I work as a clerical assistant in a pediatric dental office, and I am commonly surprised by the number of children who are scared of the dentist. Many kids think that cleanings will be painful, and they believe they will be scolded for eating sugary foods. Children are also extremely frightful of the noises made by the water spraying tools and the suction devices. As adults, we know that dental cleanings are easy and free of pain. We need to impart this knowledge to our children so they know not to fear the dentist. I have provided blogs that will help you speak with your child about dental care. Good communication, trips to your own dentist, and online videos can assist you. So will good brushing techniques that will make your child proud to see the dentist. Enjoy my articles so you can help your child build oral care confidence.
A dental abscess is so much more than just a sore place in your mouth. If you are experiencing pain and swelling in your mouth, don't dismiss it as a minor problem; dental abscesses can cause serious injury, and in rare cases, death. To learn more about the dangers of dental abscesses, read on.
What is an Abscess?
The main cause of a dental abscess is bacteria, which enters an area of the gums through a damaged or decayed tooth. An abscess is basically a pocket of infection that forms on your gums. Some people are more prone to abscesses, such as those undergoing chemotherapy or those with immune system diseases. An abscess will alert you to its presence with swelling and pain. If antibiotic treatment is not begun, the pain will increase and the inflammation can spread to your cheeks, jaws, throat, sinuses and sometimes, to your brain.
Symptoms of an Abscess
Treatment depends on how advanced the infection is. For milder cases, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and take over-the-counter pain relievers. NSAIDs (Aleve, etc) are good for treating both the pain and inflammation. The dentist will probably drain the abscess and prescribe some antibiotics for you.
With an abscess, it very important to listen to your body and take quick action if you become very ill. If you feel very sick and have shortness of breath, go to the closest emergency room. Your airway can become constricted if the surrounding tissue swells, and being unable to breathe is a real and dangerous possibility. Whether you go to the E.R. or just see your dentist right away, don't just ignore an abscess. In rare cases, the infection can spread to your brain tissue, sometimes leading to death.
Once you get an abscess, the probability of getting another is high. The condition of your mouth likely caused the abscess, so the problem must be addressed at its core: dental hygiene. Your dentist will ensure that the cavity or damaged tooth is treated, but you must take care to prevent more cavities from forming by following the tried-and-true dental mantra: brush and floss often and see your dentist for a deeper cleaning at least twice a year.
Nip the abscess problem in the bud and see a dentist, like Jeffrey S. Thaller DMD, for more information about treating and preventing abscesses.