There are many types of oral health issues that may be considered emergencies. Dislodged teeth, cracked crowns, and the accidental removal of a dental filling are just a few examples. However, none of these problems are nearly as painful as an oral abscess. There are two types of abscesses you may experience that include gum abscesses and tooth abscesses.
A gum abscess generally begins in a periodontal pocket and grows into a large ball of pus that places direct pressure on the tooth or teeth in the area. A dental one starts as an infection inside a tooth, and a pocket of pus grows on the end of one of the tooth roots and expands outward. Both of the abscesses will appear as bright red lumps when you look inside the mouth. Depending on the condition, lancing or root canal therapy will need to be completed, and it is best to seek out an emergency or 24 hour dental clinic, such as Hernandez Dental, to complete the oral care as quickly as possible. However, if you cannot simply rush off to the dentist right away, then find out how you can manage the pain until your dental appointment.
Clean Around the Gums
Typically, when a dental infection forms in or below the gums, your immune system gets to work trying to kill the bacteria in the area. White blood cells rush in and the area becomes inflamed. Inflammation is a natural response, but the swollen tissues can place pressure on the dental nerve and the abscess that is filled with infected pus.
Unfortunately, inflammation can worsen when you eat food and allow plaque as well as carbohydrate and sugar particles to sit along the gum line. Bacteria eat this food and further irritate the gums. In some cases, the bacteria can further infect the tissues and lead to a much greater area of infection. You can limit this concern by making sure to thoroughly clean around the swollen gums. You can do this with dental floss, but the gums may start to bleed. If you want to avoid this, then use a water flosser instead.
Using a Water Flosser
Use the water flosser with low pressure and hold the tip about one-quarter inch from the surfaces of your teeth. Direct the spray just above the gum line and work the flosser around the abscess or the infected tooth. Try not to force water against the abscess itself though, or it may burst. This can force bacteria out into the mouth where it can infect other tissues.
Another good way to decrease abscess pain with a water flosser is to add warm water and one teaspoon of table salt to the water reservoir. Floss with the salt water and allow the fluid to pull moisture out of the gum tissues as it cleans around the gums. This will greatly reduce inflammation and pressure.
Add a Compress
Another good pain relief solution involves placing a compress on the abscess. You can use both warm and cold therapies alternatively with the compress to reduce discomfort. Cold materials help to draw blood away from the abscess and the inflamed tissues to get rid of swelling, while heat helps to relax both the tissues and the blood vessels so they no longer throb. When you utilize infection fighting compounds with the hot and cold temperatures, you can start to actively fight the bacteria causing the infection as well
To create a cold compress, place two tablespoons of olive oil in a container and add five drops of tea tree oil and five drops of peppermint oil. Stir the mixture and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Afterwards, dip a cotton ball or a piece of gauze in the cool fluid and place it directly against your abscess.
To make the warm compress, mince some fresh garlic and squeeze the chopped pieces until they release a small amount of juice. Collect the juice with a spoon and add about one teaspoon to a small dish. Add one tablespoon of water and five drops of clove oil to the concoction and stir. Place the mixture in the microwave for about 10 seconds and sop up the fluid with gauze or a cotton ball. Place the compress in your mouth.