Our Dentist Treats Patients with a Dental Abscess

Posted on: May 2, 2016

DentistAs a local dentist, we treat patients and help them to stay in good oral health. We focus on preventative care that can keep a patient healthy in between visits to our office. This includes educating people on steps they can take at home, including flossing daily, brushing after meals, not using tobacco products, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.  During teeth cleanings, we remove bacteria and plaque that the at home routine wasn’t able to get to.

Unfortunately, many people don’t have a regular dental exam and are at risk for cavities, gum disease, or getting a dental abscess. When cavities and gum disease are treated quickly, we are able to remove the infection and save the tooth or teeth. Left untreated, the infection can spread throughout the tooth, into the gums, and eventually into the jaw and face bones.  When this happens it is called an abscess.

A dental abscess can be extremely painful. It is much more severe than an infected tooth or cavity. It can cause your face and jaw to become red and swell. Pain will often shoot through your tooth, gums, and into your jaw. Additionally, the entire area will be tender to the touch and many patients feel like they have the flu on top of these symptoms. This can be a truly miserable experience. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule a dentist appointment immediately so that we can diagnose and treat the problem.

During the dental exam, we will identify the cause of the infection, clean the area around it, and remove whatever infection that we can. This is often done by cutting open the abscess and draining it of infected puss.  If the abscess has spread into the floor of the mouth or the neck, this may need to be done surgically. Patients that do not have an abscessed professionally drained are likely to have it burst on its own, which is not recommended. By draining the infection, the area can begin to heal.  We often prescribe antibiotics to help support the healing process.

Since an abscess is extremely uncomfortable, we recommend avoiding the infection in the first place. Many people don’t give their teeth and gums the same level of attention that they give the rest of their body. There are certain things that people do to avoid being sick. For example, if it is ten degrees outside, people wear a warm jacket and a hat. It is important to apply the same common sense to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Taking simple steps can help you to stay healthy. A regular, twice a day routine is an important part of avoiding problems with teeth and gums before they turn into bigger problems like dental abscesses. The same holds true for skipping dentist appointments. People that visit our office twice a year have a decreased risk of all oral health issues, including a dental abscess.  People that have a dental exam every few years, significantly increase their risk and the likelihood of experiencing dental pain. Take preventative measures to avoid oral health issues by scheduling your dental exam today.

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