Symptoms Of A Tooth Abscess
In the early stages it can be tough to tell if your symptoms are due to a tooth abscess or something else because many of the symptoms that indicate you have a tooth abscess can also indicate other health problems. The most common symptoms of a tooth abscess are:
Swelling of the cheek and face
Red or angry looking gums
Constant bad taste in the mouth
The most reliable symptom of a tooth abscess is pain, because when your tooth or gums are painful and sensitive you can be sure there is some sort of a problem with your teeth. Usually you will experience some pain as the abscess breaks through the enamel to the actual center of the tooth so if you start to feel pain in your tooth dont ignore that. Dont wait until the pain is searing and intense when the infection hits the root of the tooth to get it treated.
This is not dental care advice and should not be substituted for regular consultation with your dentist. If you have any concerns about your dental health, please contact your dentist’s office.
Links to external sites are provided for your convenience in locating related information and services. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents and employees expressly disclaim any responsibility for and do not maintain, control, recommend, or endorse third-party sites, organizations, products, or services and make no representation as to the completeness, suitability, or quality thereof.
Get Rid Of Your Earache With Convenientmd Visit Any Of Our Urgent Care Locations Around Nh Me And Ma
Ear pain can be more than uncomfortableit can be a sign of something dangerous and should never go overlooked. Visit any of our urgent care locations today to get treated by our expert team of medical professionals. Were open 8am-8pm, 7 days/week with locations in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.
Signs In Young Children
As babies are unable to communicate the source of their discomfort, it can be difficult to tell what’s wrong with them. Signs that a young child might have an ear infection include:
- raised temperature
- pulling, tugging or rubbing their ear
- irritability, poor feeding or restlessness at night
- coughing or a runny nose
- unresponsiveness to quiet sounds or other signs of difficulty hearing, such as inattentiveness
- loss of balance
Also Check: Will Augmentin Help A Tooth Infection
Do Ear Infections Always Need To Be Treated With Antibiotics
Many parents bring their children with ear infections to Express Care, Urgent Care and even the Emergency Department to request antibiotics. But, sometimes, antibiotics arent the right choice. Most ear infections cure themselves without the help of antibiotics.
An ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection that affects the ear. It becomes painful when buildups of fluid and inflammation occur in the air-filled space behind the eardrum, says Leanna Munoz, Mayo Clinic Health System nurse practitioner. Signs and symptoms of infection often quickly show.
Munoz says a great way to tell if your child has an ear infection is if he or she starts showing the following symptoms:
- Pain in the ear, especially while lying down
- Pulling or tugging the ear
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds
- Fever or headache
Generally, an ear infection will improve within the first couple days and clear up within one to two weeks without any treatment. It is recommended to use the wait-and-see approach for:
- Children age 6 to 23 months with mild inner-ear pain in one ear for less than 48 hours and a temperature less than 102.2 F
- Children age 2 and older with mild inner-ear pain in one or both ears for less than 48 hours and a temperature less than 102.2 F
When Should I Talk To A Doctor About An Ear Infection
If the ear infection symptoms dont improve within a few days, make a primary care appointment. Other signs that its time to see a doctor include:
- Ear pain that lasts more than two days
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Changes or loss of hearing
- Fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit
- Frequent or recurrent ear infections
You May Like: Left Side Pain Urinary Tract Infection
Where Is The Middle Ear
The middle ear is behind the eardrum and is also home to the delicate bones that aid in hearing. These bones are the hammer , anvil and stirrup . To provide the bigger picture, lets look at the whole structure and function of the ear:
The ear structure and function
There are three main parts of the ear: outer, middle and inner.
- The outer ear is the outside external ear flap and the ear canal .
- The middle ear is the air-filled space between the eardrum and the inner ear. The middle ear houses the delicate bones that transmit sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear. This is where ear infections occur.
- The inner ear contains the snail-shaped labyrinth that converts sound vibrations received from the middle ear to electrical signals. The auditory nerve carries these signals to the brain.
Other nearby parts
- The eustachian tube regulates air pressure within the middle ear, connecting it to the upper part of the throat.
- Adenoids are small pads of tissue above the throat and behind the nose and near the eustachian tubes. Adenoids help fight infection caused by bacteria that enters through the mouth.
Recommended Reading: Frequent Bladder Infections After Intercourse
Medicines For Outer Ear Infection
Your GP may recommend or prescribe the following medicines to treat your outer ear infection and ease your symptoms.
- Over-the-counter painkillers. Your GP may recommend over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to help ease any pain. They may prescribe codeine if your pain is severe.
