A dental abscess is a condition that can develop due to a bacterial infection. The infection causes an accumulation of pus in the gums, a tooth, or the bones that keep teeth in their proper place. Signs of an abscess include severe pain in the affected area, pain in the ears or in the neck on the same side as the abscess, and a loose tooth. Abscesses can also lead to pain that worsens when patients lie down, and patients may present with swollen gums and facial swelling. If an abscess progresses, the infection can spread to other parts of the body. This can lead to a fever, and patients may feel generally unwell. The options listed below are typically used in the treatment of a dental abscess.
Open And Drain The Abscess
Dentists may open and drain the abscess to temporarily relieve symptoms. They typically refer to this procedure as incision and drainage, and in it, the patient is given a local anesthetic, and the dentist makes a small cut in the gum of the affected site, draining away the accumulated fluid. The area is then flushed with saline (salt water). This procedure is not a long-term solution, and other methods will need to be used to completely resolve the abscess. Following drainage, patients will need to practice appropriate home-care measures until additional surgery can be arranged. Flushing the area with a saltwater solution daily may be soothing, and sleeping with the head in an elevated position can help with drainage. Acidic and sugary foods and drinks should be avoided. Trying to eat or drink items that are very hot or very cold will be painful and should not be done.
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