Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

While the area is healing, your dentist may recommend these steps to help ease discomfort:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), as needed.

Prevention

Avoiding tooth decay is essential to preventing a tooth abscess. Take good care of your teeth to avoid tooth decay:

  • Use fluoridated drinking water.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to clean between your teeth on a daily basis.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or whenever the bristles are frayed.
  • Eat healthy food, limiting sugary items and between-meal snacks.
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings.
  • Consider using an antiseptic or a fluoride mouth rinse to add an extra layer of protection against tooth decay.