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Sensitive Gums

Dental Emergency – Gum or Tooth Abscess

A dental emergency is never convenient. You may be experiencing a massive toothache due to trauma or a dental infection. No matter what the cause, you should still call your dentist right away. It won’t clear up by itself.

In our North Shore practice, we often see patients who come in with a toothache that is caused from an abscess around their teeth.

What is an Abscess?

An abscess looks a bit like a pimple on your gum, which could be yellow, red, clear, or white in colour. If you gently rub your (clean) finger over it, you’ll probably feel it.

An abscess generally means that the tooth or the gum is infected. Usual remedies include antibiotics, root canals or even a tooth extraction. If we determine that the cause is gum disease then this should be addressed ASAP, otherwise it could lead to permanent gum recession. As with all health issues, the sooner you see a doctor, the less likely that it turns into a major problem.

What to Do

Left untreated, an abscess can lead to your face swelling and even possibly severe complications. It is unlikely it will get better by itself. Here are some tips:

  • Call our office. We have multiple locations around Auckland, so ring the one closest to you. Our staff is trained in handling a dental emergency and will get you in ASAP.
  • Whatever you do, don’t try and pop the abscess like it was a pimple.
  • Gently brush and floss in the general area of the infection twice a day during your normal teeth cleaning routine.
  • Don’t put this off. Abscesses can lead to facial swelling and potentially severe systemic complications, always at the worst possible time.

As is the case with most dental emergencies, you’ll want to try and relieve the pain temporarily. Some products you can find at the local chemist would be Panadol and/or ibuprofen – but only if you have no previous allergies or medications that can interact with these painkillers. Our staff will be able to give you other suggestions when you call. If stronger painkillers are needed, you will need a prescription for this.

We are living in unique times. The last thing we want our patients to do is live with unnecessary pain. This is why we make ourselves available to service dental emergencies when you need us most. If you have a dental emergency, please do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to give you guidance and support.