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How to Address Your Dental Abscess and Pain

man in painA tooth abscess can develop from infections that cultivate inside a tooth. Bacteria can find its way inside a tooth when it’s chipped, broken or decayed. Once the bacteria get to the center of the tooth, and the tooth becomes infected, pus collects in the tooth. The pus in the tooth swells. A toothache results.

If not addressed quickly, the infection could spread to the gums and bone of the mouth. A tooth abscess always should be evaluated and treated by a dentist. Until you can see a dentist, different home remedies can be used to relieve the discomfort caused by the infection.

Saltwater rinse

This easy and affordable solution can provide effective temporary relief of your abscessed tooth. It can also encourage wound healing and healthy gums.

  1. Add 1/2 teaspoon of regular table salt to 1/2 cup of warm water.
  2. Rinse your mouth with the salt water. For best results, swish it around inside your mouth for at least two minutes.
  3. Spit the water out.

Rinse your mouth with the solution up to three times per day.

Baking soda

You also likely have this affordable treatment inside your kitchen cabinet. Baking soda can effectively remove plaque in the mouth. It also has powerful antibacterial properties.

  1. Combine 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda with a dash of salt and 1/2 cup of water.
  2. Swish the mixture in your mouth for about five minutes.
  3. Spit it out, and repeat until you’ve finished the mixture.

Rinse with this solution up to two times per day.

Diagnosis and Treatment of an Abscessed Tooth

Besides examining your tooth and the surrounding area, your dentist may perform the following actions:

Lightly pat your teeth. If an abscess is found at the tooth root, it’s typically sensitive to touch or pressure.

Recommend an X-ray. An X-ray of the painful tooth can help identify an abscess. Your dentist may also use X-rays to verify whether the infection has spread, causing abscesses in other areas.

Recommend a CT scan. If the infection has expanded to other areas within the neck, a CT scan may be performed to evaluate how extensive the infection is.

The objective of treatment is to get rid of the infection. Your dentist may perform the following:

Open up and drain the abscess. The dentist will make a small incision into the abscess, so the pus can drain out, and then clean the area with salt water (saline). In some cases, a small rubber drain is placed to keep the area open for drainage while the swelling diminishes.

Do a root canal. A root canal can effectively eliminate the infection and preserve your tooth. First, your dentist drills down into your tooth, takes out the diseased pulp and drains the abscess. The next step is filling and sealing the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals. For stability, the tooth may be capped with a crown. If you take good care of your restored tooth properly, it can last for many years, if not a lifetime.

Pull the abscessed tooth. If your dentist is unable to preserve the affected tooth, it will be extracted and drained to remove the infected area.

Prescribe antibiotics. If the infection is confined to the abscessed area, you may not need antibiotics. However, if the infection has spread to adjacent teeth, your jaw or other places in the mouth, your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics to stop it from spreading further. Antibiotics also may be recommended if you have a weakened immune system.

If you think you have a dental abscess, contact us straightaway.

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We Have Same-Day Visits for Emergencies

You can walk in at your convenience or contact us straight away in the event of an emergency. There’s no need to wait to get the attention you need. Since dental emergencies happen at any time, we’ll work you into our schedule directly when you call. You’re also free to stop by whenever you want.

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

4 Join the Conversation

  1. Michelle peat says
    Aug 26, 2021 at 12:59 PM

    Thank you The information I have read was very helpful .. Once again thanks Michele pear 😁

  2. Tanya LEE says
    Aug 28, 2021 at 3:36 AM

    Thanks Michelle. So pleased we could help. Stay safe. Artarmon Dentists Team.

  3. Paul Forsythe says
    Nov 21, 2021 at 3:23 PM

    I had a temporary filling fall out and had started to get tooth pain so I got an over the counter filling kit and antibiotics until I was able to get to my dentist. Approx 12 hours after I filled the tooth and abscess took hold. Should I keep the temp filling in place or take it out to release the pressure? Thank you 😊

  4. Rhonda says
    Feb 25, 2023 at 6:18 AM

    thanks for the info, i really needed it. p.s. rhonda

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