What is an abscess?
Tooth abscesses are sore-like in appearance, and are usually caused by an infection. Abscesses can appear in various places in your mouth, such as on your gums, in your teeth, or your jawbone. They can be very painful, so it's essential that you see your dentist as soon as possible if you think you might have one.
What are the symptoms?
If you think you might have developed a tooth abscess, you might experience the following symptoms:
• Aching or pain in the area of concern that may travel to your ears,
• Sensitivity to the temperature of your food or drink,
• Redness or swelling in your gums or face
Ibuprofen is recommended to help control the pain while you wait to see your dentist and try to consume only cool food and drink while using the opposite side of your mouth. Use a soft toothbrush around the affected area. More advice can be found on the NHS website.
How are they treated?
If you don't get an abscess treated quickly, it'll only get worse, and could even result in you having to have the affected tooth extracted.
To make sure this doesn't happen, your dentist can drain the abscess before treating the tooth to ensure it stays healthy.
How do I prevent getting an abscess?
As always, making sure you regularly visit your dentist for check-ups and maintaining proper oral hygiene at home will go some way in making sure you don't experience pain or discomfort.
Good oral hygiene at home involves brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day, flossing regularly and trying not to rinse your mouth with water after brushing - this can remove the protective layer your fluoride toothpaste leaves behind.
If you think you might have an abscess, or simply want to find out more information, get in touch with your local practice today.