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Can a Teabag Help an Abscessed Tooth?

If you’ve ever had an abscessed tooth, you might have heard about a home remedy involving teabags. A common cure that is recommended for tooth pain until you can see a dentist is to use a teabag on the affected area to reduce pain and help draw it out. But how does tea work to cure an infection in an abscessed tooth? 

Teabags can be used to treat the pain, inflammation, and infection in an abscessed tooth as a temporary measure until dental treatment is arranged. Teabags should not be used as the only remedy for a tooth abscess, as tooth infections can be dangerous and require medical attention.

Even though teabags can’t completely cure an abscessed tooth, they can go a long way towards relieving your pain until you get the chance to see a dentist for the problem. Read on to learn more about using teabags to help an abscessed tooth and how they work. 

What Is an Abscessed Tooth, and How Does Tea Help It? 

A tooth abscess is a bacterial infection in the root of the tooth that can cause a pocket of pus to form in the tooth or the surrounding gums. This infection can cause severe pain along with other symptoms such as bad breath, fever, swelling, and a bad taste in the mouth from pus.

Tea has been used as a home remedy for centuries to deal with infections because of its natural antibacterial properties. This makes it a good option for temporarily treating minor infections like abscesses, dental infection, boils, and superficial cuts. 

Tea also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm inflamed blood vessels and soothe sore gums.

tea for tooth pain
Tea has properties that can help soothe a sore tooth.

Will a Teabag Draw Out an Abscess?

A teabag can be used to draw out an abscess in a tooth in a few different ways. Once applied to an abscessed tooth, teabags have the following effects: 

  • Reduction of swelling: The warmth in a freshly steeped teabag and the astringent quality of the tannins it contains act to reduce inflammation and swelling, the main sources of pain in the affected tooth.
  • Reduction of pain: Along with reducing swelling, a warm tea bag can also help reduce associated pain in an infected tooth abscess when placed against the wound.
  • Promotes the release of pus: The homeostatic effects in tea help to coagulate blood and pus around an abscessed tooth and can help soak up any pus that is being put off by the abscess. This can help prevent additional infection. 

Note: A teabag can’t be used to completely clear an abscessed tooth. 

Even though the body is able to fight off most infections with a little bit of help, having an infection like an abscess so close to the brain is dangerous, and should be addressed by a dental or medical professional as soon as possible.

Teabags can provide temporary relief for a dental abscess to make the wait more bearable until you get help. 

How to Use a Teabag to Draw Out an Abscessed Tooth

To use a teabag to draw out an abscessed tooth, the first step in the process is to steep the tea normally like you would if you were making a regular cup of tea. Swishing some warm tea around in your mouth before placing the teabag can help soothe any related pain, too. 

After the tea is made, take the used teabag and perform the following: 

  • Place the wet tea bag in your mouth on the infected area. As best you can, wrap the teabag around the gum of the tooth that contains the abscess.
  • Leave the teabag on the abscess. The tea bag can be left on the abscessed tooth from twenty minutes up to three hours. Many people will place the teabag on the abscess and try to take a nap to give the tea time to do its work.
  • Remove and discard the teabag. Once the teabag has been left on the tooth abscess for an appropriate amount of time, remove it from your mouth and discard. You can either rest the abscess or immediately place a fresh teabag over the tooth. 

Teabags can be used as often as necessary to treat the symptoms of a tooth abscess until proper dental care can be scheduled. It’s important to let a dentist know about your tooth abscess as soon as possible so that the extent of the infection can be monitored. 

a used tea bag can help a tooth abscess
Peppermint tea bags can help numb tooth pain.

What Is the Best Kind of Tea for a Tooth Abscess?

The best kinds of teabags to use for treating tooth abscesses are black tea or peppermint tea. Black tea contains tannins, antimicrobial plant-based chemical compounds that can reduce inflammation and decrease infection.

Peppermint or spearmint tea is also a good choice for treating an abscessed tooth. The menthol in the peppermint tea can be soothing for infections, and the eugenol that the tea contains has a pain-relieving quality. (Source: National Library of Medicine)

Can Teabags Cure an Abscessed Tooth? 

Teabags can’t be used to cure an abscessed tooth. While the body might be able to fight off the infection in an abscessed tooth on its own, a tooth abscess often requires medical intervention in order to prevent the infection from becoming a medical danger.

Treatment for an abscessed tooth can include root canal, tooth removal or a course of antibiotics. 

Treating an abscessed tooth with teabags might provide some temporary pain relief while your body fights off the infection. However, an abscessed tooth should not be taken lightly.

If an abscessed tooth is accompanied by symptoms like increasing pain or a fever, a dental appointment should be sought immediately. 

Are Abscessed Teeth Dangerous? 

An abscessed tooth is considered dangerous because if it is ignored, it can cause infection to spread to other parts of the body. In serious cases, this can lead to sepsis, a major blood infection, and even death.

The severity of a tooth abscess is the main reason why teabags are only considered a temporary pain relief measure in the treatment of a tooth infection. The consequences of avoiding a dentist are too severe to leave an abscessed tooth untreated. 

Regular dental care is the most important thing if you want to avoid tooth decay and gum disease.

tea bag can help tooth abscess
A cooled tea bag can help soothe sore gums.

What are Other Natural Remedies for Tooth Abscess Pain?

If you’re experiencing a severe toothache, here are several more at-home remedies to keep you out of the emergency room until you can get into your dentist:

  • Chill a used tea bag to use as a cold compress. Cool peppermint tea bags can feel especially soothing.
  • Over the counter pain medications can help numb toothache pain.
  • A salt water rinse can be helpful. Add a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and swish.
  • Certain essential oils can be helpful for their analgesic properties. Clove oil on a cotton ball placed on the abscess tooth can help relieve pain.
  • Holding ice water or an ice pack on the sore gum area can also numb pain. Don’t chew on ice cubes as that can cause more damage.

Teabags Are a Useful Home Remedy for Toothaches

Even though they can’t completely heal an abscessed tooth, teabags can be a useful tool for the immediate reduction of pain and swelling associated with a tooth abscess.

Anyone who has experienced this type of infection knows how excruciating it can be, so having natural home remedies to use if you run into it can make the situation a lot less painful. 

Just remember that using a teabag on the painful area is only a short term natural remedy. It shouldn’t replace good oral hygiene. A twice a year dentist appointment is the best way toward good oral health and healthy gums and teeth.

can a teabag help an abscessed tooth
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