Can You Use Listerine For A Tooth Infection?

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When it comes to dental health, tooth infections can be quite a pain – literally! Many of us have experienced that uncomfortable throbbing sensation that signals something is amiss in our mouths. One popular question that often arises is whether LISTERINE, that familiar blue-tinted mouthwash found in countless bathrooms, can be used to treat a tooth infection. In this article, we’ll delve into the topic and explore the ins and outs of using LISTERINE for a tooth infection, while also considering other remedies and prevention methods.

What Causes a Tooth Infection?

To understand whether LISTERINE can help with a tooth infection, it’s crucial to comprehend what causes these pesky oral issues. Tooth infections, also known as dental abscesses, usually result from bacterial infections. When a cavity, crack, or dental injury exposes the soft inner pulp of a tooth to bacteria, it can lead to infection. Without treatment, the bacteria then multiply inside the tooth, causing pain, swelling, and even pus formation.

How Can I Tell I Have a Tooth Infection?

Detecting a tooth infection early on is vital for timely treatment. Common signs of a tooth infection include persistent toothache, increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods, swelling in the face or cheek, a foul taste in the mouth, and swollen lymph nodes. If you suspect you might have a tooth infection, it’s essential to consult a dentist promptly to receive proper evaluation and treatment.

Will LISTERINE Help a Tooth Infection?

LISTERINE is renowned for its antiseptic properties and ability to kill bacteria in the mouth, which makes it an attractive option for some individuals seeking relief from a tooth infection. However, while LISTERINE can be a useful addition to your oral hygiene routine, it is not a cure-all for tooth infections. Using LISTERINE may provide temporary relief by reducing bacterial populations in the mouth, but it cannot address the root cause of the infection hiding deep within the tooth.

Is Salt Water or LISTERINE Better for Tooth Infection?

When faced with a tooth infection, some people turn to saltwater rinses as a home remedy. Saltwater is known for its natural antiseptic properties, and rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater solution can help reduce inflammation and ease discomfort. However, like LISTERINE, saltwater rinses are not a definitive solution for tooth infections.

Does Salt Draw Out Infection in Tooth?

The notion of salt “drawing out” infection is a common folk remedy. However, it’s essential to understand that salt doesn’t have the ability to pull an infection from within a tooth. While it can help alleviate some symptoms, such as swelling and discomfort, it cannot treat the underlying infection. Only professional dental care, such as root canal treatment or tooth extraction, can effectively eliminate the infection.

How Do You Flush Out a Tooth Infection?

Attempting to flush out a tooth infection at home is not recommended. Tooth infections require proper dental evaluation and treatment by a qualified dentist. Depending on the severity of the infection, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to control the bacterial growth. In more advanced cases, a root canal procedure might be necessary to remove the infected pulp and save the tooth. Trying to flush out an infection without professional guidance can lead to complications and worsen the condition.

What Mouthwash Kills Tooth Infection?

While LISTERINE and saltwater rinses have some antibacterial properties, they are not potent enough to eliminate a tooth infection fully. If your dentist recommends using a mouthwash to aid in your oral care routine, they might prescribe a medicated mouthwash specifically designed to combat bacteria associated with gum disease or other oral infections. These mouthwashes contain active ingredients like chlorhexidine, which can be more effective in addressing certain bacterial infections.

What Is the Strongest Natural Antibiotic for Tooth Infection?

When it comes to tooth infections, natural remedies can complement professional dental care, but they should never replace it. One natural antibiotic known for its potential oral health benefits is raw honey. Raw honey possesses antibacterial properties that may help fight bacteria in the mouth. However, it’s essential to remember that natural remedies should only be used as a supplementary measure, and not as a substitute for proper dental treatment.

What Helps Tooth Infections Heal Faster?

While dental infections require professional intervention, there are several ways you can support the healing process:

Maintain good oral hygiene

 Regularly brush and floss your teeth to keep the affected area clean and prevent further complications.

Use a medicated mouthwash

 If recommended by your dentist, include a medicated mouthwash in your oral hygiene routine.

Avoid certain foods

 Steer clear of hot, cold, or sugary foods that can aggravate the infection and cause discomfort.

Stay hydrated

 Drinking plenty of water helps keep your mouth moist and supports overall oral health.

Get enough rest

Your body’s ability to heal is enhanced when you get sufficient rest.

How to Prevent a Tooth Infection

Preventing a tooth infection is always better than dealing with the consequences. Here are some tips to help you maintain good oral health and reduce the risk of dental abscesses:

Practice good oral hygiene

 Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove food particles and plaque.

Visit your dentist regularly

 Regular dental check-ups can catch potential problems early on and prevent complications.

Be mindful of your diet

 Limit sugary and acidic foods that can contribute to tooth decay.

Protect your teeth

 Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports to prevent dental injuries.

Avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol

These habits can increase the risk of oral health problems.


In conclusion, while LISTERINE may offer some relief from the discomfort associated with a tooth infection, it is not a cure for the underlying problem. Tooth infections require professional dental care, and attempting to self-treat can lead to further complications. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so maintain good oral hygiene, visit your dentist regularly, and follow their advice to keep your smile healthy and infection-free.

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Author and Medical Reviewer

Erica Anand is a certified dental expert. She holds a BA in Chemistry and a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from Stony Brook University. After completing a two-year pediatric dentistry program, she now runs a private practice focusing on preventive dentistry and is a member of the American Association of Dental Consultants.

Editorial Director

Marcus Ramsey has been a professional writer for over seven years. He has talked about and produced content for industries like Dentistry, Healthcare, and more.

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