How Is An Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed
In addition to examining the tooth and surrounding tissue for signs of infection, your dentist may:
- Recommend an X-ray. This can help identify sources of dental disease that may have led to the infection. Your dentist can also use X-rays to determine if the infection has spread and may be affecting other areas.
- Recommend a CT scan. If the infection has spread to other areas within the neck, this will help to identify the extent of the infection.
- Tap and press on your teeth. A tooth with an abscess is often sensitive to touch or pressure.
- Thermal tests. These tests will help your dentist determine the health of your pulpal tissues.
Poor Diets High In Sugar
Eating sugary and processed foods results in the build-up of dental plaque and calculus. Without proper brushing, cleaning, and flossing, tooth decay may develop. Untreated decay can result in a dental abscess later on.
Dental abscesses are caused by harmful bacteria due to poor oral hygiene. Risk factors include mouth trauma, weakened immune systems, poor diets, and tooth cracks, among others.
What Does A Tooth Infection Look Like
Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include: Severe, persistent, throbbing toothache that may radiate to the jaw, neck, or ear. Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Sensitivity to chewing or biting pressure.
Is there over-the-counter amoxicillin?
No, you cannot buy amoxicillin over the counter as it is a prescription antibiotic. A prescription from a licensed doctor is needed to buy amoxicillin from a reputable pharmacy or licensed online doctor.
Can emergencies pull out a tooth?
Not only can they not pull teeth in an emergency room, it is illegal for anyone other than a dentist to perform emergency tooth extraction, emergency root canal treatment, or any other dental work.
What is the best way to treat a dental infection?
One of the most effective ways to cure a tooth infection is to rinse your mouth with a salt water solution. Three parts water, one part salt and rinse your mouth with it. This is a simple solution to kill harmful bacteria that cause tooth infection.
What can I put on my tooth to help it heal?
But it is not clear if this plant really relieves dental pain. Vanilla extract contains alcohol. Alcohol will numb the pain for a while, and the antioxidants in vanilla can help heal it. Use your finger or a cotton ball to put a small amount on your sore teeth and gums. A chilled peppermint tea bag can soothe your sore teeth and gums.
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Facial Swelling Will Not Reduce Without Drainage
Untreated dental abscesses will eventually lead to your face becoming swollen. Antibiotics cannot bring the swelling down without draining the abscess because the swelling is filled with pus. That abscess needs to be popped and drained in order for the pus to come out. As long as the pus remains in the swelling, your face will stay swollen.
If you simply try to take antibiotics without draining it first, you’ll most likely notice that your face will stay swollen even after a few days of taking antibiotics.
Can You Get Rid Of A Tooth Abscess Without Going To The Dentist
It is not possible to get rid of a tooth abscess without going to the dentist because home remedies are unable to eliminate the source of the tooth infection. The source of the mouth infections usually come from the nerve of the tooth or tooth decay, which only a dentist can get rid of.
If you’re able to get rid of the source of the infection you may not even need antibiotics.
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Facial Swelling From A Tooth Infection
Swelling of the face may occur a few days after an untreated gum boil appears or it may take longer. It all depends on how well your body can naturally fight the infection and if you are using any home remedies to slow down the infection.
Treatment of facial swelling will require a visit to the dentist, which includes draining the abscess under local anesthesia and also taking prescribed antibiotics. There is no way to avoid antibiotics when your face swells up because home remedies are not potent enough to clear a tooth infection of that size.
Draining a tooth abscess of this size is usually a very painful procedure even with local anesthesia so our dentists in long island city do not recommend letting it get to this stage. Please see a dentist as soon as the gum boil stage of the abscess is reached!
How Long Does It Take For Amoxicillin To Work For A Tooth Infection
If you take the amoxicillin antibiotic for tooth infection, you may begin to feel better in just one to two days. However, that doesn’t mean that your infection is cured.
You must make sure to take your antibiotics for as many days as specified in your prescription, and even though you may feel better in a couple of days, your infection probably won’t be gone until a week to 10 days have passed.
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How K Health Can Help
Did you know that you can get online dental prescriptions for tooth infections?
to check your symptoms using our symptom checker and text with a doctor in minutes.
K Healths board-certified, U.S.-based doctors can provide a treatment plan and, if required, a prescription to resolve your symptoms as soon as possible. Clinicians are available 24/7.
Tips For Managing Pain
Ibuprofen and similar over-the-counter painkillers can help control dental abscess pain. However, they cant treat the condition.
