The symptom of an abscess is swelling that occurs in the gums or lip. It usually is caused by an infection in a tooth or the bone around the tooth. Eventually it will ooze or release pus due to pressure. Causes are periodontal or gum infection, tooth decay that has gotten too deep, or trauma due to previous injury or excessive dental work.
You can tell when you have an abscess if you experience any swelling or the onset of a sore, dull, throbbing pain, even if it is not constant. If an abscess is not taken care of immediately, the swelling can get worse and seem to “blow up” fast. Not only can this be a major inconvenience, it can actually be dangerous and in some cases life- threatening.
Like any abscess it can be drained and usually with the assistance of an antibiotic it can be controlled and reversed, usually as fast as it comes on. After the swelling goes down then the follow up care necessary can be done on a more routine basis.
While antibiotics can be hard on the system, particularly when there is intestinal permeability present, the undesirable effects of antibiotics can generally be reversed with a steady course of probiotics once the full round of antibiotics is completed. Not before, however, or the antibiotics may not be effective.
The pain of an abscess is far worse than the discomfort or expense of visiting your dentist. To avoid any such events from catching you by surprise, it is advisable to get a complete dental exam every 1-2 years if you are an adult, depending on your situation.
If you are planning to go on a trip and haven’t had a recent exam it is strongly recommended that you get things checked. Stress and altitude changes bring on abscesses that were before controlled and walled off by the body. Talking about ruining your trip, an abscess or tooth ache will certainly do that and more.
Carey O’Rielly DDS has been a practicing dentist for 35 years. He went to USC Dental School and Duke University for his undergraduate degree. He grew up in Laguna Beach and now lives in La Costa with his wife Victoria, who runs his office.
He began his career by owning and operating a network of six offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presently he owns a private holistic practice in North County San Diego’s Encinitas.
Dr. O started looking for solutions to his health challenges that resulted from the stress and environmental toxicity that built up over a ten year period running his dental network. He has dedicated himself to learning about oral systemic problems and how dentistry can affect your health. He has applied what he has learned over the last twenty years to ensure he, his staff and his patients are protected from the chemicals and toxic materials found in most dental offices. He has produced an environmentally friendly office that is also peaceful and calm.
He is an expert on dental materials having looked at hundreds of biocompatibility lab tests over the years. He has identified the most bio-friendly materials to use in his practice and which dental materials can be used to replace metal fillings and crowns, including BPA free and fluoride free ‘white’ fillings. He also uses metal-free Zirconia or ceramic implants and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) grafting materials which come from the patient’s own blood.
Dr. O’Rielly teaches C.E. courses on the systemic effects of gum disease. He is an expert in using phase contrast microscopy for analyzing dental infections, where he shows patients what kind of microbes, i.e. bacteria, amoeba, and yeasts like candida are populating the mouth and affecting the body as a whole.
He has an educational blog and is writing a book on dental health called ‘Hidden Dental Infections: Healing Root Canals and Infected Teeth with the Erbium Laser’ where he discusses dental nutrition, toxic dental materials and the effects of old root canals on inflammation and overall health.