When Gums Act Up: How To Handle Your Dental Abscess

In most cases, dental abscesses let their presence be known in no uncertain terms. Unfortunately, once you notice the signs, you may be already well on your way to a big problem. To learn more about how to handle a dental abscess, read on.

Infections of the Gum

An abscess is a pocket of pus on the gums that usually indicate an infection. It's important to understand the signs of an infection since an untreated abscess can be surprisingly dangerous. Take a look at these common signs of an abscess and call your dentist to make an appointment:

  • Pain: It should be noted that not everyone feels pain with an abscess and this can, unfortunately, cause things to progress unnoticed. If pain is felt, it's usually a sore pain rather than the stabbing pain of a cavity. 
  • Appearance: You can typically see an abscess when they are on the gums. Some patients may also be able to feel the pocket of pus. It may appear as a white or yellow blister on the gums.
  • Smell: Bad breath and a sour taste may be present.

Treatment for an uncomplicated abscess usually includes a course of oral antibiotics. Then, the reason for the infection is explored so that it won't happen again. If you have or notice the below symptoms and cannot see a dentist right away, go to the nearest emergency room.

  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Throat swelling

Dangerous Infections

While many people experience an abscess without complications, things can get much worse for some people. If you or a loved one has the following conditions, seek help on an emergency basis:

  • Compromised immune system.
  • Chronic conditions like diabetes and heart problems.
  • Artificial implants like a pacemaker, hip, or knee implant.

The problem is that your gums lie close to your sinus cavity and that can lead to your brain. In some, the infection travels to your brain and a life-threatening condition is created. Also, an infection can travel to artificial devices and degrade them. Intravenous antibiotic treatment may be necessary along with steroids to calm the infection and allow the gum to heal.

Don't Let an Abscess Happen to You

Gum infections are caused by bacteria and using some simple, common dental hygiene practices like brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings can keep your mouth healthy and make it less likely to develop problems. To find out more about dental abscesses, speak to your dentist.