A tooth abscess is an infection of the tooth that is usually caused by caries or gum disease, as well as a serious tooth injury that affects the pulp, such as a fracture. The result is a purulent infection that is painful and requires immediate medical attention to prevent tooth loss and the spread of the infection to the surrounding teeth, as well as the facial bones or sinuses. If you have to wait a day or two to see your dentist, there are several home remedies you can use while you wait to relieve the discomfort of an abscess.
Method 1 of 2: Waiting for Medical Treatment
Step 1. Make an appointment with your doctor
If you suspect you have a tooth abscess, the first step you should take is to immediately make an appointment with your dentist. Symptoms of a tooth abscess include fever, pain when chewing, bad taste in the mouth, bad breath, swelling of the glands in the neck, redness and swelling of the gums, discoloration of the teeth, swelling of the upper and lower jaw, or sores filled with pus. gum.
- Tooth abscesses are not always painful. Severe tooth infection will eventually kill the pulp inside the tooth root. At that time, the tooth will lose its taste sensation. However, this doesn't mean you're okay. The infection in the tooth is still active, and if left unchecked will cause more serious problems.
- Depending on the bacteria causing the infection and the body's immune system, an abscess can even cause facial changes due to the continuous accumulation of pus in the oral tissues.
Step 2. Gargle with warm salt water
Do this treatment after every meal so that food debris does not irritate the abscess further. This treatment can also temporarily relieve tooth pain.
- Dissolve 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of salt in 1 cup (250 ml) of warm (not hot) water, then use it to rinse and clean your mouth. Discard, then try again.
- Keep in mind that while it may make you feel better, gargling with salt water will NOT cure a tooth abscess. You should still see your dentist because the symptoms of an abscess may be exacerbated by an anaerobic infection that can spread quickly.
Step 3. Use an over-the-counter pain reliever for pain and fever
Medications such as paracetamol (Panadol), naproxen (Aleve), Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) can help relieve tooth pain while you wait for your scheduled appointment with your dentist.
- Use medication as directed, even if it doesn't completely relieve your toothache.
- Be aware that these medications can also reduce fever, and may mask a fever caused by an infection. While using the medication, watch for other symptoms that may indicate that the tooth infection is getting worse.
Step 4. Seek emergency medical attention if severe symptoms begin to occur
Dental infections can spread quickly and affect the whole body (not just the teeth). If you experience any of the following symptoms, go to the emergency department immediately: swelling of an abscess that is getting bigger in the jaw or face, swelling that extends to the entire face or neck, changes in skin color, fever, vertigo, weakness, visual disturbances, chills, nausea, vomiting, or pain that is unbearable and cannot be relieved by over-the-counter medications.
Method 2 of 2: Undergoing Medical Treatment
Step 1. Visit the dentist to have the abscess examined and cleaned
The dentist will most likely try to clean the abscess by making a small incision, ideally after applying anesthetic to the affected area. This action serves to drain the pus. The dentist will then perform further examinations to determine what further treatment may be needed.
Keep in mind that in some cases, anesthesia is not needed because the patient does not feel any pain at all. Sometimes, some of the pus has come out through a small hole in the gum called a fistula
Step 2. Get a root canal treatment
Your dentist may recommend root canal treatment, which can be done in person at the clinic, or by a specialist. During root canal treatment the dentist will drill into the tooth and remove the infected pulp, thoroughly sterilize the root canal, and then fill and seal the spaces within the tooth, and fill the cavities with implants or even crowns if needed. With proper care, teeth that have undergone this procedure can remain intact for life.
Step 3. Extract the tooth
In some cases, root canal treatment is impossible or impossible, so your tooth will have to be extracted. A normal tooth extraction procedure only takes a few minutes. First, the dentist will anesthetize the painful area with a local anesthetic, then cut the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, the dentist will use forceps to clamp the tooth and wiggle it back and forth to loosen it, before finally pulling it out.
- Be sure to treat a tooth extraction wound after an abscess. The dentist will provide detailed treatment guidelines that you must follow carefully. Treatment after tooth extraction includes: using gauze to control bleeding on the first day, allowing blood clots to form in the extraction wound, and maintaining oral hygiene while your wound heals.
- Call your dentist immediately if you have problems such as bleeding that doesn't stop, or if the pain doesn't improve within a few days, or if it comes back.
Step 4. Use the antibiotics prescribed by the doctor
Antibiotics are an important part of treating an abscess and are necessary to ensure the infection is completely resolved and does not recur. Antibiotics can also help prevent severe pain, such as that caused by dry socket.
Step 5. Remember that a tooth abscess is a serious, life-threatening problem
This problem should be handled properly. If dental treatment is not covered by your insurance, try to find a free or cheap dental clinic near you. Keep in mind that the cost of having a tooth extracted by any dentist should not exceed IDR 1,000,000.
- If a tooth abscess appears (a lump in the gum of one of the teeth), the dentist will not be able to remove it right away. You should take antibiotics for at least two days to reduce the risk of bacteremia.
- Don't hesitate to visit the emergency room if you have symptoms of a severe infection. Treatment in the emergency room may not fix a tooth problem, but it will help cure the infection, even if you don't have health insurance.