Abscesses and Mouth Infections - Dental Care
Abscesses and Mouth Infections
The mouth is one of the body's most favorable breeding grounds for bacteria. Bacteria from a cavity can pass through the pulp and into the socket of a tooth and form abscesses. Abscesses also form in the gums, usually from food particles that get trapped between the teeth. Gums infections also develop around wisdom teeth that push up through the gums.
Diet and Nutrition. Crunchy foods such as apples, carrots, and celery that need to be chewed well not only exercise the jaw muscles and increase circulation to the teeth and gums, they also help to clean the teeth's surface and prevent abscesses and mouth infections. Other foods or beverages include cashews and other nuts; teas or beverages which contain decay-preventing fluoride; seeds (especially sunflower seeds); and cheese, olives, dill pickles, and blackstrap molasses.
Vitamin and Mineral Therapies. According to James Balch and Phyllis Balch, vitamin and mineral supplements which reduce the risk of abscesses and infections include: boron (2 mg); calcium and magnesium in a 2:1 ratio (1,500 mg calcium and 750 mg magnesium); manganese and zinc in balanced mineral formulations (15–30 mg manganese and 25–50 mg zinc); niacin (50–100 mg); silicon (2 mg); vitamin A (25,000 IU in the form of betacarotene); vitamin C (2–5 g); and vitamin D (400–600 mg).
Listed below are several alternative remedies to use for a variety of tooth traumas.
- Acupressure. Apply gentle pressure to the point of the web of the hand between the thumb and index finger. Manipulating this point can calm nerves and help relieve pain.
- To help stop gums or other mouth tissues from bleeding, apply green or black tea bag to the injury. The tannins in green and black tea contain an astringent that help constrict blood vessels and inhibit bleeding. Green or black tea bags can also be placed over a loose tooth to tighten it in place. The tannins also prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Some people have found that moist chamomile tea bags have a soothing effect when applied to tissues, perhaps because chamomile has anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. Chewing on a green leaf of yarrow or plantain also relieves pain caused by aching teeth or wisdom teeth.
Botanical Medicines. Echinacea, myrrh, cayenne, and goldenseal can be applied as herbal compresses or poultices to relieve pain and inflammation of abscesses and infections. A clean cotton cloth is dipped into a tea of these herbs and applied to the tooth or gums. A poultice of myrrh mouthwash and goldenseal powder also relieves gum pains and swelling. Echinacea is also available as a dental salve or cream.
Propolis, a resinous substance that bees collect from plants, is also commonly used to treat abscesses and infections, including painful cold sore. A few drops is normally applied directly to the inflamed gums. Other botanical remedies which are available from health food stores include:
- Aloe gel from a freshly broken leaf, or products containing 96% pure aloe.
- Tea tree oil or fresh plantain leaves.
- Calendula in gel form: mix two full droppers of tincture of calendula in a half glass of water, and gargle.
- Black ointment, a tar-like topical ointment that contains comfrey root, plantain, golden-seal root, activated charcoal, pine, juniper tar, pine gum, beeswax, and lanolin.
- Garlic: Wrap a raw garlic clove or garlic powder in cheesecloth or a layer of sterile gauze and place between the cheeks and gum.
- Echinacea: Mix five to six drops of echinacea tincture and a vitamin E capsule. Dip a clean piece of gauze in the mixture and place between the gum and cheek so that it rests directly on the abscess or sore.
Homeopathy. Belladonna, heapar sulph, silica, and mercurius also effectively treat abscesses, inflammation, and mouth infections. Belladonna is normally taken at the first hint of an abscess or gum boil. Hepar sulph made from calcium sulfide, relieves the sharp, splinter-like pains of abscesses. Silica, made from flint, helps relieve slow-developing abscesses at the root of teeth, especially those sensitive to cold water. Made from mercury, mercurius stimulates the saliva to help relieve the pain of loose teeth.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM physicians usually prescribe watermelon frost formula to relieve toothaches as well as the pain of mouth sores and ulcers. Watermelon frost crystals are usually added to other herbs to make a sweet-tasting compound formula which is taken both internally and externally. Watermelon frost, called Fu Fang Xi gua Shuang (or simply Xi gua Shuang), is sold as a powder in 2-gram vials. The powder is mixed with water to make a paste. It's also available as a lozenge or liquid spray.
Astragalus, another popular Chinese botanical, reverses the growth of mouth ulcers. A tincture of astragalus mixed with myrrh and echinacea is used in TCM to stimulate healthy gums.