Treating Dental Abscesses

An abscess is defined as a swollen area in the body that accumulates pus. Unfortunately, your mouth is not immune to this nasty condition. Still, abscesses are common and easily treatable but may require a dentist visit.

Usually, abscesses in the mouth are a result of poor dental hygiene such as not brushing or flossing enough. However, they can also be linked to a broken tooth. Regardless of the source of the infection, there are two basic types of dental abscesses: those that occur within the gum and those that form in the actual tooth. Gum abscesses can occur from food getting caught between the gum and the tooth. Tooth abscess occurs when the tooth's nerve is dead or dying and infection spreads through the tooth. Here are some details about treating dental abscesses:

Treating Abscesses

When treating an abscess, refrain from trying to rupture the abscess yourself, as you could cause further damage to the mouth or tooth. A dental office has trained professionals with the expertise and the right sterile equipment to deal with a dental abscess properly. Furthermore, if an abscess is not treated properly, it can cause serious health problems if the infection becomes systemic. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to help ease the discomfort caused by an abscess while you wait for your appointment to see a dentist.

  • Rinse out your mouth with a salt-water solution. The salt kills germs and shrinks swollen tissues.
  • Chew garlic cloves. They are naturally antibiotic, so they can help control the infection until you get to the dental office.
  • Apply a wet herbal tea bag to the infected area overnight. Then rinse the mouth out with salt-water the following morning. The teabag can help draw the infected liquid out of the abscess.

What Can You Expect Your Dentist to Prescribe?

Your dentist will likely prescribe several medications. One may be to help with the discomfort. Painkillers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may be offered. In addition, antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin, may be prescribed.

Your dentist will also likely suggest that you use a soft toothbrush and avoid irritating foods, such as sweets and spicy dishes.

If you have a tender, swollen place on your gums, it may be a dental abscess. Contact a dentist in your area to schedule an examination. Once the dentist has assessed the state of your mouth, he or she can prescribe a suitable treatment option. To learn more, contact a dental clinic like Preferred Family Dental.