Tooth Abscess
Natural Remedies

Garlic for Tooth Abscess, Infected Gums and Teeth

| Modified: Oct 12, 2018
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!

About the Author: Deirdre Layne

Founder and CEO of Earth Clinic, has an extensive background in health and healing. She created in 1999 as a way to teach people about natural remedies and alternative healing therapies. Since then, thousands of people around the world and their pets have been healed by the remedies found on Earth Clinic. Deirdre holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College in Philosophy and is the author of the book Apple Cider Vinegar: A Modern Folk Remedy.

125 User Reviews  

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Posted by Bev (Florida) on 09/15/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I felt a tooth abscess coming on and immediately went to Earth Clinic. Got no further than the garlic remedy. Cut a big clove in half and applied it to the tooth. I bit down on it and kept it there for 10 minutes. Burned somewhat but the pain is gone. Will repeat tomorrow as insurance. Thank you Earth Clinic and all you wonderful contributors.

Posted by Jakedefake (Charlotte) on 04/17/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Last week, I HAD an abscess tooth and a swollen cheek. I took a three-prong approach. First, I rinsed with salt water, followed by a hydrogen peroxide rinse. I followed up with the Garlic. I started by chewing garlic on the opposite side of the infection and swallowed it. I did this three times in about 24 hours. I also chewed raw with the infected tooth about five or six times over 48 hours. I left it in my mouth as long as I could as it burns. My abscess and my swelling were gone in 48 hours. Not to mention the toothache and blinding headache that came with it. This stuff works. Please try if you are in pain and suffering.

Posted by Carl W. (Peterborough, England) on 02/11/2018
4 out of 5 stars

I have been suffering from a tooth/gum abscess recently and the garlic treatment worked so well, Nothing else even touched the pain, Yes it is very painfull when you first apply the Crushed garlic, but the relief afterwards was heaven....

Posted by Anita (Florida) on 01/26/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Garlic is the best remedy on the market. I have tried everything you could possibly try to get rid of this toothache I have bad teeth and I can't afford to go to a dentist because I don't have the insurance. The pain I had in my mouth was so bad that I couldn't even sleep. I wanted to punch myself in the face and knock myself out cuz that's how bad it was. So I look up remedies and I came across this remedy with the garlic. I had garlic cloves in my refrigerator and I went and did what the directions said to do - I peel the garlic and rinsed it with warm water I had to crush it because I couldn't chew it because my teeth are that bad as soon as I put it in my mouth it burnt like hell I was running around trying to hold it in my mouth as long as I could. I can feel the numbness in my mouth and the pain was gone so if you can handle the burning in your mouth this is the best way to go and I'm going to continue using it until the pain is absolutely gone.

Posted by Shelby (Nevada) on 12/22/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Garlic was a lifesaver for me! I have bad teeth, many broken due to severe anemia during pregnancy (I was constantly chomping away on ice). I've been dealing with severe dental pain due to this for a few years now. I have no insurance because my employer provided insurance premium was far too expensive for barely any coverage at all (especially dental). Anyhow my tooth conveniently started aching in the late hours of the night preventing me from getting any sleep. I had taken more ibuprofen than recommended daily (not recommended), used orajel, ambesol, and other OTC numbing solutions with no success. Around 2:30 a.m. I began researching out of desperation for relief and stumbled upon Earth Clinic. I read the information about raw garlic and began reading reviews from others that really made me hopeful. I fortunately had some fresh raw garlic on hand and figured I had nothing to lose at this point.

I cut one clove, washed with warm water and placed it on the affected gum/tooth. Like the others stated, it burns like hell so I kept it on as long as I could stand (about 5 mins) then I ate what was left of it. Now, 3 hours later the pain is GONE and the inflammation has reduced significantly. Awesome and effective remedy that I am so grateful for!

Posted by Ivan (Ny) on 11/27/2017
5 out of 5 stars

A little goes along way. I usually cut my organic garlic clove in half. Remove the green shoot in the middle with the knife if it's overripe.

