• 06 SEP 16
    • 0

    How to Handle a Gum Abscess

    You’re enjoying lunch with friends when a sharp pain deep in your gums forces you to stop chewing. You slip into the restroom and take a peek inside your mouth. If the gum area where you’re feeling pain is swollen, it’s likely you have a gum abscess.

    These localized infections can be incredibly painful, especially if they aren’t treated promptly by a professional. Waiting out the infection and hoping it will go away only puts your teeth and jaw at risk. When you suspect you’ve developed an abscess, try this simple plan of action to minimize pain and damage.

    Keep an Eye on It

    Checking your gums when you brush your teeth is the easiest way to spot an abscess while it’s still small. You won’t necessarily see any swelling if the infection is located deep inside the gum or within the roots of a tooth. Instead, look for these signs:

    • A white lump resembling a pimple or a solid-colored lump that still contains a lot of pus trapped inside
    • Heat radiating from one part of your gums
    • Foul odors or bitter tastes in your mouth
    • Swollen glands in the neck
    • General signs of infection, including a fever

    Stop the Symptoms

    Once you realize there’s an issue, combat your symptoms by taking over-the-counter painkillers to reduce the pain and bring your fever down.  Rinse with warm salt water as well to help keep the area clean and relieve pain. These steps won’t get rid of the infection or stop the abscess from growing, so only use them as temporary relief until you can see your dentist.

    Call Dr. Evanson

    Don’t attempt to pierce or treat the abscess on your own in any way. Instead, set an emergency appointment as soon as you suspect something’s wrong with your gums. An abscess can spread infection to the jaw bone or into the soft center of your teeth very quickly. Waiting even a few days could allow these complications to take hold.

    You may have to wait one or two days to see Dr. Evanson, but we strive to schedule same-day emergency appointments whenever possible. Fortunately, most abscesses can be drained relatively quickly so you’ll be on your way to recovery fairly quickly.

    Eat Soft Foods

    Dr. Evanson may advise you to switch to soft foods for a few days after having your abscess drained. Stick with soup, mashed potatoes, soft bread and other foods that don’t require a lot of pressure while chewing. This helps prevent further irritation to the infection in your gums. Cold treats such as popsicles and ice cream also help numb the inflamed area. Stay on a diet of soft, cold foods for a few days after treatment as your gum shrinks and returns to normal.

    Keep Up With Dental Hygiene

    Gum abscesses are often caused by a lack of dental hygiene. Slacking off on your routine during recovery will only encourage the problem to spread. Even if it hurts to brush, you need to keep your mouth as clean as possible when infection has already set in. It may be necessary to skip over flossing around the abscessed area, but don’t neglect the rest of your teeth.

    Dr. Evanson will instruct you on other ways to keep your mouth clean enough for healing once the abscess has been lanced. She may also give you tips to improve your daily oral hygiene routine to prevent this kind of infection from ever occurring again.

    If you’re experiencing pain from a gum abscess, contact Evanson DDS online or call us at (720) 409-0008 right away to schedule an emergency appointment.

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