When we hear the word abscess, all we can think of is pain! A tooth abscess is an infection caused by bacteria which can originate from the tooth or gums. It could be painful and also lead to pus formation. In both situations, the infection has to be treated by either draining or taking antibiotics.
Home remedies before visiting a dentist
If you are under pain and think it is a tooth abscess, then call your dentist immediately. Symptoms include sensitivity to either cold or hot food, severe toothache, swelling along the jaw line and running temperature. While waiting for the dentist to treat you, you can rinse with warm salt water. Its antibacterial properties will provide the much needed relief and also rinse away some bacteria. You can also take some prescribed pain killers to reduce the pain and fever.
Ways to get rid of an abscess
Once at the dentist clinic, the dentist will examine the infection. If the infection has originated from the tooth, then it could have been because of tooth decay or a fracture on the tooth that happened ages ago. In order to fix the tooth, root canal has to be done. By this procedure the dentist will drill the infected tooth to remove the diseased tissue. The cavity is then filled and capped with porcelain covering. This treatment gives you the benefit of cleaning the infected area without losing your tooth. If there are cracks in the enamel, it can provide an opening for the bacteria to gather within the broken tooth or in the pulp (inside the tooth). In case, the cavity or the fracture is too deep, then the dentist will recommend tooth extraction.
If the abscess is due to infected gums, then it needs to be controlled before it spreads to other areas. The cause for gum disease is when plaque and tartar remains stuck to the teeth for a long time. Once you have undergone an antibiotic course, you will need deep root scaling or gum surgery to remove the infection.
Prevention is better than cure
To avoid a tooth abscess, brush twice daily and use floss to clean in between the teeth. Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Limit intake of high-sugar foods such as baked items, bread, etc. Visit dentist on a regular basis.
An abscess if not treated properly can spread to other facial bones and parts of the body. See a doctor immediately to get rid of a tooth abscess.