Dental Abscess (cont.)
With dental abscess, as with each and every illness, comply with your doctor's instructions for follow-up care. Proper treatment often means reassessment, multiple visits, or referral to a specialist. Cooperate with your doctors by following instructions carefully to ensure the best possible health for you and your family.
Dental Abscess Prognosis
The prognosis is good for resolution of a small dental abscess once it has ruptured or been drained. If the symptoms are improving, it is unlikely that the infection is getting worse. Proper follow-up care with your dentist is mandatory for reassessment of your infection and for taking care of the problem tooth.
- Care might include pulling the tooth or having a root canal performed on it.
- Dental abscesses that have extended to the floor of the mouth or to the neck can threaten a person's airway and ability to breathe and may be life-threatening unless they are properly drained.
Dental Abscess Prevention
Prevention plays a major role in maintaining good dental health. Daily brushing and flossing along with regular dental checkups can prevent tooth decay and dental abscess. Anyone who suffers from frequent dental abscesses needs to be evaluated by a health-care provider to determine if an underlying medical condition is responsible.
- Remember to brush and floss after every meal and at bedtime.
- If tooth decay is discovered early and treated promptly, cavities that could develop into abscesses can usually be corrected.
- Avoidance of tobacco (chewing as well as smoking) use can help as well.
Medically reviewed by Kenneth Rotskoff, MD, DDS; Board Certified Dentistry, Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery
Author: Jerry Balentine, DO, FACEP
Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, Chief Medical Editor, eMedicineHealth.com
Previous contributing authors and editors:
Author: Michael Martin, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Temple University.
Jacob W Ufberg, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine.
Editors: Ruben Olmedo, MD, Chief, Division of Toxicology, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center;
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine;
Steven L Bernstein, MD, Vice-Chair, Academic Affairs, Department of Emergency Medicine, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mt Sinai School of Medicine.
Francis, Mark. "Sjögren Syndrome." eMedicineHealth. Aug. 10, 2005.
Tintinalli, Judith, et al., eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 6th ed.. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2003.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/28/2014
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