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FAQ:  Abcess - Tooth Abscesses

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  • Abscess 6 months after extraction: I had an infected tooth removed 6 months ago. The dentist gave me a bone graft at the time of the surgery, as I was planning for an implant. For the last 2 days my gum has been sore and a bit swollen. I now see a small white bump appearing. I am floored that I must have an infection. Please help me try to clarify what could be happening. ... Visitor from Ohio     (answer)

  • Multiple Abcesses for a 7 year old: My daughter keeps getting abscesses, especially on her molars. She has received antibiotic treatment for this but too much antibiotics is also not good for you. She has already lost 2 of her molars and there is an abscess again. I am taking her to the dentist again this afternoon. We brush her teeth morning and evening with "Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil" tooth paste as well as tooth paste with fluoride. We have a mouth wash which she uses to rinse her mouth with and some times we use a salt solution as well to rinse her teeth. We also floss her teeth frequently. What else can I do? Will she out grow it? What would happen when she gets her grown up teeth? Are the chances good of getting it again? Has any one else on the forum experienced the same issues and what did you do? Then in extreme cases could this be a form of lupus? Would a hepatitis B injection help? I am really grasping at straws now and I do not know what to do. ... Visitor from South Africa     (answer)

  • Abscess in a tooth: My six year old son had a infection in his canine tooth lower bottom and he got it removed today. At night he is crying that his gum hurts him. The dentist said removing the tooth will make the infection go away. He wasn't on antibiotics before the extraction does he need to go on it now? ... Visitor from Brooklyn     (answer)

  • About 6 months ago I had my silver fillings changed to white fillings. Shortly after I began feeling strong discomfort on my molar next to my fang and a small deep lump on the inside of my gums right below the root of that tooth. I had a root canal done last month and the pain, discomfort, pressure and SENSITIVITY remained on the same level. I had a re-treat of a root canal a few days ago and no difference. Instead of continuing I elected to have that tooth pulled. This was two weeks ago. Pressure and sensitivity are gone, but pain is still present. I've been on Clindamicine 300MG for about a month now and I can't figure out why nothing has helped. ... Visitor from CA     (answer)

  • About a year ago I had an extraction on the top right molar. Right away I had a strange tingling sensation above 2 front teeth, and intemittent pain to the eye. About 3 months later I went from having no abcess to one the size of a pea on the left hand side of the extraction site in the space of 40 minutes. It burst and disappeared for about 2 months and the tingling returned. A few months later it reappeared and stayed bursting every 48 hours. I went to the dentist the following month and was told that no infection was seen on the roots, no sensitivity to pain,touch, heat or cold. Her recomendation was to get a root canal on all 3 teeth in the area since all had deep fillings or come back when a sympton appears. What should I do? ... Visitor from Canada     (answer)

  • I just started using a new dentist a few months ago. At my last check-up she insisted on doing a panaramic xray. She says that I have an abscess on one of my upper teeth and need a root canal. I have no pain in these tooth at all. Should I have a root canal when I have no symptoms? ... Visitor from PA     (answer)

  • Is it possible to have an abcessed tooth without swelling? I have had a toothache and think I probably have an exposed nerve. It is also terribly painful over my eye on the same side. It is actually very painful on that whole side of my face. I am worried it could affect other parts. Is that possible? ...Judi     (answer)

  • I have an abcessed tooth. I went to the dentist and she gave me pencillin. Overnight my face swelled up, so I went back to the dentist. She told me to quit taking meds and gave me new meds clindamycin hcl. Eight hours later I feel that the swelling is getting worse. Iknow it takes time to see results but something does not feel right. ...Lesa     (answer)

  • An abcess, about the size of a small pea, appears between the tooth being treated for a broken filing and the tooth directly behind it at the exact spot where novicane was administered; approximately 12 hours after the novicane was administered. The entire gum area between the two teeth swelled up to the size of a small pea and a soreness is traveling down my jaw from the back of my mouth and spreading towards my chin. I had inspected the tooth before going to the dentist and there was no sign of any abcesses anyplace in my mouth and especially near that tooth. Of this I am certain because I looked at the tooth several times that day in the mirror. Can an abcess be caused by a dirty novicane needle or by twisting the needle back and forth while injecting the novicane? Would enough twisting allow saliva to flow down along the needle? Also, why do dentists twist novicane needles. Is there a medical reason for this? Should I confront the dentist who did this or should I consult a different dentist as I feel I can no longer trust the dentist who did the work? ...Lawrence in CT     (answer)

