Does Dental Abscess Need Treatment and Can It Be Prevented?

Complications, Treatment and Prevention

If you find out that you may have a dental abscess, it is possible that pain associated with it may subside. Depending on severity, the abscess may resolve on its own. However, it can also mean that the infection is spreading and can become chronic. It may cause serious complications in the long run. Know what treatment options are there to arrest the infection once and for all.

What are the complications of untreated dental abscess? Remember that dental pus is full of bacteria, and though in most cases these infections are treatable, if you delay treatment, some serious complications may arise. One example is osteomyelitis of the jaw, when the infection has involved the bone surrounding the abscessed tooth. The abscess may spread to the back of the mouth, leading to parapharyngeal abscess. It’s also possible to have cavernous sinus thrombosis, where the blood vessels within the sinuses get infected. Sepsis is another complication, a life-threatening condition of the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream.

You may experience certain signs and symptoms of these complications, like swelling of the face and neck, burning sensation on the skin, fever, headache, double vision, or difficulty of breathing or swallowing. Confusion and an increased heart rate have also been reported.

Dental treatment consists of removing the abscess. Drainage of the pus is initiated when a fistula has formed at the site of infection. It’s a passageway created by the pus from the infected tooth that drains to the outside. A tiny bump appears on the gum tissue that indicates the passageway. Your dentist has to drain it and clean it. Antibiotics may be prescribed.

If the pus is within the tooth, your dentist will drill a small access into the tooth and let the pus drain out. If the tooth can still be saved as the damage is not too extensive, a root canal or a new crown may be required. Otherwise, a tooth extraction is indicated and then the drainage of the pus follows.

Can dental abscesses be prevented? You can avert its occurrence by maintaining good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly can keep bacterial plaque from building up. Also, when you visit your dentist regularly, you can avoid future oral health issues such as abscesses.


Preventing Dental Abscesses in Bellevue

Do not ignore the symptoms of dental abscess. When you experience their signs and symptoms, see your Bellevue dentist immediately.