My molar filling broke in half. I will Chew half a clove directly on that tooth. I swish with water vigorously. Oil pulling doesn't help any for me. But I will rub the gums with coconut oil or rinse with spring water/ pink Himalayan salt sometimes. I've even used colloidal silver to swish water.

Carry that extra garlic clove in your pocket god forbid the pain returns. Every Dentist wants to sell you a root canal. I just want the thing extracted. I've seen geriatrics gum hard foods. I find it ridiculous to try and save a decaying broke tooth. Surgeons want to put you on a list weeks away.

I have respect for the "redneck dentistry" on YouTube. Though I would never chance it.

Replied by Anon

They like to save the tooth because removing it leaves a hole that can compromise the adjacent teeth.

Replied by Greg W.

Note they love to save teeth because they make more money long term. If it is gone then that have nothing to make money with!

Replied by Bill

Three or four year ago I had a bad infection in the roots of one of my teeth. The tooth involved was directly behind an incisor and I had just had the tooth capped. When I looked at the tooth I saw that my tooth roots could be seen so I thought that this tooth would have to be extracted. The tooth infection was extremely painful for sure.

All I did was to swish my mouth with 1/2 tspn of gum turpentine once or twice a day. Hold the turps in your mouth for at least 2 minutes or for as long as you can. After following this protocol for a only week the pain and infection disappeared. It's now 4 years later and I've had no further trouble with that tooth. The gum portion surrounding the tooth has also actually regrown and healed itself so that the tooth roots are no longer exposed to infection.

I would think that using this same protocol for your tooth abscess problem might help to actually heal it. Perhaps worth a try.

Posted by Lizz G (Spring Hill, Fl) on 08/09/2017
4 out of 5 stars

I think I may have a possible tooth abscess. Trying to avoid going to the dentist. If it gets any worse I will go but in the meantime the natural route seems the way to go. I have been eating and using garlic on my supposed abscess for 2 days. Once in the morning and once at night.

I took about a 1/4 or 1/2 a garlic clove (crushed) and put it in a ripped piece of coffee filter (I was out of cotton balls to soak up garlic juices) and held it in the corner of my mouth for about 15-20 min. I also have been oil pulling with coconut oil for roughly 15 min. So far so good. The swelling and pain have reduced. I changed things up and actually chewed a piece of garlic. I thought I was going to die. The burn felt like a firecracker going off inside my mouth. I had tears and was stomping around. I got through it but found chewing it had a different effect. The pain was numbed more thoroughly and it penetrated the sore more effectively in my opinion. You have to have some grit to get through the pain, burning, stinging, and strong taste but it's worthwhile.

Replied by Vicky

LOL. I just now did the same thing and I opened my mouth and just let the garlic fall out of my mouth as tears and mucus flowed from other! Yes, you gotta be some kind of tough for that. But the infection is definitely not any worse. It's only day 1.

Posted by Amanda (Uk) on 07/17/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Wow wow wow, I have been suffering from toothache for over a week now and the pain has got worse day by day. The pain I have suffered today has been unreal. Not to sound disgusting but I have had a spot inside my left nostril for around 2 weeks....could this be linked?? Anyway been reading the reviews on Garlic and had to try, its only garlic right? I cut a clove in half and crunched my way through for about 5 mins....the pain went but that could of been the burn! After 10-15 mins the pain was still there but not as bad. Took the plunge and decided to just split the other half and place it on the outer part of my gum where the pain is and let it sit for around 10 mins, oh yes it burns!! Hey while its burning there is no pain!! I eventually swallowed the half clove and I am now sitting in comfort and not wanting to punch myself in the face because of pain. Don't get me wrong I still have a dull ache which is bearable, but nothing like the pain I have been in today. I will continue for 3 times a day until I feel pain free much to the disgust of my colleagues at work. A grumpy miserable employee or a stinking one for a couple of days, they will go for the latter!! GARLIC I LOVE YOU!!!

Replied by Zach

Yes, I think the spot in the nose could be connected. I would keep up the garlic and maybe turmeric for a while.

