4 Ways to Manage Dental Abscess Pain at Home
Dental abscesses are caused by bacterial infections, and they occur when a collection of pus forms inside the teeth, gums or even in the jawbone that holds your teeth in place. You should see a dentist as soon as possible if you develop one since they will not go away on their own and can lead to more widespread infections.
Your dentist will usually treat the problem by prescribing antibiotics, removing the infected tissue or draining the pus, though a root canal may sometimes be necessary. They can also help you manage any dental pain, and there are also a few things you can do to reduce the level of pain before getting to your dentist. These methods should never be seen as an alternative to professional treatment, but they can significantly reduce your discomfort in the meantime.
With that in mind, here are just four ways to manage the pain of a dental abscess.
1. Take Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
The kind of over-the-counter pain medications you probably have in your bathroom cabinet will not completely deaden the pain associated with a dental abscess, but they will stop your body from creating more of the chemicals responsible for pain response and inflammation. As such, they can reduce both the pain and inflammation caused by your abscess. Just make sure you follow the recommended dosage.
2. Try a Topical Medication
While most painkillers are ingested, topical medications are applied to the area that is experiencing pain. These are generally less powerful antibiotics than the ones that your dentist can prescribe, so they may seem to be treating your abscess rather than simply managing pain. However, any relief will be temporary, so you'll still need to see a dentist without delay. You can also apply topical NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to reduce inflammation.
3. Rinse with Salt Water
If you don't have any topical medication, you can use warm salt water. This will draw pus away and help cleanse the area, as well as remove any irritants. Simply add half a teaspoon of ordinary salt to a glass of warm water, rinse it around your mouth for a couple of minutes, then spit it out. This should provide some temporary relief.
4. Use a Cold Compress
Applying a cold compress against the side of your face with the abscess will constrict blood vessels and deaden nerves, which should help reduce pain and swelling. Lightly press an ice pack against the affected area for about fifteen minutes, remove it for fifteen minutes, then repeat. Applying a cold compress works perfectly well against the cheek, so there's no need to try applying ice to the abscess itself.
For more info about toothaches, contact a local dentist.