What Happens to the Abscess After Tooth Extraction

What Happens to the Abscess After Tooth Extraction

What Happens to the Abscess After Tooth Extraction

A dental abscess can be very painful and lead to more serious health concerns when left untreated for too long, so if you develop symptoms of a dental abscess, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.

But what is an abscess and what’s the best treatment for it? Let’s take a look.

What’s an Abscess?

What’s an Abscess?

An abscess is a collection of pus caused by an infection that can be very painful due to the inflammation it causes, putting pressure on the tissue and nearby bones. Abscesses can occur anywhere in the body, as your immune system produces a large quantity of white blood cells to help fight the infection, causing the build-up of pus.

Dental abscesses occur beneath the teeth in the area of soft tissue in the gums known as the dental pulp. As your tooth has a nerve reaching into the gums in this area, a dental abscess can be very painful, causing severe throbbing pain in the gums and jaw, and even causing ear pain and headaches.

Other symptoms of dental abscesses include:

  • Redness of the gums or cheek
  • Swelling in the gums or face
  • A high temperature and fever-like symptoms
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink
  • Severe pain when opening the mouth or chewing food

When experiencing toothache you should take painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen to reduce the discomfort and allow you to carry on your normal daily activities. However, if after a few days, the pain is still there or if the painkillers aren’t effective at reducing the pain, you should see a dentist as soon as possible for treatment.

How Do You Treat a Dental Abscess?

How Do You Treat a Dental Abscess?

Dental abscesses do not go away on their own so you need to see a dentist for treatment; which treatment option they propose depends on the severity of the infection.

The four main options to treat a dental abscess are:

  • Draining the abscess
  • Performing a root canal
  • Extracting the affected tooth
  • Prescribing antibiotics

In most cases, the dentist will have to drain the abscess as well as remove the tooth, or remove the pus via a root canal in order to save the tooth; if the abscess has been caused by severe tooth decay allowing harmful bacteria to infect the dental pulp, the dentist will need to remove the tooth as well. Antibiotics are not sufficient to help the abscess alone and will only be given as well as another procedure to remove the pus, to help protect the neighbouring teeth.

When draining the abscess, your dentist will make a small incision and flush the pus out of the area with a saline solution. This will also reduce swelling, but you will be recommended ibuprofen for a few days after the procedure to relieve pain and further reduce the swelling in your gum.

A root canal involves drilling into the tooth to access the infection below, drain the abscess and refill the tooth with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. If the tooth is too badly affected, your dentist will extract it and drain the abscess below. Both root canals and tooth extractions will be performed under local anaesthetic so you won’t feel any pain.

Never attempt to pull a tooth yourself; the only safe way to relieve toothache by removing a tooth is by seeing a dentist. If your tooth infection has spread or is at risk of spreading, or if you have a weakened immune system, you’ll also be given antibiotics to fight the infection.

Does a Tooth Extraction Get Rid of an Abscess?

A tooth extraction is one of the best and most common ways of getting rid of an abscess. The most common cause of dental abscesses is tooth decay, which can occur when teeth aren’t sufficiently cleaned or a person has a diet which is high in sugar, so the sugar and bacteria in the mouth cause a build-up of plaque, which eats away at the enamel protecting the tooth, causing holes known as cavities.

When cavities form, the teeth can no longer sufficiently protect the sensitive dental pulp from food particles and bacteria, so infections are more common. In this case, the tooth needs to be removed for the area to heal and lower the risk of infections developing.

However, where possible, the dentist will perform a root canal so you can keep the tooth if it is sufficiently healthy and the abscess has been caused by another factor such as injury or radiotherapy.

What Happens to the Abscess After Tooth Extraction?

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If you’re having a tooth extracted to drain an abscess, there will be no abscess after your tooth extraction and drainage procedure.

Once most of the infected tissue has been removed, your body will begin to fight the infection naturally, allowing the hole from your extracted tooth to close and the swelling to go down so you can get back to your normal life before the abscess formed causing great pain. The socket will heal within a few days or up to several weeks, depending on the size of the abscess and how many teeth it has affected.

You will need to follow the aftercare advice from your dentist to know what to do and what not to do after your procedure to ensure you effectively keep the area clean and allow your body to fight the infection and heal the socket.

A common issue following tooth extractions when people don’t follow their aftercare advice is dental infections, so it’s crucial you take great care of oral hygiene after a procedure to ensure it can heal well and prevent further complications.

What to Do if You Get an Infection After Tooth Extraction

After you’ve had a tooth extracted, your body will form a blood clot, a jelly-like reddish-brown blob that covers the open socket to prevent bacteria and food from entering the gap. If this is disturbed or does not form, the wound remains open and is liable to develop an infection. This is known as a dry socket.

You should check the formation of your blood clot periodically to ensure your wound is healing well, however, if you develop more pain, swelling or pus in the wound, you should see your dentist as soon as possible as it’s likely you have a dental infection.

An emergency dentist will prescribe antibiotics to help treat the infection and drain the area if necessary to allow the area to heal. If the infection goes untreated after a tooth extraction, it can easily spread to the jaw requiring a bone graft, or become septic, a serious condition where an infection travels to other organs through the blood.

As timing is essential when tooth infections develop to prevent them from spreading, it may be better to pay to see a private dentist than risk waiting too long for an NHS appointment and your infection spreading.

How to Look After Your Mouth After Tooth Extraction

How to Look After Your Mouth After Tooth Extraction

Your dentist will give you a list of dos and don’ts following your tooth extraction, but the most important things to remember are:

The gum will heal at different rates for different people following a tooth extraction, however, this is the best advice to follow to avoid disturbing the blood clot and prevent a dry socket from forming.

Didsbury Dental Practice – 24 Hour Dentist in Manchester

Seeing a private dentist may be more expensive than visiting an NHS practice, but we can guarantee that you’ll receive appointment times that are convenient for you, longer appointments and more thorough care with high-tech equipment at private dentists like Didsbury Dental Practice. Contact us today to book your appointment.

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