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Tooth Abscess During COVID-19 Outbreak: Finding Emergency Dentistry
When experiencing a tooth abscess during the COVID-19 outbreak, getting emergency dentistry treatment might not be as easy as it was before the lockdown. Fortunately, many dentists are available to provide emergency dental treatment to stop the spread of infection in the mouth and relieve pain. This article focuses on tooth abscess and how to find emergency dentistry care during this period.
What to do about a dental abscess
A tooth abscess is a bacterial infection, usually as a complication from untreated tooth decay. Pus pockets full of bacteria can appear in different parts of the tooth for various reasons. A periapical abscess affects the tip of the root, and a periodontal abscess affects the gums around the tooth root, which is known as a tooth abscess.
Abscesses must be treated promptly as they tend to cause severe pain and do not heal without intervention. There is also a risk of the infection spreading through the bloodstream to other areas of the body, which can potentially lead to fatal sepsis.
If the tooth abscess causes fever, facial swelling, difficulty swallowing or breathing issues, the infection may have affected the jaw and other tissues of the oral cavity. There is also a chance that the abscess is affecting other areas of the body. However, it is hard to determine the severity of the condition until the dentist performs an emergency dentistry evaluation.
Finding emergency dentistry care
It is vital to reach out to an emergency dentistry practice immediately if a tooth abscess is suspected. The ADA recommends that dentists create time in their routine for emergency patients, so an emergency appointment may be possible right away. Even if the person is far from their dentist’s office, they can use the ADA’s online tool to locate the nearest certified dentist.
If the symptoms start outside of usual business hours, such as overnight or on the weekends, patients should still try to contact the practice for emergency dentistry care. The office may provide instructions on how to handle the abscess to get temporary relief before the dental appointment.
If the dentist is not immediately available and finding one on the ADA’s dentist locator tool is turning into a hassle, a visit to the hospital’s emergency room might be in order. However, it is good to know that this option is not ideal because most hospitals are working at full capacity to treat cases of the coronavirus. They may have limited medical professionals available to treat dental conditions, such as an abscess.
A viable option is to use antibiotics to limit infection and pain relievers to stop the pain. Although medication will relieve the symptoms, one still needs to get emergency dentistry care as soon as possible to treat the tooth abscess.
The treatment goal for a tooth abscess is to eliminate the infection. The dentist may create a small cut in the abscess to remove the pus. Sometimes, a root canal may be necessary. If saving the tooth is not feasible, tooth extraction is the only alternative.
Experiencing a dental emergency like a tooth abscess can be scary, but seeing the dentist will ensure that patients get the emergency dentistry care needed to stop the infection and alleviate pain.
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