Only use OTC painkillers that are safe for you and do not prolong their use. Long-term use of OTC painkillers damages your organs.
These are good to take while you wait for your treatment. You can also take them with the antibiotics your dentist prescribes afterward.
Amoxicillin can be used to treat the underlying bacterial infection. However, antibiotics will not cure an abscess. Professional drainage is still necessary. Over-the-counter medications can be used to manage pain before/after your appointment.
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Questions To Ask Your Dentist
If you suspect you have a mouth abscess, here are some questions you may wish to ask your dentist at your appointment:
- Which type of oral abscess do I have?
- What treatment do you recommend?
- Are there any other options for treatment of the infection?
- How long will treatment take, and how many visits will I need?
- Will I need to take time off work to recover?
- How often should I come for check-ups in future?
- What oral care products do you recommend?
In some cases, damaged teeth become discoloured over time. You may want to ask your dentist how likely this is in your case, and what tooth whitening options may be available if you do experience tooth discolouration.
How To Get Antibiotics For A Tooth Infection
You can get antibiotics for a tooth infection from your dentist or doctor, although dentists are preferable due to their experience with tooth infections. Antibiotics are not available over the counter you must have a doctor’s prescription.
Depending on your condition, you may be able to get prescriptions through an online dental consultation.
If you have antibiotics leftover in your medicine cabinet from an old infection, you should not use them. To properly dispose of your antibiotics, take them to your nearest pharmacy.
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Antibiotic Resistance Is One Of The Biggest Threats Facing The World Today Antibiotics Work Less Effectively The More Theyre Taken
Youve probably seen in the news over the past few months that, as a nation, we are becoming more resilient towards antibiotics. Our bodies are basically getting used to us taking them, and therefore they arent as effective in treating what theyre supposed to.
Now with teeth, its an entirely different reason as to why were reluctant to hand them over. Obviously, we dont want you to become unresponsive to any antibiotics we give you, but we usually dont like to give them for one reason: Antibiotics dont cure toothache.
Some Things To Take Into The Consideration Are:
*What are the signs and symptoms?
*Is it a diagnoses that a dentist sees regularly, as some conditions that he/she sees do not need antibiotics, and then some others do need to be treated under the antibiotic coverage.
The dentist might simply drain the infected area, remove the infected area of the tooth, or simply fix it by the root canal treatment. Dentists generally avoid recommending antibiotics, unless the spreading nature of the infection is severe, or if the person suffering has a weakened immune system.
Some examples explaining the need for antibiotics in tooth infections:
In case of spontaneous pain, the diagnosis is often related to the pulpal inflammation. This pulpal inflammation does not necessarily have bacteria. Hence, antibiotics are of no use in such cases.
In the other cases, where the pain is of a chronic type and the sensitivity test comes back negative, there is a possibility that the pulp is dead, and this area of necrosis has become home to some bacteria. Here, even though the bacteria is present causing the infection in the pulp area, the source of infection in most cases is the tooth itself. As the pulp is dead, there is no blood supply, hence the infection is not systemic. In such cases too, the antibiotics are of no use, as the drug cant reach systemically to the area of infection where there is no blood supply.
So then question arises: When should someone use an antibiotic?
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What Is The Best Antibiotic For Gum Infection
A gum infection left untreated can lead to all sorts of problems such as:
- Adult tooth loss
- Soft tissue damage
- Weakening of your jaw bone
Amoxicillin is the best antibiotic for a gum infection. However, if you have an allergy, other antibiotics for gum infection include erythromycin, tetracycline, or metronidazole.
How Do You Draw An Infection Out Of A Tooth Abscess
Saltwater rinse A saltwater rinse will kill off some of the bacteria in your mouth and irrigate your mouth. It can rinse some of the debris out of your mouth and if you have an abscess it can help break up the pus surrounding the tooth. You can use regular table salt and warm tap water to make a basic saltwater rinse.
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Types Of Dental Infections
According to the American Association of Endodontists, you may have an abscessed tooth if you experience pain when chewing, an aching jaw or swollen gums. There are several types of dental infections that could possibly require antibiotic therapy, as the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario outlines:
- Periapical abscess A periapical abscess is an infection around the tip of a tooth’s root, originating from an infected nerve chamber in the tooth. This is the most common dental emergency, and typical symptoms may include visible swelling, sensitivity to hot and cold and a bad taste in the mouth.
- Periodontal abscess A periodontal abscess is a bacterial infection in the gum tissue that can occur if a person is unable to properly clean the pockets in the collar of gum tissue surrounding their teeth. This condition is often associated with periodontal disease and loss of the bone that forms the sockets that support the teeth. Typical symptoms include swelling of the gum tissue and accumulation of pus.
