Taking over-the-counter pain medications, rinsing the mouth with warm saltwater or baking soda rinses, and applying a moist teabag to the painful area are temporary home remedies for the discomfort from a tooth infection, according to MedicineNet. These remedies mitigate the pain but do not resolve the infection.
A tooth infection requires dental care as soon as possible, advises MedicineNet. A dentist uses antibiotics and physical drainage of the tooth and surrounding areas to clear the infection. He prescribes pain medication to control discomfort until the infection resolves, notes eMedicineHealth. Once the infection passes, the patient undergoes a root canal procedure in which the dentist cleans out the pulp chambers and canals of the tooth and seals it, according to MedicineNet. If the dentist does not feel root canal therapy is feasible, he extracts the tooth.
In some instances, an untreated tooth infection spreads quickly, causing fever and swelling of the face and/or jaw and possibly causing breathing and swallowing difficulties, warns MedicineNet. In these cases, the patient requires a visit to the emergency room for treatment. In other cases, an infected tooth causes no symptoms, and the dentist discovers it during a routine visit. Even if no symptoms are present, the infection requires treatment to prevent complications.