What To Do If You Get A Dental Abscess

What To Do If You Get A Dental Abscess

Call the team at Abbey Road Dental in St John’s Wood.

Dental abscesses are very painful and can cause strong, aching, throbbing pain which can be so intense as to be debilitating for the person concerned.

The abscess itself typically contains pus that collects inside structures inside the mouth; it could be inside a tooth, inside the gums, or even in the jawbone.

What Causes Dental Abscesses?

Often, a dental abscess won’t just appear on its own. Often, minor tooth infections or cavities develop into bacterial infections which cause the abscess.

Usually, neglected oral health, such as not brushing properly, or enough, will lead to cavities. If those cavities are not treated quickly enough, or adequately, then the infection gets worse, spreads and leads to a nasty abscess.

Recognising A Dental Abscess

Dental abscesses can have a wide variety of symptoms including:

  • Pain, which is usually throbbing or a deep ache
  • Swelling, which could be in the area surrounding the abscess, or it could cause the face to swell
  • Redness which could spread to the face
  • Nausea or possibly vomiting
  • A fever
  • Tenderness when you touch the area infected
  • Foul smelling or tasting pus
  • Problems talking, swallowing or opening the mouth


If the dental abscess is not treated the bacteria and infection can spread into the tongue, the throat, the cheek – in fact anywhere the infection spreads to. Pus will continue to collect and the area will become more tender and sore until the abscess bursts on its own, or it is drained. The infection may get so bad that the swelling blocks the airway causing problems with breathing.


If you think you have a dental abscess, painkillers like ibuprofen and paracetamol might help if you are able to take them. You might also want to rinse your mouth out with warm water if the abscess bursts on its own and a warm cloth on the cheek on the side of the infection might also provide some comfort. It is important to note however, that although these actions might help a little, that the dental abscess will not get better without treatment from your local dentist. We will need to drain the abscess and deal with the cause of the infection in order for the abscess to heal. Typically this results in treatment called a ‘root canal procedure’.

If You think You Have A Dental Abscess

If you think you have a dental abscess it is important that you get in touch with Abbey Road Dental as soon as you possibly can. Please call us on 02076241603 and we will arrange an appointment as soon as possible. Remember, the longer you leave a dental abscess, the worse the problem will get; it will not sort itself out unfortunately. Abbey Road Dental will be able to find the root cause of the problem, and treat it effectively and quickly so that you can be on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

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