When it comes to dental infections, few are more worrisome than an abscess. As a collection of pus that forms inside your teeth, an abscess can cause pain and swelling that become severe. In many cases, they require the attention of an emergency dentist. If you suspect you have an abscess, it may help to learn more about the myths and facts surrounding them.
Myth: They Go Away With Antibiotics
Like any infection, dental abscesses will respond to antibiotics. Completing a course may result in infection reduction, which in turn tackles the issues of pain and swelling. However, even the strongest course won't banish the abscess entirely. In time, it's likely to come back with a vengeance. The only real way to tackle an abscess is by removing the source of the infection and draining the pus. This may mean removing your tooth or tackling existing decay that'll just keep returning.
Fact: They Can Lead to Infections Elsewhere
One of the biggest risks that come with not treating an abscess is that you develop a systemic infection. An abscess that forms in the pulp of a tooth has access to blood vessels. If the infection begins to spread, it can travel to other parts of your body. In severe circumstances, you may experience a systemic infection called sepsis. The treatment needed for sepsis is much more intense than a simple dental abscess, which is why it's important to address yours urgently.
Myth: Swelling Must Be Present
You can have a dental abscess without experiencing any swelling. If the pain in your tooth is particularly severe and you haven't experienced recent trauma to the area, you may be dealing with an abscess. Consider whether you have other symptoms that indicate a severe infection. For example, feeling generally unwell, having a fever, and experiencing sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages. If you suspect you have an abscess, it's wise to visit an emergency dentist.
Fact: You Can Prevent Abscesses
Abscesses aren't one of life's guarantees. In fact, there's a lot you can do towards preventing them. In addition to maintaining your usual oral hygiene routine, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Use a mouthwash just before you go to bed so that it can tackle bacteria overnight. Limit the amount of sugar you consume, as sugar is bacteria's favourite food. As soon as you notice the signs of gum disease, make sure you visit your dentist so they can tackle the problem in its early stages.
Contact a local emergency dentist to learn more.
Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.