A dental abscess is a bacterial infection in the gums, tooth, or bone around the infected gum. Usually very painful, dental abscesses need to be treated by a dentist as soon as possible as they won’t go away on their own. If left untreated, a dental abscess can severely infect the gums, damage the bone’s integrity, and even spread to other parts of the body and make you ill.
You are probably suffering from a dental abscess if you’re experiencing the following symptoms:
When the dental abscess is located in the root of the infected tooth, a root canal treatment will be the most suitable solution. Followed by applying anaesthetic to numb the area, your dentist will remove part of the tooth enamel to access the roots and will begin the treatment.
Depending on the severity of your condition you may need a couple of appointments during which your dentist will apply medication to cure the bacterial infection. X-rays may also be needed at your initial appointment to fully asses your condition. Once the infection has been cured and the gums are again healthy, your dentist will apply a permanent filling and close the tooth.
If you feel anxious about having root canal treatment done, take a look at our sedation page will give you more information about the methods we use to manage dental pain during procedures.
If the infected tooth is severely damaged or the dental abscess challenging to treat in a particular case, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction. The removal will help release the collected pus in the dental abscess and offer immediate pain relief.
Although tooth extraction is not the preferred treatment by most dentists, in some cases, it is the best solution to help preserve your overall oral and general health.
Performed by one of our dentists or specialists, highly-specialised in delivering emergency dental treatments, drainage of your dental abscess may be the quickest way to relieve the pain and remove the collected pus. Typically followed by other therapies, draining involves a minimal incision in the gum.
Sedation is always used during this procedure to ensure there’s no sensitivity in the area, and an antiseptic mouth wash is typically required to help cure the infection.
Whether we realise it or not, our mouths are full of bacteria. It creates the plaque around our teeth, which can quickly enter the gums if our oral hygiene is not superb. There are several factors which can cause a dental abscess, but the good news is that in almost all cases we can prevent it.