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How are tooth infections treated?

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If you have an abscessed tooth, your dentist may recommend one of the following treatments, depending on how serious the abscess is:

Your dentist also might give you antibiotics to make sure the infection doesn’t spread to other teeth or other parts of your body.

  • If you have a simple abscess, your dentist, or a specialist called an endodontist, can do a root canal to get rid of the infection and hopefully save the tooth.
  • If the abscess is large, it may need to be drained first before a root canal is done. Your dentist or endodontist will make a small cut in the gum to let the pus out and then rinse the area with saline (salt water).
  • After the tooth is sealed back up, your dentist can then put on a cap or crown as a top layer to protect the tooth and make sure you don’t get another abscess.
  • If your tooth can’t be saved, your dentist might need to pull it, then drain the abscess to get rid of the infection.

SOURCES:

NHS Choices: “Dental Abscess.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tooth Abscess, Treatment.”

American Association of Endodontists: “Abscessed Teeth.”

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on June 16, 2019

SOURCES:

NHS Choices: “Dental Abscess.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tooth Abscess, Treatment.”

American Association of Endodontists: “Abscessed Teeth.”

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on June 16, 2019

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How can you prevent tooth infections?

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