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Dental Abscess (cont.)

Follow-up for a Dental Abscess

With dental abscess, as with each and every illness, it is important to comply with a doctor's instructions for follow-up care. Proper treatment often means reassessment, multiple visits, or referral to a specialist. Cooperate with doctors by following instructions carefully to ensure the best possible outcome.

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 a dentist is mandatory for reassessment of the 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 professional 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.


Laskin, Daniel. "Anatomic Considerations in the Diagnosis and Management of Odontogenic Infections." JADA 69 (1964): 308-316.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/13/2015
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Dental Abscess »

A dentoalveolar abscess is an acute lesion characterized by localization of pus in the structures that surround the teeth.

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