No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

Abscess Related Tooth Pain: Effective Treatment Options

by Jeremiah Barnett

If you develop a severe infection of pulp inside your tooth, then you have an abscess. While a dental abscess may be asymptomatic, it can cause a throbbing toothache, gum inflammation, and a bad taste in your mouth when you bite down, which is caused by the bacteria-rich pus that is surrounding the infected tooth. If you develop any of these symptoms, see your family dentist as soon as possible. Here are some effective treatment options your dentist may recommend for relieving your abscess-related tooth pain.

Removing Infected Material

Your family dentist will remove the infected material from the inside of your tooth by making a small incision to allow the pus to drain. After the pus has been drained, the dentist will thoroughly cleanse the area with a mild saline solution. To further ensure that the dental infection resolves, oral antibiotics may be recommended. Be sure to finish the entire prescription of your antibiotics because failure to take all of your pills may result in a secondary infection or incomplete resolution of the infection.

Certain antibiotics used in general dentistry practices can cause gastrointestinal upset because they not only eliminate bad bacteria but also the "good" or "friendly" bacteria in your digestive system. To help repopulate your colon with healthy bacteria, your family dentist may recommend that you eat probiotic-rich yogurt containing live bacteria such as acidophilus. Once your infection has been treated, your tooth pain will resolve. 

Tooth Extraction

If your dentist is unable to salvage your tooth because of extensive damage, tooth extraction may be necessary to relieve your pain. If you have a severe infection, your dentist may recommend that you take antibiotics before your dental extraction to help prevent the infection from spreading during the procedure.

Antibiotic use before abscess extraction is especially important for those who have heart valve disease because severe dental infections can spread to the heart valves during invasive dental procedures such as oral surgery. After your tooth has been extracted, your dentist may recommend placing a dental implant to take the place of your missing tooth to help prevent the shifting of your other teeth.

If you develop any of the above symptoms of a dental abscess, make an appointment with your family dentist as soon as possible. Getting a prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment will help lower your risk for complications such as infection-causing soft tissue damage, an increase in pain, and a severe body-wide infection known as sepsis, also known as a blood infection.