Look into oil pulling also.

If you have a deep infection, you will need to treat for a while even after the pain is no longer there.

Replied by Michael
New Zealand

Hi Amanda, Your experience with garlic is interesting as you are chewing the stuff directly - wow - hard row to hoe there ! The received wisdom (out there) seems to recommend that the garlic clove (or cloves) be minced up or cut up very finely and allowed to sit there on your dedicated garlic/onion slab (!?) for approximately fifteen minutes while the chemistry struts its stuff (and makes your board stink). This increases the surface area and makes it more effective which is what you want. Source better garlic than some of the imported stuff of VERY questionable origins!! See how I can be politically correct occasionally! The property called Allicin(sp?) is what gives garlic all its anti properties and helped our troops in the trenches in WW 1 before Alexander Fleming could come to their rescue: anti-viral, anti-biotic, anti-oxidant, anti-parasitic etc. plus having a bit of Potassium, Selenium and Sulphur et al. I tend to mix it up with something else and spread it onto toast but you may be steering clear of toast if you have a tooth problem, in which case you could mix it into yoghurt or other dairy products. If you are dairy free then you could consume it with honey. If you are diabetic you may want to chew it directly!! Honey and Garlic in the trenches was a bright idea too. If you mix and mingle you may wish to hunt out something called aged garlic extract. If you use it in cooking then you should include it towards the end of the cooking process so as not to lose its remarkable effects.

It should at least assist in keeping the vampires away.

I hope this helps you.


Patient says: Doctor, doctor, I keep on thinking I'm a vampire.

Doctor says: Necks please!

Cheers, Michael

Posted by Dani (San Diego) on 06/30/2017
5 out of 5 stars

My tooth was clearly abscessed. I've been here before. Took a garlic clove, peeled off the outer layers, rinsed it off with warm water, put it in my mouth and began chewing. I was amazed at what happened. I experienced immediate relief. The best part was my whole body shifted. My mind cleared up and I was no longer in discomfort. That was two days ago. I have repeated the garlic dosing once a day, and will continue to do so. Thank you for the great information.

Posted by Megan (Spokane, Wa) on 06/28/2017
4 out of 5 stars

I've had recurring infections in my mouth for years. I'd gotten accustomed to the antibiotic routine at least a couple times a year. My teeth are horrible, I'm preparing to get them all pulled and get dentures, but trying to save to get dentures first so I won't have to go without teeth.

For about two months I'd have severe pain near one of the broken teeth when I'd lay down, but it didn't bother me during the day. Then I noticed a lot of tenderness to the point that I had pain when even the softest of foods touched the area.

I debated going in to get yet another round of antibiotics. Then I decided to try a more natural route. I found this site with various ways to use garlic to cure an infection.

Last night I started biting down on a clove of garlic and holding it on the infected tooth as long as I could stand. I think I lasted about 10 minutes. I spit out the clove and saliva that'd built up (I didn't want to swallow) then I ate another fresh clove of garlic. I felt a lot better.

This morning the tenderness and pain was back but I was out of garlic. Went to the store and got garlic and garlic juice (bottled in the spice area). I again bit down on a clove of garlic for about 10 minutes before spitting, ate a clove and made a mouthwash from the 2oz garlic juice, 12 oz water, and 3 tsp salt. I swished with the mouthwash for about a minute then held it on the infected for a minute before spitting and rinsing with warm water. Feeling a lot better again. Going to keep up the routine a few times a day to try to rid the infection completely.

Posted by Jen (Hudson, Nh) on 06/18/2017
5 out of 5 stars

So being a Saturday I knew most offices would be closed... I have very very bad teeth and they are giving me Dentures on top and through the teeth on the bottom need to be extracted and the rest need to have work done to them as well so hopefully within the next six months I will be all set and ready to go. Meanwhile, the back molar on the right hand side was broken in 1/2 missing so you can imagine that there's not a whole lot that anybody can do. But we only have minced garlic at home and I just put a teaspoon of the oil in my mouth directly on the busted tooth that has pus coming out of it. I did call the dentist and they are prescribing me antibiotics thank God when I woke up this morning, I was in such agony I think that that's why I woke up so early this morning. So I just want to say that garlic is the way to go, it is absolutely the way to go.