  • I had a wisdom tooth extracted by oral surgery a month ago. This last week the gum has had an abcess (filled with pus) yet the area seems to be filling in OK. It is painfull to eat, yawn. I have tried mouthwashes and peroxide flushes but the "pus" continues to build back up. Do I need an antibiotic to beat this? ...Lanny in KS     (answer)

  • Many years ago, I had a root canal done on a back left molar. The dentist filled my tooth with some funky blue medicated? substance. I was supposed to return to have a post and crown put in, but never did. Since then, the blue filling has fallen out and there is a shell of a tooth left. My problem is.... now I have tenderness and slight numbness in my gum/jawline, near that tooth. I also feel a mass/swelling in that area. Could it be an abcess? I'm starting to worry, as it feels like a cyst or tumor (I'm 43 and an ovarian cancer survivor). ...Lauri in NJ     (answer)

  • I had an abcessed tooth this year and a different one 2 years ago. I had them both pulled. How do I keep from getting another one? ...Sandy in IL     (answer)

  • My sister is 7 weeks pregant, and has had severe pain in her upper and lower mouth. Her dentist has prescribed her an antiboitic. Her pharmacist has told her only to take it for a few days, due to her pregnancy. Now the few days, has passed and her dentist isn't able to see her yet. What should I tell her to do? The dentist thinks it may now be a abbcess. I have heard that you should not have dental work in the first trimester of pregnancy. Is this true? What are her choices? ...Jason in NY     (answer)

  • I just wanted to know if you can take Keflex for an abcessed tooth? ... Brenda in PA     (answer)

  • In my right back upper teeth I had an root canal, a tooth pulled (due to a previous root canal that went bad) and another deep cavity filled. My dentist put a bridge over all three of them. About two months later I developed a hoarse cough, a constant irritation on that side of my throat. I feel like I have the flu. My doctor says I am "run down" because my white blood cell count is low. I have seen my dentist who says my gums are inflamed and I need to floss more (I do floss). He took a picture of the root and it looks okay. I can feel a sight raised line (not one of the normal ridges) on the roof of my mouth that leads to the back that he says is just normal tissue. I have insomnia, suseptibility to hot and cold, lack of appetite and feel like I am slowly being poisoned. Even though my dentist says to the contrary, could I have an inflection that does not cause much pain but a whole lot of other symptoms? ...Jennifer in CA     (answer)

  • Last year I had a swelling above one of my top teeth which went away after a few weeks. It's not a bump like a abcess, but I did have a tooth ache for awile last year. The swelling has now reappeared. I am taking augmentin until I can get to the dentist. Will this antibiotic work for this problem? ... Benson in NY     (answer)

  • During the night my left molar tooth ache turned into an egg sized swelling by the morning. Since it was getting bigger by the hour, I decided to visit the local emergency department. I was told it was an abcess and my options were either a root canal or an extraction. The dentist suggested tooth extraction and she was able to extract the tooh with ease and clean the infected socket. Unfortunately she could not drain all of the abcess, and even with antibiotic therapy my swelling got worse. I would like to know if it is safe to extract an infected tooth? How often does an abcess cause complications? And what are they? ...Mark in NY     (answer)

  • Can zithromax be used to treat and abcessed tooth? ...Amy in TX     (answer)

  • Is it always necessary to give antibiotics before pulling a tooth with an abcess? If not, what are the criteria for giving or not giving antibotics? Also, what are the dangers of not receiving antibiotics? ...Kim in NC     (answer)

  • My Xray shows a darder area at the bottom root of #14 I think I have had this for 12 yrars and it has never been a problem and no pain, is this possible? ...Trguson in SD     (answer)

  • I have had an abcess for over a year. I finally was able to have the abcess tooth removed. It has been nearly 3 days since the tooth was removed and I am having more pain than before the tooth was removed. I am concerned that the infection that caused the abcess wasn't completely gone. I am now experiencing a burning pain up into my sinus cavity as well as my left nostril. I am also having a headache that won't go away. The pain medication prescribed for me isn't working. What do I do now? ...Shari in CO     (answer)

  • If the jaw and cheek is swollen pain around eyes is there anything I can do till Tuesday when the dentist opens. I just started taking amoxcillian 500mg. 3x's a day also motrin every 4 hrs. ...Sam in FL    (answer)

