How Do You Deal With a Dental Abscess?

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Woman pointing to her teeth
April 3, 2023

What do you do if you experience something odd in your mouth? Do you Google your way to get answers and solutions? Would you treat the problem yourself? The ideal way to deal with dental issues is to consult a licensed dental health professional.

If you’re facing an urgent dental problem, like a tooth abscess, you must notify your emergency dentist in Hueytown ASAP. Delaying treatment can lead to life-threatening consequences. A dental abscess is not something to take lightly. It is not a condition you can treat with home remedies.  

Woman with Emergency Dentist in Hueytown

Dealing With a Dental Abscess

What are Dental Abscesses?

Dental abscesses are pus-filled pockets that form in your gums or teeth due to bacterial infection. An abscess that forms in the gums is called a periodontal abscess (usually caused by gum disease). If it forms at the end of the tooth, it is called a periapical abscess (typically caused by tooth decay). It is important to treat it immediately because an abscess will not resolve on its own. In fact, without treatment, the infection could spread to other parts of your body.  

What Causes a Dental Abscess?

  • A periapical abscess occurs when bacteria enter your tooth through a cavity. Cavities compromise a tooth's structural integrity, allowing bacteria to enter the inner pulp and cause an infection.
  • A periodontal abscess occurs when bacteria in plaque irritate and inflame the gums. As the inflammation worsens, the gums surrounding the tooth roots separate from the tooth creating periodontal pockets. These pockets allow bacteria to build up.    

A dental abscess is characterized by the following signs and symptoms.

• Severe, throbbing toothache

• Swollen gums

• Swelling in the face or neck

• Fever

• Bad taste or smell in the mouth

• Difficulty opening your mouth

How Do You Deal With a Dental Abscess?

You should seek emergency dental care from an emergency dentist as soon as you suspect you have a dental abscess. The following steps can help you prepare for your emergency dental appointment:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help reduce swelling and draw out the pus.
  • Use over-the-counter pain relief medication to help manage the pain.
  • Apply a cold compress to your face to help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
  • Avoid hot or cold foods and drinks, as they can worsen the pain.
  • Stick to soft foods that are easy to chew and won't irritate the abscess.
  • Keep your mouth clean by brushing gently and flossing regularly.
  • Avoid smoking, as it can worsen the infection and delay healing.

Can You Prevent a Dental Abscess?

Practicing good oral hygiene can reduce your risk of developing dental abscesses. Brush your teeth twice daily using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Floss your teeth once, preferably before bedtime. Avoid sugary and starchy foods and eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals.

More importantly, see your dentist for exams and cleanings twice a year.  

Emergency Dentist in Hueytown with patient

Consult with an Emergency Dentist in Hueytown

A dental abscess can be a painful and dangerous situation that requires prompt treatment from an emergency dentist. Church Family Dental strives to provide you with the best services. We offer a wide range of treatments tailored to meet your dental goals. We use the latest technology and equipment to give you a beautiful and healthy smile. Contact us for a consultation.



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