The pain from an infected tooth can go from mild irritation to being unbearable in a very short span – and it’s often at the worst time, like in the middle of the night. Sometimes it’s so bad that it requires emergency service, but other times there are ways to weather it until you can go see your regular dentist or a specialist.

What you can do to help yourself while you’re waiting to get dental help is pretty simple. Rinse out your mouth with warm salt water. It will help clean out the infected area, since bacteria can’t live in salt water. Swish the water around in your mouth for at least 30 seconds time until you finish the cup. Do this several times a day so that its antiseptic properties can help you. If your problem was caused by a gum infection, this will help.

There are also other remedies that are within easy reach at home to alleviate the pain. They include baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, cold compresses to numb the pain and keep swelling down, oregano oil, thyme oil, and Fenugreek tea.Bear in mind that the above items are used to manage discomfort and hopefully prevent any abscess or infection from worsening. This will not make it heal on its own. Only a dentist or a specialist can do that. Ignoring it can lead to a dental cyst, which will definitely require treatment and extraction.

There’s a chance that the dentist or specialist could try antibiotics to clear up the infection. Depending on how far along the infection is, they may also try scaling and root planing. That means that they do a deep cleaning not only along the gumline but below it to clear up any tartar and things below it, too. .

If all else fails, then there’s the last resort of extracting the tooth or teeth. It may be the only way the dentist or specialist can prevent the infection from worsening and doing even worse damage to your jaw.

The best way to prevent an infection from even starting is to see your dentist twice a year. Also, go see him or her when something starts hurting. This is not the time to try to gut something out. Even if you have financial difficulties, see them – they often have payment plans where you can pay over time.

Dr. Robert Trager has had his practice for several decades and has seen all kinds of tooth infections. He will gladly help fix yours.