  • I had a dentist tell me that I may have an abcess tooth. I have some slight pain just under my cheekbone. No swelling. I suffer with this every spring when my allergies kick in. I had an x-ray taken of this about 10 years ago because I thought I had a bad tooth. The x-ray shows that the roots of those 2 teeth (the two just past the eye tooth) touch the sinus cavity. I broke one of these teeth last year and the other one just a few weeks ago which is why I went to the dentist. He is telling me (without benefit of a new x-ray) that I have an abcess and that I need to have a root canal done. Is this reasonable? How do you diagnose an abcess in the absence of any significant pain or swelling and with no x-ray? Jo in ME    (answer)

  • What is an abcess? Also, can I get one in a wisdom tooth that is not fully emerged from my gum area? ...Tivey in OH    (answer)

  • I am a 26 year old male and something has been bothering me all week. About a week ago, I noticed a swollen lump under my jaw approximately halfway between the corner of my jaw and my chin on the left side of my face. The lump feels like it is attached to the bone (in that there is no discernable gap between it aned my jawbone) and it is hard and slightly rubbery and about the size of a pea. There is no pain in any teeth or the lump, but I was sort of freaking out thinking that it could be an abcess of some kind. My wisdom teeth were removed 8 years ago, and I currently have an onlay on my lower back molar and a crown on the tooth in front of that; both less than 2 years old. Since there was no pain at all, I'm thinking that maybe one of my submandibular lymph glands is swollen for some reason? I had a mild cold about 3 weeks ago, and currently don't feel ill at all. A few days ago the lump was about the size of the top knuckle of my thumb (which is why I noticed it in the first place), but has since gone down to the size of a pea. I have been treating it with heat packs but I have no idea as to whether this caused the swelling to go down. I called my dentist and she said that since there was no pain and the swelling was going down it was most likely not a tooth problem (I had a cavity-free checkup 3 months ago). I suppose my question is what could this lump be, why doesn't it hurt, and should I be concerned? In a possible related note, I've noticed that my back left molar (the one with the onlay) looks to have a greyish area under it. This could have been there the whole time and I just noticed it because I was freaking out about the lump and my teeth, but could this be decay (greyish area maybe covers half the total onlay surface)? If it is decay, wouldn't I be in a great deal of pain right now, and would it be possible to have such a large area of decay 3 months after negative X-Ray exams? Thank you in advance for any information and advice you may be able to provide.    (answer)

  • I have an abcessed molar that is killing me with pain. I have been taking antibiotics for 5 days, and still have 3 days before I can get in to see my own dentist. I have tried to get in to see other dentists sooner to no avail, and I am seriously contemplating yanking my own tooth. My only concern at this point is the possible damage I may cause by not being able to clean the wound properly, and having to wait for it to be cleaned when I do see my dentist. Please respond with your thoughts ASAP.    (answer)

  • I'm 21 from Iran and I have a cyst on the outer left part of my gum (up) where a filling had been done before. About 2 months ago, for the first time, it swelled and my dentist gave me antibiotics and told me I should have surgery to pull out the cyst! Now it's swelled a little again.. is it neccessary to have surgery? I'm really afraid of losing my tooth! Please help me ...Maryam in Tehran, Iran    (answer)

  • I got a filling about 6 weeks ago. It has pained me on and off. My dentist has told me the filling needs time to settle in. In the meantime he gave me antibiotics and it helped which gave me an idea that it was an abcess. Since finishing the antibiotic I have got a very bad sore throat only on one side. I took Difflam spray and it eased it but now the pain is back around the tooth area. I am quite concerned as I am going on holidays next week and I would like it sorted. Hoping you can give me some advise. ...Clare in Carlow, Ireland    (answer)

  • My question is I have a lump on my lower right bottom gum area between my eye tooth and one beside it. Had no tooth problems. Went to dentist, gave me some med rinse and a z pack. The lump filled with pus, burst today, comes back in a few hours filled with pus again but smaller. Throbs all the time. What should I do? Does the antibiotic bring the poision up to the top to get rid of it?. Tracy in TN    (answer)