- Ear drops or sprays. Your GP may prescribe ear drops or a spray containing an antibiotic or an antifungal. Sometimes this may be combined with a corticosteroid. You usually need to use these for at least seven days and up to a maximum of 14 days.
- Antibiotic tablets or capsules. Oral antibiotics arent usually needed for outer ear infections. But your GP may prescribe them if you have a serious infection or an infection that cant be treated with ear drops and sprays. Your GP may refer you to a specialist if you need oral antibiotics.
Always read the instruction leaflet that comes with your medicines. If you have any questions about your medicines and how to take them, ask your pharmacist. We have more information on applying ear drops in our FAQ: What is the best way to apply ear drops?
Also Check: Does Amoxicillin Help With Yeast Infection
Fluid Buildup And Surgery
Doctors may consider surgery for children who have repeat ear infections or who keep getting fluid behind the eardrum. Procedures include inserting ear tubes or removing adenoids and, in rare cases, the tonsils.
Fluid behind the eardrum after an ear infection is normal. And, in most children, the fluid clears up within 3 months without treatment. If your child has fluid buildup without infection, you may try watchful waiting.
Have your child’s hearing tested if the fluid lasts longer than 3 months. If hearing is normal, you may choose to keep watching your child without treatment.
If a child has fluid behind the eardrum for more than 3 months and has significant hearing problems, then treatment is needed. Sometimes short-term hearing loss occurs. This is especially a concern in children ages 2 and younger. Normal hearing is very important when young children are learning to talk.
If your child is younger than 2, your doctor may not wait 3 months to start treatment. Hearing problems at this age could affect how well your child can speak. This is also why children in this age group are closely watched when they have ear infections.
How Much Does It Cost To Treat An Ear Infection
A recent study conducted by UCLA found that ear infections in children account for nearly $3 billion in health expenses each year. Typical healthcare costs associated with ear infections include:
- Initial and follow-up doctor visits: Although the price of a doctor visit varies by region and your insurance provider, the average copay in the United States for a visit is between $5 and $75. For patients without insurance, a doctors visit can cost an average of $25 to $250.
- Over-the-counter treatments: Most ear infections are viral and can cure themselves with time. In this case, your doctor may recommend Tylenol, ibuprofen or warm olive oil drops for pain managementcosts for these treatments are minimal. If pain does not improve within 42-78 hours or your child develops a fever over 102°F, you may need an antibiotic.
- Antibiotics: If your childs infection is bacterial, your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic. Depending on your insurance provider, typical copays for antibiotics can cost anywhere from $5 to $50. Patients without insurance can expect an average cost up to $110 for a seven-day prescription.
Recommended Reading: Natural Treatment For Tooth Infection
What Causes An Abscess Tooth
Technically the infection causes the abscess, but its the cavity or hole that allows the infection to get inside the tooth or the gum. Cavities are caused by dental caries or tooth decay. Dental caries is the wearing away of the enamel on a tooth caused by bacteria in the mouth. Dental caries is caused by eating abrasive foods or foods that have a high sugar content and by drinking liquids that have acids in them. If you eat a lot of sweet foods or drink a lot of sweet fruit juice or soda that are made up of sugar and acidic compounds you are causing dental caries. You can also contribute to tooth decay when you dont brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, or get regular dental cleanings that clean your teeth and gums.
Its also possible to develop cavities and not even realize it if youve had an injury to your teeth. If you were in a car accident, fell off your bike, or injured your teeth in some other way you could have cavities developing and not know it until the cavity had reached the core of the tooth exposing the root and leaving the tooth vulnerable to infection. Knowing the various stages of the formation of an abscess may help you recognize when youre developing an abscess and seek treatment.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Middle
Common symptoms of a middle-ear infection in adults are:
Pain in 1 or both ears
Drainage from the ear
You may also have a fever. Rarely, your balance can be affected.
These symptoms may be the same as for other conditions. Its important totalk with your health care provider if you think you have a middle-earinfection. If you have a high fever, severe pain behind your ear, orparalysis in your face, see your provider as soon as you can.
