January 19th, 2021 12:00am
Also known as 'dental abscess,' a tooth abscess is essentially a pus pocket that can form in various parts of the tooth due to some kind of underlying bacterial infection. The condition is usually painful, with the intensity of the pain being moderate to severe, often radiating to the neck and/or back.
If left untreated, the condition can soon turn into a life-threatening event.
The type of an abscessed tooth is based on the location where it has formed. With that said, here are the most common types of it:
The most common symptom of an abscess is throbbing pain in the gums and/or tooth. The pain is often sudden but gradually intensifies. If your child is dealing with an abscessed tooth, contact your emergency pediatric dentist asap.
Mostly it's the entrapment of bacteria into your gums and teeth that leads to an abscessed tooth. But, it can happen due to a variety of other causes as well, such as:
Rinsing with salt water can wash away pus and bacteria build-up from the abscess. It can offer some degree of comfort if there's mild pain. Although it may reduce pain to some degree, rinsing alone won't be enough to clear up and prevent further infection. If the problem persists, talk to an emergency dentist near you.
Hydrogen peroxide is excellent for managing bleeding gums and reducing plaque.
Here's how you can use hydrogen peroxide for your dental health:
Take equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and water and mix the two.
You can use this at-home remedy multiple times a day.
An ancient oral hygiene method, oil pulling, can remove toxins built-up in your gums and teeth when performed on an empty stomach. There are some studies that talk about oil pulling helping control bad breath, fighting bacterial growth, and stopping the bleeding gums. However, the research is limited, and we need more scientific evidence.
You can use sesame, olive, and raw coconut oil for oil pulling.
Garlic carries powerful antibacterial and pain-management properties. Here's how you can use garlic in case of an abscessed tooth:
Use an Over-the-counter Pain Reliever
Over-the-counter pain medications can help take the edge off if you're in discomfort due to the abscessed tooth. NSAIDs like ibuprofen are also anti-inflammatory, so they may help with the swelling as well. However, be sure to take only the recommended dosage even if it doesn't fully help you with the pain.
Treatment Options for a Tooth Abscess
Draining the Abscess
This is the most common and effective treatment option for an infected/abscessed tooth. To drain the abscess, your dentist will create a small incision into the affected area so he/she could drain the pus out.
The treatment may also involve washing and irrigating the place of infection with a saline solution and debridement of the narcotic tissue that has no chance of ever healing.
Sometimes it's not possible to entirely drain the abscess. If the infection is severe, it can be difficult to perform local anesthetic as it won't achieve the desired numbing effects.
If the infection is in the lower molar, it can be challenging to numb the patient. In such a case, your doctor may put you first on antibiotics for a few days. The idea is to fight the infection first before he/she could perform an anesthetic to make room for a comfortable and effective treatment.
Root Canal Treatment
Under this procedure, your dentist will remove the arteries, veins, nerves, and infected tissues from the center of the infected root.
RCT is expected when the infection is severe. It helps drain the abscess and fight the infection. Once the infection has healed properly, your dentist may use a crown to restore and preserve the tooth.
Often the last resort, your dentist may suggest extracting the tooth if the infection is beyond treatment. He/she will extract the tooth to drain the abscess so that the area can heal.
If the at-home remedies are unable to treat the abscess, it's paramount that you seek professional dental help. You must not take tooth abscess lightly as it can escalate the problem quickly if left untreated.
Authored by Johnny Bonds