  • I have been to 7 doctors. 3 dentists. I have had jaw pain for 1 year. Mostly in the morning and at night. Finally now I have had this bump on the lower part of the gum line that drains pus 4 or 5 times a day. It does not hurt bad and there is no pain at all in the tooth. My last visit to an oral surgeon result was he said abcess and tooth should be pulled. Then he would work on jaw pain. I think it is all related and may be oral cancer but no one thinks that. No xray shows anything but a little darkness at the bottom of my jawbone. Do you have any ideas? I know draining pus daily can not be right. I have given up on what to do. Each person says something different.    (answer)

  • Approximately 2 months ago, I went to the dentist to see about a broken tooth. The dentist told me I needed a root canal. So, he wanted to do a temporary and then get set up to do root canal later with an oral surgeon. While he was numbing the area, the needle hit a nerve (I guess). I have never felt anything like that before. He continued to clean out the inside of the tooth then put the temporary filling on. The next day I could barely open my mouth, and my jaw was aching. I went back in to the dentist office and he gave me pain killers, told me to give it a couple of days for the pain to go away. It did not go away, I dealt with it for about a week. I did notice a small lump under the on lower right jaw after this whole episode... it was not there before. It is sensitive to press on and has a numbing sensation on my bottom lip on that side. I had the tooth extracted instead of having the root canal. Ever since then I have had a bony feeling protruding from the area and still have the lump under my gum. What are both of these?    (answer)

  • I been having a lot of pain and I'm taking Tynelol 3. It takes the pain away for about a hour and it comes backs worse. I was at the emergency room today and they gave me an antibotic IV and took blood and they wanted to admit me and have me checked at my an ear, nose, and throat doctor. I refused to stay because I hate hospitals and I know I have a lump on my tooth and my swelling was really bad. My face looked like the size of a tennis ball from under my eye to my chin. Well anyway the swelling went down alot but I still have pain and I cannot sleep nor eat because I can hardly open my mouth. My friend told me to burn a needle and poke at the lump in my mouth to get at the pus and the pain and swelling will go away. Is this ok to do or could it make it worse since there will be a bunch of pinholes in it? Also the abscess is about the size of a dime and is going over my tooth and has also knocked my tooth out of whack. Please help me ...Visitor from PA    (answer)

  • I have had some pain under my cheek bone and think I have a possible abscess. I also have recently been told in an eye exam that there is something sitting on my optic nerve. Could this be part of the abscess or someting more serious in nature? Visitor from CO    (answer)

  • I went to the dentist two weeks ago because of pain in the tooth behind the left eye tooth. He began the root canal, put in a temporary filling and gave me a weeks worth of amoxicillin. A couple of days ago he removed the temporary filling and performed some serious cleaning and digging with something that smelled like bleach to kill any bactria. He then put in a two part filling and sent me on my way. About 8 hours later I was in pain. The pain was coming from the gum area over the eye tooth. Pain meds were no relief. The next morning my dentist never opened and did not have an emergency number. I tried to dig the filling out then went to the ER. They precribed stronger pain pills. Still I was dying. I saw my doctor this morning and he said I had developed an abcess? How did this happen? I was fine throughout the whole procedure then once he put in the permanent filling the same day I developed an abcess? My face is swollen to the eye. He then removes the perm filling via drill> Very painful - nothing drained. He then cut into my gum and sweezed the pus out then put in a rubber tube and stitches. Can you tell me what went wrong? I never experienced this much pain even before the root canal. Now I am swollen and afraid of losing my teeth. I still have all thirty two. I'm 32 years old (swollen smile). Did he do something wrong? I am now on vioxx and clinidamycin. Thank you I am soo afraid. Visitor from NY    (answer)

  • My boyfriend got a large lump on the left bottom side of his face about 4 months ago. It started smaller and we thought it was a gland. It grew larger and he went to the emergency room. They said it was either an abcessed tooth or an infection from an animal. There were a few puss pockets. They drained it from the outside of his face. He went to a doctor that changed the gauze in the wound and he said he was sure it was an abcessed tooth. He did not take any x-rays and did not know much about teeth. He has not had money to pay for those bills and he has not seen anyone since. I have read the questions on this site, but his lump is more towards the outside of his face. About 3 days ago he noticed another lump there has not been as much pain as last but it is worrying him. He does not have any money and has a hard time getting a job. He starts a new job but I am worried this will prevent him from making any money to go to the dentist. Visitor from IL    (answer)

