Some dental conditions need to be treated on an emergency basis, and a dental abscess is one of them. Here’s what you need to know about what a dental abscess is, how it’s caused, how it can be treated naturally, and when to contact a holistic dentist.

What Is a Dental Abscess?

A dental abscess is arguably one of the most painful oral conditions to have. It is a pocket of infection at the base of a tooth’s root, either at the tip of the root or on the side, deep underneath the gum line.

If left untreated, a dental abscess continues to grow and the infection can spread to your neck, face, or brain. It rare cases, it can become systemic, resulting in a potentially fatal infection of the bloodstream called sepsis.

What Causes Dental Abscesses?

The mouth is home to millions of bacteria that with good oral care routines usually stay at a manageable level. However, when bacteria enter the pulp of a tooth — such as through a cavity, chip, or crack — they can infect the nerves, blood vessels, and living connective tissue inside the tooth. This can result in a pocket of pus that sometimes ruptures on its own but should be treated by an experienced dentist as soon as possible.

Symptoms of a Dental Abscess

While the symptoms of a dental abscess may vary some from patient to patient, they typically include:

  • Throbbing, intense pain in your gums or teeth that doesn’t go away with an over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Referred pain in your jaw, ear, or neck on the same side as the tooth or gum pain
  • Pain that comes on suddenly and/or gradually worsens over time
  • Pain that disrupts your sleep or makes it difficult to lie down without the pain increasing
  • Gums that are red and swollen and have a shine to them
  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold food or beverages
  • Swelling or redness in your face, such as your chin, cheeks, or jaw
  • A tooth that is tender to the touch or is loose and/or discolored
  • A bad taste in your mouth or bad breath that doesn’t resolve with regular oral care

Holistic Dental Care for an Abscess

A dental abscess can be treated in the following ways:

  • The abscess can be opened and drained, allowing the body’s natural healing mechanisms to handle significantly reduced infectious material.
  • A root canal may need to be performed to save the tooth. The tooth’s pulp is removed and the infection cleaned out, and the tooth is then filled with inert material and capped with a crown.
  • If the tooth cannot be saved, an extraction may be necessary.
  • In some cases when an infection is severe, oral antibiotics may be necessary. At Green Dentistry, we explore natural and holistic dentistry options before medication therapy whenever possible.

Contact Green Dentistry for Your Appointment with a Holistic Dentist Today

At Green Dentistry, your oral health comes first. We know how painful and debilitating a dental abscess can be, and we offer emergency same-day dental care to help you feel better fast. We’re committed to helping resolve your dental problems with natural, holistic care that doesn’t put your health at additional risk.

Contact our office for your appointment with California holistic dentist Dr. Namrata Patel at (415) 433-0119.