Dental Abscesses; A Guide From A Dental Team

Dental abscesses are commonly believed to be one of the most prevalent presentations in emergency dental surgery. If you suspect that you have a dental abscess, you will need to seek out emergency care before the abscess spreads, causes issues with your jaw bone, or potentially develops into life-threatening sepsis.

In this article, a dentist Coorparoo will introduce you to the symptoms of a dental abscess, how to seek emergency care, and the most common treatment options available for this emergency condition.

man with dental discomfort

Symptoms of dental abscess

As mentioned before, a common symptom of a dental abscess is discomfort. But this kind of discomfort differs from other sorts of dental pain you may experience. It can feel like extreme sensitivity under the tooth or gum, the tooth itself may feel bruised or there may be a burning sensation underneath the gum.

Aside from the discomfort that it causes, there is also usually significant swelling if there is an abscess forming and the gum may even appear discolored looking purple or blue. Not very pleasant at all!

Emergency care

If you suspect that you have a dental abscess, then you need to seek out an emergency dental team to help treat the issue and prevent secondary complications. Most emergency dental teams are available 24-hours a day and should be able to offer you a same-day appointment when you describe the symptoms that you are experiencing over the phone.

Treatment of dental abscess

The treatment for a dental abscess will typically be either a root canal or a dental extraction. But before your dental team can offer these solutions, you will first need to get the infection under control.

This will usually involve the use of antibiotics and booking a follow-up appointment once the infection has subsided. If the pressure is deemed to be extreme, your dental team may decide to alleviate the pressure with medical lancing, but this is very rare.

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Root canal or extraction?

When you attend your dental surgery for your follow-up appointment, there will usually be x-rays. This will help your team to ascertain the next steps in the treatment.

If the infection is caused by decay that has spread to the root of the tooth, they may be able to offer you a root canal to remove the source of the infection and stabilize your tooth.

If, however, the tooth crown itself is in bad condition due to decay or extensive damage, then your dental team may decide to extract the tooth. Due to the aesthetic benefits that accompany a root canal and the preservation that this treatment offers, it is more likely to be the solution to an abscess.

Prevention of dental abscess

Preventing the recurrence of a dental infection will involve you upping your dental hygiene and attending dental check-ups more regularly, so any cavities which may develop into abscesses are caught early and are not allowed to spread to the root of the tooth.

However, if you have an abscess that has been caused by damage or trauma to the tooth, then it may be wise to invest in a mouthguard if the trauma was predicted (e.g. playing rugby). If you suspect that you have a dental abscess, then seek out emergency dental treatment before it becomes uncomfortable!


Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

dental abscess- symptoms and treatment

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