Friday, November 24, 2017

Don’t Delay on a Dental Abscess

Don’t Delay on a Dental Abscess

Any time your child suffers from more than momentary or very mild tooth pain, you should strongly consider seeing Dr. Jared right away. That suggestion becomes a hard-and-fast rule in the case of a potential dental or periodontal abscess, which will likely cause your child significant pain and may be visible as a pus-filled “pimple” on the gum.

An abscess is caused by a bacterial infection that, if left untreated, can affect more than just the tooth and/or gum. The infection can reach the bone or even organs such as the heart. That’s one reason it’s imperative to treat it right away.

An abscess may be caused by
  • decay (a cavity) that quickly progresses before it can be treated, affecting the nerve and root of the tooth
  • an injury (a break or crack) to the tooth that causes the nerve to die; the resultant space becomes a place for bacteria to congregate
  • trapped food between teeth and gum, another reason flossing and brushing is so important; popcorn hulls, in particular, can be a culprit, because they can “grasp” a well-concealed tooth surface, impervious to usual food-removal techniques
  • foreign objects, such as slivers of bitten-off fingernails, becoming lodged between the teeth or in the gums and causing irritation through which bacteria can enter
Because an abscess can form quickly—within a day or two of initial infection—prompt treatment can get rid of it quickly. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can diminish the abscess pain at home, but it does not address the infection. Proper treatment is usually accomplished, in part, with antibiotics, but often, we must physically address the infection by draining the pus. In some cases, a root canal to remove a tooth’s dead nerve or an extraction is necessary.

Whether you are certain that your child has an abscess or you just suspect he or she might, this is not a wait-and-see situation. Make an emergency appointment with us to be sure your child is treated properly and as quickly as possible.

Give us a call at (509)-891-7070 to schedule today!


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