What can you do if you have a tooth abscess? This article will help you understand tooth abscess treatment options, so that you can decide on the right path to get better. Read on to learn more about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of tooth abscesses.
There are many possible causes of toothache, including tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist may also be able to determine whether your toothache is caused by an abscess. An abscessed tooth will often be very painful. It may even begin to swell and bulge out of place. A swollen or discolored face can also be a sign that you have an abscessed tooth, as these symptoms are caused by inflammation and infection in your sinuses.
Tooth Infections Are Painful
Tooth infections, or abscesses, are known for their intense pain. When an infection occurs in a tooth, bacteria is trapped inside of it and causes inflammation. The swelling leads to sharp stabbing pains that spread throughout your entire face. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important that you see a dentist right away because abscesses can develop into other serious conditions if left untreated. Here’s what you need to know about tooth abscess treatment.
Painkillers Don’t Treat Tooth Infections
If you have pain due to a tooth abscess, take some over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. They can alleviate some of your pain so that you can treat your infection properly. If you don’t have an infection, take them anyway: they are also effective at killing tooth pain from other types of tooth issues like cavities and gum disease. But if your toothache is accompanied by a fever or other symptoms, see a dentist as soon as possible; there might be another problem going on in addition to an abscess that requires more aggressive treatment.
A Tooth Abscess May Develop
If you’ve been suffering from severe tooth pain and swollen gums, a tooth abscess may be behind it. A small cavity or crack in your tooth can grow into an infection. And if left untreated, your tooth abscess can spread through your jaw and cause a slew of other problems such as ear pain, sinus pressure, fever and chills. But don’t worry—with an understanding of what causes a tooth abscess and how best to treat it (at home or with professional care), you’ll know how to get rid of that nasty problem once and for all.
When Should I See a Dentist?
A tooth abscess usually occurs when bacteria enters a tooth through cracks, chips, or deep cavities. Bacteria can also be introduced into a tooth if you accidentally bite on something that’s dirty or has bacteria on it (like a popsicle stick, for example). The infection can also be caused by some sort of trauma to your mouth, like grinding your teeth at night. Tooth abscesses often cause sharp pain in one specific area of your mouth and sometimes even swelling and sensitivity. Redness is another common symptom of an abscessed tooth; you may see a red streak running up or down one side of your face (the infected side). If you have any questions about what is causing your symptoms, give our office a call!
When Should I See an Oral Surgeon?
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see an oral surgeon as soon as possible. Tooth abscesses are highly treatable—and if left untreated, can cause serious complications. If you wait too long, a simple tooth abscess could become much more serious and even life threatening. That’s why it’s crucial that you visit your dentist or oral surgeon for treatment as soon as possible.
How Do I Prepare for an Appointment?
First, you need to find a dentist who can treat your abscess. Look for a dentist with advanced training and expertise in general dentistry, periodontics (gum disease), or oral surgery. Specialty organizations like AAOMS can help you locate a specialist near you. Make sure that your appointment is with an endodontist or oral surgeon, not just any dentist — some dental practices have both specialists and generalists on staff, but they tend to focus on different things. If it’s not clear whether someone has special training or experience treating tooth abscesses (or other causes of jaw pain), ask!
Where Will the Procedure Take Place?
A dentist will perform a tooth abscess treatment in his or her office. Some procedures, such as a tooth abscess removal, are done with local anesthesia; other procedures like root canal therapy may require oral sedation. And some cases may require intravenous sedation. It depends on where you have an abscess and how much swelling is present. After completing your procedure, you should be able to return home shortly afterward. If your dentist gives you pain medication after a tooth abscess removal procedure, it’s important not to drive for at least 12 hours after taking that medication. Don’t eat anything solid until your dentist gives you approval.
Will My Insurance Cover This Procedure?
One of your first considerations in treating a tooth abscess is whether or not you will need to pay for treatment out of pocket. Does your insurance cover it? Do you have a high deductible, and if so, how much will you have to pay upfront? How much can it cost? The answers depend on where you live, what type of abscessed tooth you have, and which procedure your dentist recommends. If you don’t have insurance and can’t afford treatment right away, find out if there are any local dental schools that offer discounted rates on care.
4 Ways to Treat Tooth Abscess at Home
While tooth abscess can be extremely painful, it is usually not life threatening. The most important thing you can do for a tooth abscess is try to stay comfortable and hydrated. Keep your head elevated and eat soft foods that require little or no chewing. Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen can help with any soreness, although it’s always a good idea to check with your dentist before taking medication. Most importantly, contact your dentist about treatment for tooth abscess ASAP. If you’re able to treat a dental abscess at home, there are several methods that you can use; however if symptoms worsen or don’t improve within 48 hours of implementing these treatments, contact your dentist immediately.