I also took a very small teaspoon of the actual garlic clove that is minced and put it directly on the area and I'm letting it sit and chewing it up a little bit and in a minute I'm going to spit it out but I do not have the pain that I did this morning I am shocked by that I think it's absolutely fantastic

Posted by Hedaya (Pasadena, Ca) on 06/15/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I usually do not write to website posts, but for this forum I had too. I am one of many that are afraid of medical treatments, especially invasive treatments like surgeries and sort. At this point, I had to find another way to treat my ailment. After a root canal surgery, my tooth became infected, again. I knew that at that point the dentist would recommend to remove the tooth. Also, he would have given me more pills to take. I started to do some research, and here I am. The Garlic treatment works. If you are not allergic to it, try it. I used it full force. Three times a day, I let the cloves ( 4 of them) lay on the infected tooth for a few minutes, then ate them. In the morning and afternoon, I ate them with food, the evening, just ate them alone, with water. I did this for a week, until the pain and infection was gone. Now, I take garlic supplements for the extra help. Best remedy ever. I am going to the dentist though for a check up.

Replied by Scaredentally

How is your tooth doing now? did you have further dental treatment

Posted by Ehm M. (Wuhan, China) on 06/07/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I am American, living in China. I have typical redneck teeth just like the rest of my genetically linked family. Two days ago, for the 4th time in the past 12 months, a massive tooth ache flared up, with swollen gums and glands...Abscess. I wanted to stop breathing on account of tooth pain. I don't do dentists or doctors so I have always just taken the pain. With unhealthy doses of whiskey and ibuprofen.

Today I found Earth Clinic. I just completed my garlic chew. (I followed the directions on your site exactly). I chewed until the clove was pulped (<20 seconds) and then I spit it out. (I did not chew for minutes and minutes like other reviewers reporting side effects.) The pain left immediately. That was 25 minutes ago and still not returned. Also, the swelling beneath my jawbone and under my tongue reduced by, my estimate, 40 - 60%.

Wow. Will report back results and any needed re-treatments tomorrow.

Posted by Grndzro (Reno, Nv) on 05/20/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Garlic for mouthwash. I have to use this periodically because I have very bad teeth from being a soda junkie.

What I do is put a whole bulb of garlic and about 16oz water in a blender cup and let it run for a while. Strain, and then use throughout the day as mouthwash.

If I didn't do this I would need antibiotics on a regular basis..and quite frankly I prefer a day of garlic breath to a week of antibiotics.

It clears everything right up pretty quickly. My whole mouth could be inflamed and within a couple hours there is no more pain, no more swelling, and no more infection.

Allicin has DMSO like properties that go right through skin/flesh and kill infections.

Replied by Debby G

Can the mouthwash be used for a few days? Also, do you put it in the fridge between uses?


Posted by Sue (Lexington Ky) on 05/11/2017
4 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects

Two months ago, I went to the dentist to have my fillings replaced. I wasn't in any pain it's just that they were splayed and I wanted them fixed. After the procedure I had pain that never went away. So I went back five times to have bite adjustments with little success. I went and had a second opinion and was told that I need one, possibly two root canals where the replacement fillings are located. After getting online and reading about root canals I am terrified to get it done! I found Earth Clinic and read people's experiences with garlic.

So on Day 1, I chewed a clove of garlic and while it helped the pain, it burned the inside of my mouth. Day 2, I did the same thing and now the inside of my mouth really hurts! I'm using ibpuprophen and its helping.

Any other suggestions on how can I treat this possible infection with garlic without burning my mouth would be appreciated!

Replied by Dee

Make yourself a mixture of garlic and sea salt, put in grinder if you have one, if not then just mix them together and add 1 cup of distilled water. Put on stove for 15 minutes. Drain/strain and add honey to liquid and take 1 tbsp 3-4 times a day.