Urgent Dental Care Needed For Bacterial Infections

Posted on: 13 April 2021

If you develop a toothache, it may be the result of a cavity, a broken filling, an injury, or even problems with your dental appliances such as brackets, wires, or headgear. A dental abscess can also cause a toothache, which if not recognized and treated in its beginning stages can lead to tooth loss and even severe health complications.

If you experience throbbing dental pain, drainage surrounding your painful tooth, a bad taste in your mouth, or facial pain, seek emergency dental care. These signs and symptoms may indicate the presence of a bacterial infection of your tooth, which is otherwise known as an abscessed tooth. Here are some effective treatment options your dentist may recommend if you have a bacterial tooth infection. 

Incision And Drainage

If your dental examination and x-rays reveal a bacterial infection of the dental pulp, then your dentist may recommend an incision and draining. This procedure refers to incising the soft tissue surrounding the infected tooth and draining the pus.

After the purulent discharge has been drained, the area will be rinsed with saline solution to make sure that the area is clean. Prior to your incision and drainage procedure, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area. While you recover from your procedure, you may be instructed to rinse your mouth with salt water a few times a day and to take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to further decrease tissue swelling and to ease your discomfort.

Antibiotics And Extraction

Your dentist may also recommend antibiotic therapy either alone or in conjunction with a tooth extraction. If the bacterial infection is extensive and if the tooth cannot be saved, then extraction may be recommended. Antibiotic therapy may not be required if the abscess is not extensive, meaning that it has not spread to other parts of your oral cavity such as your other teeth, gingival tissue, or jaw.

If the bacterial infection has spread, both antibiotics and extraction may be needed. Furthermore, if the infection has invaded your jaw, your dentist may refer you to a maxillofacial surgeon, especially if the abscess has destroyed the underlying bones.

If you develop symptoms of an abscessed tooth, seek emergency dental care. When a bacterial infection of the tooth pulp is diagnosed and treated early in its progression, you are less likely to experience complications such as soft tissue damage and jawbone problems. Furthermore, when your abscess is treated early on, your chances of avoiding an extraction are greater.