Treating Dental Infections: Tips from a Columbus, Indiana dentist
As a local Columbus, Indiana dentist, White River Dental continues to treat our patients with the goal of helping to achieve long-term oral health, focusing on preventative care to keep our patients healthy in between visits. This includes educating our patients on proper at-home dental care including daily flossing, brushing, and not using tobacco products. During teeth cleanings at our office, we remove bacteria and plaque that the at-home routine wasn't able to remove.
Unfortunately, though, many people don't have regular dental exams, which puts them at risk for cavities, gum disease, or even a dental abscess. When a cavity or gum disease are treated quickly, a dentist is able to remove the infection and save the tooth. Left untreated, infection can spread through the tooth, into the gums, and eventually into the jaw and face bones. This is called an abscess.
What are the symptoms of a dental abscess?
A dental infection, or abscess, is one of the most common, however painful, infections. It is much more severe than an infected tooth or cavity. Pain will often shoot through teeth, gums, and into the jaw, as the face and jaw become red and begin to swell. The entire area may be tenter to the touch and many patients experience flu-like symptoms in addition to the pain. Clearly, this can be a truly miserable experience. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, it is important to contact your dentist immediately so the problem can be diagnosed and treated appropriately.
How is a dental abscess treated?
During the dental exam, the dentist will identify the cause of the infection, clean the area around the abscess, and remove as much of the infection as possible. This is often done by cutting open the abscess and draining it of infected puss. This may need to be done surgically if the abscess has spread to the floor of the mouth or the neck. If a patient does not have an abscess professionally drained, it is likely to burst on its own, which is not recommended. By having a dentist drain the infection, the area can begin to heal. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help support the healing process.
What should I do if my tooth or gums are infected?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of infected teeth, gums, or suspect you already have a dental abscess, it is important to contact White River Dental immediately to have the problem diagnosed and treated. If the infection is able to be removed before it spreads, the odds are better that the tooth will be saved and you will save yourself a lot of pain. If the infection has already spread, the dentists at White River Dental Columbus, Indiana will be able to help get you back on track. Remember, preventative care can go a long way when we're dealing with oral health, and regular cleanings can help prevent a number of problems including infections. Contact White River Dental, Columbus, Indiana today to schedule your appointment!