  • I am in excrutiating pain! My root is exposed and there is an abcess(it is infected) I have been up for 2 nights and I am in SO much pain I am gonna climb the walls. I went to the doctor today and she took an x-ray and said there is an abcess. She made an appointment for me to go to the endodontist next Thursday. She gave me penicillin and Ibuprofin(800 mg.). I have been taking it all day and neither are helping at all. I even had some leftover Vicatin and I took those and still horrible pain. I can't eat, sleep and I am gonna go crazy. I don't think I can wait a week without dying, but they can't get me in any sooner. Wait else can I do to stop the pain?? Also, so I have to wait till next week so that I am done with the antibiotics?? Please help....I am in SO much pain. Visitor from IL    (answer)

  • I had a bridge that the tooth holding it broke off and got abscessed. I did not have insurance, so it has gone this way for 8-9 months. I finally got insurance, went to the dentist and he pulled it while the infection was still present. I had always heard that abscess has to be cleared up before extraction. What can happen if the infection travels into my system? I have not been feeling very well and I am concerned. What warning signs should I be looking for? ...Visitor from MI    (answer)

  • I recently had fillings done on teeth 7-10. After my general dentist finished the fillings, she noticed a black area above these teeth in the x-rays she had taken. At first she thought something was wrong with her film, but then realized that I had what looked like a abcess above these teeth. She claims it is the biggest she has ever seen. Almost two years ago, another dentist noticed a abcess above tooth number 10 but wanted to take care of all of my other dental needs and handle that last. Well, we switched insurance and that was when I began to see my current dentist. I have never had any symptoms of a abcess. I immediately went to an Endo Dr., he looked at my x-ray and also claimed it was the biggest abcess he had ever seen. He put something very cold to my teeth and it bothered most of the areas he touched. He did a root canal for #10 and has referred me to an oral surgeon. On the referral he wrote, "Please evaluate her anterior area - Radiolucency on x-ray not of endo origin, may need bioposy." My general dentist wants to rule out cancer. She states that it could be a cyst and that can be cancerous. I am a healthy 28 year old woman who was adopted and have no family history to look over. Can you help me understand the chances of this being cancer and what I should expect? I am so scared - I have three children and one on the way. Visitor from MO    (answer)

  • My husband had an abscessed tooth pulled several months ago. The dentist did not give him any antibiotics. A few months later he's having surgery to drain an abscess that has formed on his brain. The doctors are all puzzled because he was in perfect health. They say that generally an abscess that forms on the brain comes from a severe ear infection or sinus infection. He has had neither. They ran tests on the sample that they saved from the drainage and found 4 types of bacteria all that are commonly found in the mouth. They say that they are not 100% sure that it came from the tooth but it is the only explanation they have to offer because he is a very healthy 36 year old man who has never had ear or sinus infections. Can this really happen? If so, where can I learn more about it?    (answer)

  • About a month ago I started feeling really run down and flu-like and suffered from sinus problems and a sore throat. After 10 days of antibiotics, I wasn't feeling much better but the sore throat had cleared up. A week ago I got another sore throat, was started on antibiotics again, all the while still feeling like I had the flu or Mono (I even had blood work done because this is just not like me). I had noticed around the time that I started feeling bad that a top right molar that had a root canal done years ago was starting to hurt. I just surmised that it was because I grind my teeth and hadn't been wearing my night guard. A routine visit for a teeth cleaning revealed an abcess in the tooth that already had a root canal. My questions:
    1. Could an abcessed tooth be responbible for my "flu-like" symptoms? I've also noticed the skin on the inside of my mouth peeling off (really weird).
    2. How can a tooth that previously had a root canal have an abcess again?
    Visitor from Washinton DC    (answer)

  • I have an abcess, upper front tooth. I also have an ear infection that is quite chronic. Could there be a connection between the two? I noticed other questions/answers relating sinus infection and tooth abcess; what about inner ear infections? (my condition is post operative-last operation over 10 years ago - had cholesteatoma, reconstructive surgery, etc.) I have felt, at times, that there was something going on because of the chronic nature of my infections, the occassional numb tip of tonge, and strange tenderness in my neck near my jaw. Whenever I bring this up to any doctor, including my ENT, it is dismissed as nothing. But could there be a connection to the abcess? ...Visitor from MI    (answer)

