When the inside of your mouth gets hurt or irritated, bacteria may enter and cause an infection. Sometimes you will see a painful swelling filled with pus (a thick, yellowish fluid). If the pus can’t drain out, the area will get more swollen and painful. This is known as an abscess. The abscess forms a barrier around the infection. This is one way that your body tries to keep a bacterial infection from spreading.
Abscesses can form very quickly and can be either tooth related or gum related or a combination of both. Sometimes they form only one or two days after the infection starts. Abscesses are always serious because the infection may spread to other parts of the body. Call us for so we can arrange for you to see one of our dentists.
What are your options?
Your dentist may give you a prescription to help control the infection and relieve the pain.
If the infection started inside a tooth, your dentist will make a small hole in the tooth. This allows the abscess to drain. The tooth will need root canal treatment, followed by a filling or a crown.
If an abscess is very large or the tooth is badly damaged, you may need to have the tooth removed. A large abscess often will need to be drained.