- Combination Abscess This infection is essentially a hybrid of a tooth abscess and an infection in the gums. It usually occurs when a dental abscess remains untreated and the infection spreads into the gum and bone tissues surrounding the tooth.
Tooth Infection Medical Treatment
If you have an abscessed tooth, your dentist may recommend one of the following treatments, depending on how serious the abscess is:
- If you have a simple abscess, your dentist, or a specialist called an endodontist, can do a root canal to get rid of the infection and hopefully save the tooth.
- If the abscess is large, it may need to be drained first before a root canal is done. Your dentist or endodontist will make a small cut in the gum to let the pus out and then rinse the area with saline . They also may put in a small rubber drain to keep the area open and draining while the swelling goes down.
- After the tooth is sealed back up, your dentist can then put on a cap, or crown, as a top layer to protect the tooth and make sure you donât get another abscess.
- If your tooth canât be saved, your dentist might need to pull it, then drain the abscess to get rid of the infection.
Your dentist also might give you antibiotics to make sure the infection doesnât spread to other teeth or other parts of your body. The most common ones used for an abscess include:
How much you take and for how long will depend on the type of antibiotic and your specific situation. But itâs always important to take them exactly as your doctor prescribes.
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How Long Can A Tooth Infection Go Untreated
Since you can’t get rid of a tooth infection without going to the dentist and home remedies can only help alleviate the pain, exactly how much time do you have before the tooth infection gets very bad? At most, a tooth infection can only go untreated for maybe 1-3 days.
The reason is because abscesses will cause facial swelling with each day that it goes untreated. After two to three days, the facial swelling will be incredibly painful and may need to be drained. So, at most you only have about 1-3 days for a tooth infection to be untreated. Our dentists do not recommend to leave a tooth infection untreated for an extended period of time because the tooth abscess can cause severe facial swelling that may be life threatening. There is also the fact that it is extremely painful so why would you leave it swollen?
How To Manage A Tooth Abscess
What if you are unable to seek dental treatment right away?
If you have a tooth abscess and cannot seek urgent dental care, there are a few things you can do to manage it until the opportunity for dental treatment arises.
First, you need to reach out to a doctor for a prescription for antibiotics. As we mentioned earlier, the antibiotics cannot completely cure the infection. However, they are an important tool in stopping the spread of the infection. They can also relieve some of the pain by reducing the pressure of the infection inside the jawbone. You can call your medical or dentist if you have a good relationship with him or her. You can also go to a local urgent care facility. One option that is gaining in popularity is telemedicine, so you may be able to have a virtual doctor consult and receive a prescription for the medication necessary to stop this abscess from worsening.
You can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol and Advil in an alternating schedule to manage your pain. We recommend warm salt-water rinses for one to two minutes of vigorous swishing. You can do this four to five times per day, and it will flush out bacteria from the abscess, reducing inflammation and keeping the site clean.
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What Causes A Tooth Abscess
Anything that creates an opening for bacteria to get into the tooth or surrounding tissues can lead to a tooth infection. Causes include:
- Severe tooth decay: A cavity, or tooth decay, is the destruction of the hard surfaces of the tooth. This occurs when bacteria break down sugars in food and drink, creating acid that attacks enamel.
- Broken, chipped or cracked teeth: Bacteria can seep into any opening in a tooth and spread to the pulp.
- Gum disease : Gum disease is an infection and inflammation of the tissues around the teeth. As gum disease progresses, the bacteria gain access to deeper tissues.
- Injury to the tooth: Trauma to a tooth can injure the inner pulp even if theres no visible crack. The injury makes it susceptible to infection.
What Causes A Tooth Infection
The primary cause of a tooth infection is dental caries, or tooth decay. Your mouth is full of bacteria all the time, but usually that bacteria doesnt get inside your teeth where it can cause an infection. When decay causes cavities and cracks or holes in your teeth, bacteria can seep into your teeth and cause a tooth infection. An infection can also happen if you have an injury to your tooth that causes a crack or a chip in the tooth. Keeping your teeth strong and healthy through regular brushing and flossing can help prevent decay and infections.
Infection can happen in different parts of the tooth. Sometimes the infection occurs on the side of the tooth if there is an opening there and that can cause the infection to spread to the gums. Pockets of pus called abscesses can form around the infection that will need to be drained by the dentist for the infection to go away.
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