Have a Tooth Infection? Here Are the Strongest Natural Antibiotics You Can Try

Have a few bottles of essential oil in your cabinet? They may provide relief for your sore teeth.

Jamie Bichelman - Author

May 23 2024, Published 1:37 p.m. ET

A woman winces as she holds her cheek after drinking water.
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If you're experiencing tooth pain when you bite down, or perhaps nerve pain in your teeth, you should know that any kind of issue impacting your oral health should be assessed by a credentialed dental professional. Especially if you're suffering from a tooth infection, you are likely to seek immediate relief until your next appointment with your dentist.

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It's important to note that the remedies suggested below are not to be viewed as cure-alls, but rather, a few methods sourced from reputable organizations that hold the potential to soothe tooth pain in those who can tolerate these ideas until professional help can be given. If you believe your tooth infection is life-threatening, you should seek medical assistance immediately.

A man at an office winces in pain while placing his hand on his cheek.
Source: iStock
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What is the strongest natural antibiotic for a tooth infection?

The strongest natural antibiotic for a tooth infection is the one that is safest for your unique body, considerate of any ongoing health conditions, and, ultimately, which proves most effective in relieving your pain.

A dental abscess is the result of a bacterial infection, according to Healthline, and can cause "throbbing pain." Antibiotic medicines inhibit or kill the bacteria causing the infection, but those seeking alternatives to prescription medicine turn to natural remedies for relief.

Enter essential oils, which may aid in pain relief of abscessed tooth pain, according to another Healthline guide.

One option as a natural remedy for a tooth infection is oregano essential oil. This essential oil is also present in many natural toothpaste brands as an antiseptic aid that supports the relief of tooth infections.

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It is said that oregano oil also holds anti-inflammatory value, is antimicrobial, and is an antioxidant that can be mixed with a carrier oil on a cotton ball or swab, placed against the infected tooth for a few minutes, then left to work its magic for 10 minutes before rinsing.

According to the Canada-based Valley Ridge Dental Centre, clove oil, tea tree oil, and both garlic and turmeric can be powerful natural antibiotics that support the fight against tooth infections.

Virtual health provider K Health concurs that a paste made from garlic or the antibacterial nature of essential oils like oregano and clove oil can all serve as natural antibiotics.

Additional recommendations include thyme oil, frankincense oil, or a strategy known as oil pulling, which involves swishing coconut or olive oil in your mouth, as you would with mouthwash. It should be noted that oil pulling may be best specifically for reducing bacteria that causes bad breath and whitening teeth.

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A woman holds a mouthwash bottle in one hand while viewing herself in the mirror as she swishes mouthwash in her mouth.
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Here are other natural methods to fight tooth infections:

Regency Court Dentistry, located in Boca Raton, Fla., cautions that natural remedies are not as powerful as prescription antibiotics. Although a holistic approach may support overall well-being and provide some pain relief from tooth infections, professional help is always recommended to ensure your safety.

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Nevertheless, the age-old remedy of a saltwater rinse is my personal favorite as an affordable (if not free) method to reduce the inflammation at the site of the infected tooth. Salt also holds antibacterial properties, according to BBC Science Focus Magazine.

Endodontic Consultants of San Antonio agree that a saltwater rinse is effective. If the salty taste is too much to swallow (pun intended; do not swallow a saltwater rinse) they also recommend a paste made of equal parts baking soda and water, as well as a cold compress placed on the area of the infected tooth.

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