Abscesses and toothaches are two possible dental problems that may require immediate attention. Knowing what the two are can help you know what kind of treatment you require as well as what you should do if you cannot seek treatment immediately.
The American Academy of Family Physicians describes an abscess as a bacterial infection. Usually there will be pain and swelling around the tooth and in the gum as you can see in this photo. That bulge in the gum is an example of an abscess. Although antibiotic treatment isn’t needed every time to treat an abscess, it is important that you treat the affliction quickly.
Abscesses that are left untreated can spread to other teeth and other gum areas. Serious complications can also occur as the original abscess becomes more difficult to treat.
Toothaches can develop from many different sources, but the end result is the pain you feel and the treatment that is needed. Sometimes you can help a toothache before you see your dentist at your treatment session.
The first thing you can do is floss (do not floss if bleeding occurs!). This sometimes can help to dislodge a particle that may be caught between your teeth. If this is the root cause of the toothache, then you may not need to see a professional dentist if you can dislodge it on your own. However, many toothaches come from cavities and a dentist must deal with those. Another helpful tip is to rinse your tooth in warm water in order to keep the area clean. This can help to keep swelling at a minimum.
If you feel that you have a toothache or abscess, be sure to schedule a visit to your dentist as soon as possible. If your dentist cannot get you in for a week ask for a referral to another dentist or try explaining why you need to come in. Abscesses and toothaches should be treated quickly.