  • 10 days ago I was eating a hot eggroll. Suddenly I had pain like an electric shock shoot down my tooth an into my jaw. It lasted for about 2 minutes then went away but after that anything hot or cold that touched my tooth hurt. I called the dentist the next day (Friday) and was told they could get me in on Monday. I felt fine that whole weekend except for a little pain in the tooth. Late Sunday night I thought I was getting a cold. I kept sneezing and coughing,so the following morning I called to reschedule my appointment. Tuesday morning I woke up and could barely move my jaw. The pain is almost unbearable. I called the dentist they asked me if I had any swelling. I told them my cheek was swollen inside my mouth. The pain is in front of my ear. My gums have absolutely no swelling or redness. They told me to come in and they took an x-ray and said he thought I had a little abcess then he tapped on my teeth and said he could not tell which tooth it was on the x-ray. He put me on Zithromax because it is the only antibiotic I can take. That was 4 days ago...I only have 1 pill left and the pain is still not gone in my face. Is it possible to have an abcess with no swelling or pain in the gum area? I mean there is absolutely no swelling in there at all. By the way they decided it was the 18th tooth that was infected after tapping the tooth. It hurt very little when he tapped it but a bit more than the wisdom tooth. I have my doubts as to whether this excruciating pain in my lower left jaw and ear are from a tooth that does not appear infected...but I am willing to blow my jaw off with a gun at this point if it relieves the pain. Also I cannot take any pain meds because I am allergic to everything. I cannot take Ibuprophen either as I have severe ulcers. What do you think? Does this sound like an absess? I hate to remove a tooth if it isn't but I will not have a root canal. First I cannot afford it and second it sounds to me as if it is fruitless to do that anyway since everyone seems to end up losing the tooth in the end. ...Visitor from MI    (answer)

  • I am 17 years old. 4 years ago, I had an incredibly deep cavity, about which the dentist didn't know how deep it was or whether or not it had gotten all the way to the root of the tooth, so he put in a simple filling (which was a horrid experience in itself due to malpractice). He said that if it had caused an infection that I'd "know in a few years". Well, about 1 year after that, YUP! It was an abcess. I know this, as I have had other dentists tell me so, and I have changed dentists after my experience to a rather good one, might I add. I'm going to have orthodontal work done, so they said just to leave it alone and with which tooth it is, they'd just pull it out as prep for my braces. We don't have the money for that still and we probably won't for a long time. But about every 6 months or so it flares up and the pain is unbearable for about a month. What kind of antibiotics/pain killers can I take if any to help deal with the pain in the mean time? It's not keeping me from sleeping yet, but in about a week it will. What should I do with it? ...Visitor from TX    (answer)

  • I have an eight year old daughter who is terrified of the dentist. She has an abcess and a few cavities. What is your suggestion to sedation dentistry for her. What are the risks involved. I feel this would work out better for her. ...Visitor from CA    (answer)

  • I have had a sinus infection for a week. I have a throbbing pain in my mouth which I think is an abcess but I have had my back teeth removed. Can you still get an abcess even though there are no teeth? ...Visitor from Massachussetts    (answer)

  • I am in pain!!! I have always had bad teeth. I have always went to the dentist for regular checkups and inevitably had one or two cavities most of the time. I don't eat hard candy and I limit my amount of soft drinks. Now I am 29 with many fillings. About a year or two ago I had to have a root canal and crown on my left bottom side. This has now progressed to two root canals on the bottom left and one root canal and crown on the top left. I also have a crown on the top left with no root canal. About a month ago I went for a filling on the left bottom back tooth and everything went fine. About a week later I started having mild pain on the back left. I have had TMJ before and thought that it was just that because the pain ran from the back of the jaw up the ear and down the jaw. I called my family physician and told him and he ordered my an antibiotic (amoxicillin) for ten days. I had some hydrocodene and took that for pain. After the ten days the pain was still there and was increasing. I called the dentist and at this time I could still eat on the left side and no pain was present when hot or cold was applied to these teeth. Over the past three days the pain has been excruciating and I haven't been able to sleep. I called the dentist and he ordered me some 800 mg ibuprofen for swelling and diazapam (5 mg) to help me sleep at night. He still thought it was TMJ. Now I can't eat on the left side, I had some soup and it touched that last tooth on the left and I thought I would die. I called the dentist Friday morning and they ordered me more hydrocodone for pain and now I have an appointment Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. Does this sound like an abcess? I have never had one but the pain is beyond explanation? ...Visitor from GA    (answer)

