What to do When a Dental Abscess Strikes

Treating this painful problem at Arthur House Dental Care in Sutton Coldfield.

Whilst breaking a tooth or simple decay can be the cause of a toothache, without a doubt, one of the most painful types of toothache is caused when an abscess is present. Although initially the pain can be relatively mild, leaving the patient happy to ignore it in the hope that it will go away, within days it will become obvious that this is not the case and the severe pain will usually cause the patient to seek out urgent dental treatment.

The abscess

An abscess is caused by a bacterial infection which results in pus building up usually underneath the tooth but it may also occur in the supporting gum and bone; this latter type is known as a periodontal abscess. Both types can not only cause a very painful toothache but also soreness as well as potentially swelling of the face and a general feeling of being unwell.

Significant facial swelling can be dangerous and if the patient has difficulty in breathing or has a high temperature, then urgent help should be sought immediately. If you call our Sutton Coldfield dental practice and explain your symptoms to our reception team, we will do all that we can to see you the same day. If this is not possible, we will discuss with you the best action to take to help you find urgent dental care.

Abscess treatment

Whilst antibiotics may, in some cases, be used to treat the symptoms of the abscess, it is unlikely that they will cure the underlying condition which lead to the abscess in the first place. This usually occurs when the central core of the tooth is infected and, in the vast majority of cases, this is likely to mean a root canal procedure.

Whilst you are waiting for your dental appointment, ibuprofen or paracetamol may be taken to ease the discomfort until your appointment at Arthur House Dental Care, based in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham.

It should be noted that in some cases, it may not be possible to save the infected tooth using a root canal procedure and it may need to be extracted instead. This is unfortunate but will act to prevent the infection spreading to the bone which can cause serious problems. Needless to say though, if the tooth can be saved, this is the route that we will take.

To perform the root canal procedure the dentist will remove the top of the tooth following the application of a local anaesthetic. The infected inner pulp will then be removed leaving a hollow tooth which is then cleaned to ensure effective removal of any infection. It will then be filled and capped with a dental crown to not only give it a more natural appearance but also to give the tooth additional strength. For cases where complex root canal treatment is required, you may be referred to the care of a specialist endodontist.

If you have an abscess, you should not ignore it even if the pain is bearable. The likelihood is that it will become more intense and in some cases the infection can lead to the bone in the mouth area becoming affected too.

In the first instance, please call our Sutton Coldfield dentist on 0121 323 4492 and ask our reception team for an urgent appointment.