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Abscessed Tooth: What are my options?

A dental abscess can be an extremely painful condition, and one of the most common dental emergency conditions that a dentist will deal with.  They often require immediate dental care to rectify, as the cause of an abscess can spread to the patient’s gums and jaws, and make the face appear puffy and swollen.

A dental abscess is a serious consequence of infection within a patient’s tooth, often through diseased tooth roots, or occasionally through trauma to the tooth. However, most patients won’t even know they have a dental abscess until it’s too late, and the pain associated with the abscess begins.

Unfortunately, a dental abscess won’t get better on its own and the only course of action is to visit a dentist for treatment.  Over-the-counter pain treatments may dull the pain, and there may be temporary relief should the abscess burst, but the problem and cause of the abscess remains and sufferers will experience further problems if a dental emergency appointment is not arranged.

Depending on the type and severity of the abscess, the emergency dentist will first drain the abscess in order to relieve pressure and reduce the amount of discomfort the patient experiences. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to combat further infection.

A periodontal abscess, however, will require further treatment. A dentist will clean the area where the abscess formed before closing the gaps between tooth and gum. Periapical abscesses are the most severe, and require dental x-rays to identify the location of the abscess and often require the patient to undergo root-canal treatment. In extreme cases, the tooth may require to be extracted.

An abscess caught in time and treated effectively by a dentist should pose no long-lasting ill effects, aside from a period of tenderness for a few days after treatment.  Leaving an abscess untreated can lead to other, more serious issues, and so fast remedial action in the event of a dental abscess can preserve the tooth and prevent further infection from occurring.

Good dental hygiene, from regular brushing to dentist check-ups are an important part of preventing many dental health issues, including abscesses.

Contact the Barrie Ontario office of Drs. Stephen Crosby and Adam Tan to learn more and to schedule your visit today.