Pus-filled cavity in root of decaying or dead tooth, formed as bacteria infect and destroy pulp and produce toxins; tooth very tender when tapped, painful to chew on, with a persistent ache or throb, and pain sometimes radiating along side of nose or across other teeth; if left untreated, pus seeps out through root, erodes a canal through adjacent bone, and causes a gum boil, a painful swelling on the gum. Up to this point, toxins are sealed off from rest of body, but if gum boil bursts, releasing foul-tasting pus into mouth and relieving pain, there may be Fever and the lymph glands in neck and face may swell in an effort to neutralise the toxins before they get into general circulation and cause Septicaemia. Because of risk of blood poisoning, consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 12 hours if a gum boil bursts, or if abscess seems to be enlarging rapidly; antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection spreading.
Standard treatment of a tooth abscess is to drain pus and then disinfect and fill tooth, or remove tip of root (an apicectomy) if it cannot be disinfected, or take the tooth out.
Specific remedies to be taken every hour for up to 10 doses while waiting for dental treatment
- Copious saliva, spongy gums Mercurius 30c
- First hint of an abscess, tooth and surrounding gum feel hot, mouth dry Belladonna 30c
- Gum boil well developed and very painful, pain aggravated by both hot and cold things in mouth Silicea 30c
- Gum boil starts to discharge pus Gunpowder 30c
Self-help: Wash mouth every 4 hours with a solution of Hypericum and Calendula solution (5 drops of each mother tincture to 0.25 litre [1/2 pint warm water).