An abscess around a tooth is a painful experience, and can take a week or so of treatment before it is possible for your dentist to deal with the root cause. Any kind of infection is damaging to the gums and often it leaves the gums more vulnerable to future infections. Bacteria is generally the main felon, it forms in the mouth by attaching itself to food particles left between the teeth. This is of course avoidable, says the Central London dentist, by a simple regime and an awareness of the problem in most cases. The first line of treatment is a course of penicillin or a similar drug if you’re allergic, this can take anything from a few days to over a week to bring down the swelling and kill off the infection. The tooth will need to be removed if the infection is reoccurring on the same tooth, but in most cases the tooth can be saved and further occurrences avoided by simply seeing the practice hygienist and taking more time to floss, rinse and remove trapped food after eating. The problem is that because we don’t feel the bacteria working away in our mouths we tend to not be too careful about our teeth, but even healthy teeth are susceptible to infections and gum damage from the bacteria. We need bacteria to enable our food to be broken down and become digestible, but not clearing food particles from those hidden gaps in our teeth is like leaving the washing up for a few days. Would you leave a plate of half eaten food in the kitchen? Your answer is no, so why leave food in the mouth to rot and cause infection, doesn’t make sense does it? So, next time you have a meal think about that bacteria working away your mouth afterwards.