An infected or abscessed tooth is only likely to get worse, so you should treat it as an emergency. If you think you are suffering from an abscess, here are the steps you should take.
Know the symptoms
There are many different symptoms for an infected or abscessed tooth. The most obvious symptom is severe pain in the tooth. This could make it hard to eat and could interfere with your daily life. You may also find that you have a pus-filled lump on the gum that could leak. Other symptoms include swelling around the tooth or in the face, and even a fever in serious cases. If you find yourself with these symptoms, you may have an abscess.
Call your dentist
You should contact an emergency dentist as soon as you can. The abscess will not get better on its own and will need treatment as soon as possible to relieve any pain. You may need antibiotics to deal with the infection, and the dentist may drain the abscess to relieve the pressure. Severe cases may require root canal treatment or even removal of the tooth. The sooner you contact your emergency dentist, the easier the treatment will be.
Use pain relief
While you are waiting to see the dentist, you can use over-the-counter treatments to help deal with any pain. Saltwater mouthwashes can also help to deal with the pain, and you can use cold compresses or ice packs. You should also try to brush your teeth as normal to keep your mouth clean and prevent any further infections from arising.
Eat soft foods
Try not to eat foods that are difficult to chew while you are waiting for treatment. Putting pressure on the tooth is only likely to cause extra discomfort. Eat soft foods, and try to avoid hot or very cold drinks as your infected tooth is likely to be very sensitive.
Don't treat it yourself
Whatever you do, don't try to lance the abscess yourself. This should only be done by your dentist with properly sterilised equipment. If you try to do it yourself, you will only make the infection worse, and you risk causing yourself further injury.
Abscesses can be painful but are easily treated. If you are in pain or have other symptoms of an infected tooth, just call your emergency dentist as soon as possible. You will then receive effective and timely treatment that will remove the cause of your symptoms.
Talk to an emergency dentist for more information.