A tooth infection is just as common as a flu bug or nosebleed — everyone has gone through it at least once in their lives. But, a seemingly mild tooth infection promises a world of hurt, mainly in the form of throbbing jaw pain that never goes away and difficulty consuming your favorite foods.
Still, you don’t have to suffer through toothaches or spend hours waiting in the dentist’s office. That’s because an all-natural tooth pain reliever exists - activated charcoal. Read on to find out the proven effectiveness of activated charcoal against minor tooth infections and toothaches, as well as the proper way to use it.
Please note: This post is meant for informational purposes only and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. If you are suffering from severe tooth problems, please seek medical assistance immediately.
What Is a Tooth Infection and How Does It Happen?
A tooth infection is also commonly known as a tooth abscess or dental abscess. It occurs when a bacterial infection causes a buildup of pus in different areas of the tooth, and sometimes, the surrounding gum tissue.
How a tooth infection happens:
- Bacteria breaches the pulp cavity inside the tooth, which is the soft tissue where the nerves and blood vessels reside
- Pus may then accumulate in the affected area, which causes pain and forms a tooth abscess
- The bacterial infection may also spread to the surrounding tissues, like the root canal, gum tissue, and bone
So, how does the tooth infection happen in the first place? The most common culprit is an excess of plaque on the tooth enamel (i.e., the protective outer layer). In the human body, plaque naturally forms on the tooth enamel. However, poor dental hygiene or too much sugary foods can cause a buildup of plaque. This creates the perfect breeding ground for acidic bacteria to grow and erode the tooth’s surface. Once this happens, enamel demineralization takes place, marking the start of tooth decay. As a result, the protective enamel becomes weakened, allowing foreign bacteria to invade the tooth cavity and infect it from within.
Occasionally, trauma to the lower half of the face may cause dental injuries that can lead to a tooth infection, too. For example, accidentally chipping a tooth exposes the tooth’s pulp to foreign pathogens. Similarly, a hit to the jaw may create bruising and swelling in the teeth, gum, and bone tissues, inciting unbearable toothaches.
If you suspect you’re dealing with a tooth infection, you may experience:
- Toothaches, and occasionally, headaches and jaw pain
- Swelling in the gum, and sometimes in the neck area
- Bad breath and/or a bitter aftertaste
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Loose teeth
In severe cases, your tooth infection may spread to the rest of your body, triggering dizziness, sweating, fever, and an increased heart rate. When this happens, do consult a healthcare professional immediately.
Activated Charcoal for Tooth Infections: Why It Works
Minor tooth infections can be attended to in the comfort of your own home with activated charcoal. The all-natural yet highly effective remedy stops your tooth infection from worsening and can save you a trip to the dentist.
The reason being, activated charcoal is highly prized for its powerful adsorptive abilities. The powder has ultra-tiny pores to bind to impurities and toxins, flushing them out of your body. In that sense, activated charcoal effectively removes plaque and harmful bacteria from your teeth. As a result, not only does this healing powder treat tooth infections, but it can also prevent them from happening in the first place.
Research further confirms activated charcoal’s antimicrobial prowess. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Contemporary Clinical Dentistry discovers charcoal toothbrushes were more effective in stopping bacterial contamination than non-charcoal bristles. More impressively, the results show “roughly 0 mm of the zone of inhibition was found around charcoal bristles as compared to 3 mm” for the non-charcoal toothbrushes.
How To Use Activated Charcoal for Tooth Infections
It’s easy to use activated charcoal at home to treat simple dental infections. Here’s how:
- Add one teaspoon of activated charcoal powder to a small amount of water and mix evenly to form a smooth paste
- Scoop the paste onto a clean, dry cotton ball or gauze, ensuring there’s enough to cover the affected area
- Bite down on the cotton ball or gauze and hold it in place for 5 minutes
- Rinse your mouth with water afterward
Repeat the above steps as many times as needed throughout the day. Do note that this natural remedy is mainly targeted at minor tooth infections and toothaches. If you still see little to no improvement, it’s best to make an appointment with your dentist.
Is Activated Charcoal Powder Safe?
Rest assured that activated charcoal powder is perfectly safe for humans. In fact, many people take it to resolve their upset stomach or soothe minor wounds. This versatile powder is also routinely used in hospitals and emergency rooms to treat drug overdose. In other words, if you’ve accidentally ingested some of the powder when the cotton ball (or gauze) is in your mouth, don’t sweat it. The activated charcoal will eventually pass out of your body, along with other waste products.
That said, activated charcoal powder can adsorb medications, making the drugs ineffective. If you’re currently on medication, check with your primary doctor first before using activated charcoal for your tooth infection.
The Ultimate Tooth Relief
Activated charcoal powder can be an effective tooth pain reliever in mild cases. Rather than foot an exorbitant dental bill for a relatively minor infection, try this all-natural remedy instead.
At Zen Principle, we offer two types of activated charcoal powders to suit everyone’s needs:
- Hardwood Activated Charcoal Powder: A 100% pure, certified food-grade, finely milled powder sourced from the Eastern American hardwood trees (an all-natural and renewable resource).
- Coconut Activated Charcoal Powder: A 100% pure, GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), finely milled powder derived from tropical coconuts.
If you’d like to find out the other amazing health benefits of activated charcoal powder, hop over to our handy guide on the 10 Benefits of Activated Charcoal Powder.