Date: April 17, 2014 Richard Jones

Abstaining from Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is not something to be taken lightly, as this infection can be quite painful especially if left untreated. When you have a dental abscess, the infection most likely started as a cavity or tooth infection; dental abscesses can then spread to the throat, jaw, mouth or even to the whole face (in severe cases).As a dental abscess most often starts from a bacterial infection in a tooth’s soft pulp, proper oral hygiene can do wonders in preventing the start or spread of dental abscesses.

It is important to go to your dentist with the first signs of an abscess in your teeth, or in your oral cavity; this is to prevent any complications from developing, so that you will not have to endure the pain and discomfort that are often associated with dental abscess problems. The dentist will be able to provide you with the proper diagnosis and treatment, putting an end to the discomfort that an abscess can bring not only to your teeth, but to your whole face as well.

Dental Abscess Video Animation

Dental Abscess Symptoms

You may have dental abscesses if you experience one or more of the symptoms listed below; if you do find yourself thinking that you have a dental abscess, make sure that you seek the help of your dentist to treat the abscess dental problem in its earliest possible stage.

  • Presence of Pus – When a patient has dental abscesses, it is common for pus to accumulate in the affected area. The pus may be located in the soft tissues of the jaw bone, on the gums, on the insides of cheeks or anywhere else inside the mouth.
  • Swelling – Another sure sign of a dental abscess is the swelling of the affected area. The swelling indicates an infection developing in the area, which in turn translates to discomfort for the patient who has a dental abscess.
  • Redness – A dental abscess will usually be characterized by redness, aside from the swelling and presence of pus. Dental abscesses will greatly affect how a patient chews, swallows, speaks and moves his or her mouth.
  • Tenderness – Gums that are infected with a dental abscess are very tender to the touch.
  • Pain – A person who has dental abscesses will experience pain, which can radiate from the area directly affected by the dental abscess to the whole mouth and face. The pain associated with dental abscesses is usually throbbing in nature, which can be quite uncomfortable for the poor patient.

In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, severe dental abscesses can sometimes cause a patient to vomit, to feel nauseous, and have a slight fever. The presence of these additional symptoms indicates that the infection brought about by the dental abscess has progressed, and needs to be immediately brought to the attention of a dentist to prevent further complications.

Dental Abscess Surgery Video

Causes of Dental Abscess

Dental abscesses are caused by the build-up of harmful bacteria in existing tooth cavities, and also in the soft tissues of the oral cavity, as well as in the bones in the neck and face. The presence of bacteria causes an infection to develop, which in turn results to the collection of pus in the infected area – causing the pain, swelling, and other symptoms that are associated with a dental abscess. Tooth decay (and the corresponding infection that come with this dental problem), gum diseases, and gingivitis can cause a dental abscess to develop.

A dental abscess can develop from trauma to the mouth area, which can get infected by bacteria and can spread to the surrounding areas. Dental abscesses may also result from conditions that cause the weakening of the immune system, such as diabetes, or the use of chemotherapy or radiation for cancer treatment; the abscess may also be caused by auto-immune diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome.

Types of Dental Abscess

Periapical Abscess – This type of dental abscess is the most common type, and develops when bacteria infects the inner part of the tooth.

Periodontal Abscess – This type of dental abscess occurs when bacteria infects the gums.

Prevention of Dental Abscesses

In most cases, dental abscesses can be efficiently prevented by practicing proper dental hygiene. Make sure that you brush your teeth thoroughly and regularly; in addition, you should make it a habit to regularly floss so the food trapped between teeth cannot be a breeding ground for bacteria that may cause a dental abscess. Going to the dentist for regular dental checkups is also essential in ensuring that dental abscess problems can be prevented, or at the very least diagnosed in the soonest possible time to prevent it from turning into something even more serious.

Dental Abscess Treatment

As soon as you see any of the dental abscess symptoms, it is important to go to a dentist to have the problem checked to prevent further complications from developing. The dentist can prescribe pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, to help ease the pain and discomfort that is caused by the dental abscess. Diagnosis of the dental abscess will include a physical examination by the dentist, to check if pus drainage will be needed; obtaining x-rays may also be done to check if there are other dental abscesses that are present in the deeper tooth parts.

The pus on the infected area will need to be drained by the dentist, as this will not go away on its own. Drainage of the pus should be done professionally, and a local anaesthetic will be administered to ensure that the procedure will involve as little pain and discomfort as possible. In cases when the affected tooth has suffered extensive damage, a tooth extraction procedure may be done to prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth (and to other parts of the oral cavity); a local anaesthetic will also be used to make the tooth extraction as free from pain as possible. Treatment with antibiotics may also be included in a dental abscess treatment, to fight infection and to keep it from spreading to other parts of the mouth.

Dental Abscess Home Remedies

There are several things that you can do to ease the pain and discomfort of a dental abscess, from the comfort of your own home. However, it is important to note that the remedies listed below are for only for temporary relief of the symptoms, and going to the dentist to get professional treatment will still be the best course of action to permanently deal with the dental abscess problem.

  • A cold compress applied to the affected cheek corresponding to the dental abscess area can help relieve the swelling and the pain. The cold compress can be applied for 20 minutes several times a day to ease the discomfort brought about by the abscess.
  • Gargling with warm salty water can soothe the pain of the dental abscess infection, as the salt acts as an antiseptic; the warmth of the solution eases the swelling and discomfort.
  • If the dental abscess has erupted and pus is drained, it is important to spit out the blood and pus so that they do not get swallowed accidentally.
  • The anaesthetic properties of clove oil make it an ideal home remedy for dental abscess, to temporarily provide relief from swelling and pain.

Find an NHS Dentist for Dental Abscess

You can search for an NHS dentist in your area by doing one of the following, especially if you are not yet registered with an NHS dentist:

  • Use the NHS Choices health services post code search to locate a dentist in your local area;
  • Call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 to get more information about the dental services in your area;
  • Send via text message the word ‘dentist’ to 64746, or NHSGO from your mobile phone from the area where you wish to locate a dentist;
  • Call your local primary care trust (PCT) to find out about the dental access helpline

Let Your Dentist Conquer a Dental Abscess

Go to your dentist and have your dental abscess checked, so you can effectively deal with the dental abscess before the infection has a chance to progress. If pus is present in a dental abscess, your dentist will drain it; this usually takes care of the pain and discomfort brought about by dental abscesses. Antibiotics may also be prescribed for the dental abscess if not all of the pus has been drained.


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