What are dental abscesses?
Abscesses are sores, which are filled with pus; they are caused by bacterial infection and they usually cause a lot of pain. Abscesses can develop in many different parts of the body and there are two types, which occur in the mouth. Periapical abscesses develop in the tooth, while periodontal abscesses develop between the tooth and the gum.
Dental abscesses are usually caused by poor oral hygiene.
The main symptoms of a dental abscess are severe, throbbing pain, which tends to come and go, generally feeling unwell, tenderness and swelling around the abscess and a high temperature.
What to do if you have a dental abscess?
If you have a dental abscess, you will need to see a dentist; dental abscesses cannot be treated by GPs because they are not treated with antibiotics like other types of abscess. Treatment for dental abscesses involves cutting away the abscess and draining the fluid and bacteria. If the abscess is in the tooth, root canal treatment is usually recommended. Treatment is carried out under local anaesthetic to prevent discomfort.
Before you get to the dentist’s, you can take over the counter pain relief to ease pain, but make sure you follow the dosage instructions carefully. We also recommend avoiding hot food and drinks and applying ice packs to the area to reduce swelling and pain.