A dental abscess cannot heal on its own and requires professional treatment and pus drainage by a dentist, according to Boots WebMD. However, home remedies that ease the discomfort associated with a dental abscess, also known as an oral abscess, include over-the-counter pain medications and warm water rinses.
Over-the-counter painkillers that can help with the pain of a dental abscess include paracetamol and ibuprofen, notes Boots WebMD. If the abscess has ruptured, rinsing the mouth with warm water can encourage pus drainage and cleanse the area. Patients should avoid using hot or cold packs during home treatment, as the infectious swelling differs from other types of inflammation, according to eMedicineHealth.
Treatment at the dental office may include incision and drainage of the abscess along with antibiotic treatment, explains eMedicineHealth. The patient may also receive prescription painkillers until symptoms can be managed. The dentist then focuses on eliminating the primary source of the infection, which may require root canal procedures, periodontal treatment or tooth extraction procedures. To prevent the future formation of abscesses, patients should practice good dental hygiene with regular flossing and brushing, avoid cigarette smoking and excess consumption of alcohol, and treat dental cavities as soon as they are discovered, recommends Boots WebMD.