Also Check: Best Antibiotic For Piercing Infection
Where To Turn For Ear Infection Treatment In St Johns Mi
Ear infections are among the most common ailments for children, but knowing that probably wont provide you with much comfort when your child is experiencing a severe earache and fever. Ouch Urgent Care offers a much better source of comfort for families in the St. Johns, Michigan, area. Our caring and highly skilled medical practitioners can provide you with a speedy diagnosis and reliable ear infection treatment that will get you and your child back to feeling normal again as soon as possible. Ear infections are among the many non-life-threatening conditions we treat faster and more affordably than the emergency room at our walk-in clinic, and were open daily, including weekends, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. We treat patients of all ages, including infants, and we also offer convenient virtual visits to patients who have a video-enabled smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
The Impact Of The Pandemic On Young Peoples Mental Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an unpredictable and massive impact for almost two years now. Many children were forced to attend remote or virtual learning classes. Working parents were forced to work from home while some lost their jobs. The introduction of distance education has been linked to an increase…
Recommended Reading: Cdc Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training
Home Remedies For Ear Pain
Before antibiotics, parents used home remedies to treat the pain of ear infections. Now, with current concern over antibiotic overuse, many of these simple remedies are again popular:
- Parents can press a warm water bottle or warm bag of salt against the ear. Such old-fashioned remedies may help to ease ear pain.
- Due to the high risk of burns, ear candles should not be used to remove wax from ears. These candles are not safe or effective for treatment of ear infections or other ear conditions.
- Researchers are studying the protective value of probiotics especially lactobacilli strains such as acidophilus. But it is important not to give your child any herbal remedies or dietary supplements without consulting with the pediatrician.
What Causes Middle Ear Infections
Most middle ear infections occur when an infection such as a cold, leads to a build-up of mucus in the middle ear and causes the Eustachian tube to become swollen or blocked.
This mean mucus can’t drain away properly, making it easier for an infection to spread into the middle ear.
An enlarged adenoid can also block the Eustachian tube. The adenoid can be removed if it causes persistent or frequent ear infections. Read more about removing adenoids.
Younger children are particularly vulnerable to middle ear infections as:
- the Eustachian tube is smaller in children than in adults
- a child’s adenoids are relatively much larger than an adults
Certain conditions can also increase the risk of middle ear infections, including:
- having a cleft palate a type of birth defect where a child has a split in the roof of their mouth
- having Down’s syndrome a genetic condition that typically causes some level of learning disability and a characteristic range of physical features
You May Like: Should I Go To Urgent Care For Ear Infection
Treatment For An Ear Infection
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents bring their children to the doctor. While adults can also get ear infections, they are less common.
Ear infections are painful due to inflammation and pressure from built-up fluid in the ears, but most cases resolve themselves within a few days to a few weeks.
Depending on the severity and cause of your ear infection, your doctor may or may not prescribe medication to speed along recovery. You can easily treat symptoms of an ear infection at home.
You can usually identify an ear infection by earache, difficulty hearing, fever, and a lack of energy. The treatment method for an ear infection depends on the type.
For the most part, swimmers ear and middle ear infections are not serious and resolve themselves within a few days to a few weeks. Inner ear infections are more complicated and can be difficult to treat.
What Matters Most To You
Your personal feelings are just as important as the medical facts. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and show how you feel about the following statements.
Reasons to give your child antibiotics
Reasons to wait and see
Im not worried about the risk of side effects from antibiotics.
Im worried that my child could have side effects from antibiotics.
I want to get my childs infection taken care of now.
Im willing to wait a couple of days for the infection to go away on its own.
Im not concerned that using antibiotics a lot could make them not work in the future.
Im concerned that antibiotics might not work in the future if my child uses them a lot.
I dont want to spend money on medicine my child may not need.
Recommended Reading: Can You Do Root Canal On Infected Tooth
What Are The Types Of Middle
Infections can affect the middle ear in several ways. They are:
Acute otitis media. This middle-ear infection occurs suddenly. It causes swelling and redness. Fluid and mucus become trapped inside the ear. You can have a fever and ear pain.
Otitis media with effusion. Fluid and mucus build up in the middle ear after the infection goes away. You may feel like your middle ear is full. This can continue for months and may affect your hearing.
Chronic otitis media with effusion. Fluid remains in the middle ear for a long time. Or it builds up again and again, even though there is no infection. This type of middle-ear infection may be hard to treat. It may also affect your hearing.
Should I Go To The Doctor For An Ear Infection
If youre dealing with ear pain and still asking yourself, Should I go to the doctor for an ear infection? the right answer depends on your symptoms and situation. There are times, especially if your baby has an ear infection, you should go to the doctor right away. But in most cases, you can probably wait out an ear infection on your own.
Think you might have an ear infection and arent sure who to see, contact us and well get you the help you need.
Also Check: Can I Get An Infection From A Dental Cleaning
Symptoms Of A Middle Ear Infection
In most cases, the symptoms of a middle ear infection develop quickly and resolve in a few days. This is known as acute otitis media. The main symptoms include:
- a lack of energy
- slight hearing loss – if the middle ear becomes filled with fluid
In some cases, a hole may develop in the eardrum and pus may run out of the ear. The earache, which is caused by the build-up of fluid stretching the eardrum, then resolves.