  • Woke with pain in upper (12?) tooth. Saw my dentist at 3:00 that day. He sent me to endodontist who stated I had massive infection. When giving injection the pain was such that I screamed, something I have never done before. Also tears fell! Doctor said as soon as he had made a small hole the puss came pouring out. He thought about leaving the toot open but after a while decided everything had drained and that he could complete the root canal proceedure. He gave me a prescription for "Z-Pack" and percodan. He told me to return if there was swelling. The next morning my face was quite swollen to just beneath my left eye. Went back to doctor, where the gum was opened above the tooth with a hemostat and again infection poured out. He left this opened and gave me prescription for penicillin to be take along with other antibiotic. Question: Friends suggested the doctor should not have filled the root, should have left it open considering the amount of infection. Were they correct? Can the infection spread to other parts of my body or head? ...Visitor from GA    (answer)

  • I had a abcessed tooth about a year and a half ago. I finally saw a dentist 6 months ago and had a root canal done. The dentist said that the abcess was as big as the tip on his pinky finger. The abcess was on a tooth that was very close to another tooth and now I have pain and swelling in that area again. I was wondering if it was from the bone regrowing around the tooth or if may it could be the start on another infection or what you think it could be? ... Visitor from AR    (answer)

  • I have had 3 root canals to my last tooth over the past month. The pain from that tooth is finally gone however now it seems that my gum has an absess on it above the next tooth over. I have not felt good for several months and am wondering if this absess could be the cause of it? I also have not been able to get an appt to address this issue until another week. He will not put me on antibiotics and the pressure in the gum and tooth area is increasing, fast! Is there anything I can do in the meantime, until I see the endodontist? Should I drain it myself? Thanks for any advice you can offer. ...Visitor from PA    (answer)

  • I have had four root canals over the past ten years, all of them in my top front teeth. My current dentist took X-rays and couldn't find anything wrong but I have been having severe pain in my face from my teeth all the way up to my eye. It just feels like the original abcessed tooth is to blame for this. Does this make sense? I need to find out something because I'm killing myself with ibuprofen. ...Visitor from Mississippi    (answer)

  • I had a root canal done 18 year ago. It apparently was infected so my dentist re-did a root cannal. It did not work as I developed an abcess. He then performed oral surgery to try to remove the infection from behind the tooth. This was about 3 weeks ago and I have been feeling light headed and dizzy for about 2 weeks. I noticed that the abcess came back. Is the dizziness a sign of something really bad? ...Visitor from CA    (answer)

  • I got an abcessed tooth while on vacation. The assistant said that the filling on #2 tooth was cracked and would need a root canal and crown. POSSIBLE the next tooth which is already capped. Can't they tell this from the x-ray? I've been on antibiotic now for 5 days and the area is still swollen. Pain has subsided. Wondering if I should just get the molar pulled since it can't be seen. It seems like they should be able to tell more from the x-ray. ...Visitor from IL    (answer)

  • I learned that I have an abscess tooth under a crown, bottom right. It was injected three times to numb the area for a root canal Once in the back of my mouth and two times towards front around the tooth area. After the numbing set in I was not able to swallow freely with a spasm-like swollen like feeling. I am uneasy about these injections especially if I could be allergic and do not know what steps I could take or if indeed this is an allergic reaction. The tooth needs attention although it is not giving a problem as it had. I understand the abcess is not that advanced but could be and should be taken care of asap. I would appreciate any advice. ...Visitor from PA    (answer)

  • Is tetracycline ok for treating an abcess? I can't see my dentist immediately but my wife has some DORYX capsules. ...Visitor from Rhode Island    (answer)

  • For nearly a year, I have experienced a great deal of pain on the right side of my face. This pain includes my gums, head, jaw, eye, and ear. There are times it hurts so severely that I can hardly bear it, yet other times the pain goes away entirely. Everytime the toothache/gum pain is prevelant, the headaches are nearly unbearable. For several days,I've been experiencing flashes of light before my right eye, nausea, and dizziness. I have sharp pains in my upper and lower gums on the right side. For about two weeks, my skin is literally peeling inside my mouth. I went to a dentist in December and x-rays were done. No indication of an abcess was noted. I take excellent care of my teeth and gums. The tooth in question (#30.28) was capped many years ago and has had swelling and darkening of the skin around the gum line since it was first capped. ...Visitor from FL    (answer)

