again the pain started to subside, the swelling was definitely reduced but I was getting sick of chewing garlic. At around 6pm tonight I decided id manage to eat soup so I chopped half a clove of garlic finely and mixed it into the warm soup and tried to chew the little bits as I went.

To my absolute amazement around half an hour later I could taste blood, I spat it out and it seemed like dark stagnant stuff so I pressed on my cheek, which was painful but worth it. The swelling completely drained down and apart from my gum feeling a little tender I am almost completely pain and swelling free. I can't say for sure it was the garlic but it's the only thing I did different this time and its been a massive improvement and I believe the people who claimed it worked for them.

At the end of the day it's only garlic so just try it anyway.

Posted by Wham (India) on 07/29/2016
1 out of 5 stars

Hi guys,

I developed a tooth abscess and it's been a year.It was getting bigger at first and then I somehow managed to reduce the swelling by oil pulling. And there is no pain fortunately. I tried swishing wheat grass juice and tried some garlic .Didn't work :( I read about colloidal silver on here.Not sure about that too :( I really expected garlic to work, sadly it didn't work.I used garlic religiously.But the size of the abscess is not increasing.I don't know what to do :( I don't want to undergo a root canal treatment.Now I'm thinking of colloidal silver and I'm a little skeptical.The abscess is white, hard and very small. I want to treat it naturally.

Any suggestions guys?

Replied by Kendra

How's your abscess? I've mixed baking soda with turmeric before and brushed the area. I've also had success with activated charcoal mixed into a paste to pull the infection out. Another one is just hydrogen peroxide brushing. Hope it's better but you may need to root canal it or lose the tooth all together like me :(

Posted by Rachael (Las Vegas, Nv) on 07/23/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I had a wisdom tooth that got infected to the point I was nauseous and couldn't sleep or eat. I crushed up some fresh garlic cloves with a very small amount of water, maybe a teaspoon, continued to crush until the garlic was invisible. I used only a teaspoon of the garlic juice to swish in my mouth of the effected area for 1 minute and rinsed out with warm water, with minutes maybe seconds the pain was going down to where I could sleep. I continued to rinse with the same batch the next morning and it continues to heal. I reapeated the process every 20 minutes. I hopes that helps someone.