  • I have an abcess on my lower left jaw over an impacted wisdom tooth. I need to have #17 and #32 removed and both ache, but this abcess is killing me. I have been prescribed penicillin and told that I can't see an oral surgeon for over a month. My jaw won't close fully due to this abcess, which is draining and swelling rapidly, it hurts so much I cant sleep and am having trouble working. Is there any way to ease the pressure and pain in the time before I see the surgeon and do I have to worry about being on pennicillin for that long? My dentist acts like this is no big deal. I drive a bus and can't take controlled substances such as tylenol 3 for pain. ...Visitor from NY    (answer)

  • The Background: I am what is described as a problem patient. In Germany they usually like you to 'suffer' and do not hand out Valium/Whatever like biscuits. I am Claustrophobic and it takes normally 2 strong dental assistants to strap a gas mask on me as I fight back, and so inhalation gas won't work for me. Tamazepam in tablet form calms me a little, but what has worked for me now is Valium Injected into the arm - which German Law does not allow anymore. I literally 'writhe' in a dentists chair and move away when he/she goes near me unless I know exactly what is going on (I realise I am a big baby, and there are people in the world with worse problems than me, but I can't help it, that's me..)
    I have a generally low pain threshold, and just like my mother, even for things like teeth cleaning and minor 'pokes' around the mouth with a metal instrument, I need a valium injection in the arm. When I moved to Germany in 1997 I still had a 'back catalogue' of 2 further fillings that needed to be treated, I rushed straight to the German dentist when I got here, explained the situation of how I am, and he literally LAUGHED at me, and couldn't help me further. To cut a long story short it is now 2004, and I have not been to any German dentists (until recently) so I have neglected going to the dentist for about 7 years because of the way I have been treated.
    I have been on a long-term dentist plan since I plucked up the courage to go to a dentist (I eventually found a dentist in Berlin who got his Dentist training back in the US) who was able to deal with me and who I was comfortable with. My list of treatments involves 3 new fillings, 2 re-fillings of old fillings made 15 years ago, and a professional 'propylaxe' deep teeth cleaning since the gums have developed inflamations over the course of the last 7 years.
    The Abcess Problem: My motivation for going to this dentist in the 1st place last October was a 'throbbing' (not really pain, but like a heartbeat) above a tooth that needed a deep filling - this started in August 2003. The dentist took an Xray, looked at my teeth, and said the filling needed to be drilled away together with some actual tooth as it was getting dark - I was given an option of fillings, and I chose the ceramic inlay. This was last December 2003. Middle January 2004 I went back to the dentist to say that the throbbing was back for a few days, then stopped and that there was an inflamation and swelling starting near wher the inlay tooth was worked on. He looked at the inlay, looked at the X ray he took in October, and wasn't so sure if this was an abcess at that stage - he asked me about my 'bite' since the inlay was put there and it was slightly misaligned, so he shaved a fraction of a milimeter off the inlay, and suspected that the muscle was hardended at that point and that I should give it a few days to see what happens since he corrected the bite.
    Now 2 weeks later I went back to the dentist again, because instead of it now just being inflamed above the inlay tooth (top left tooth towards the back)a growth had rapidly developed the size of a large pea. I was freaked out, I kept asking if he had to take the tooth out, and I didn't want that and it took him a while before I was willing to open my mouth and show it to him.
    He immediately X-rayed again, drilled again into that same tooth did something with the nerve that was dead, and filled the hole with something that smells like hospitals - a disinfectant and closed it up temporarily - that was yesterday and said I should keep it under observation overnight. Today; I went back to see him - the actual pea-like growth had softened and reduced above the inlay tooth, but my cheek was swollen - it was as if the fluid in the growth was saying "Nope - I'm not hanging around here near the disinfectant - I am going to travel upwards towards my cheek/left eye where it is cosier". The dentist removed the temporary plug, drilled a bit more to create a crater in the tooth (managing to avoid the ceramic inlay) any put a thin cotton swab in there. He gave me penicillin (Isocillin) and told me to take 6 tabs a day - he hopes that this will kill the bacteria/infection over the weekend. He told me to put cold compresses on all the time, and if the swelling did not go down, I had to go to the emergency dentist on the weekend to have them 'drain' whatever was in the growth. So far 5 hours later the swelling seems to be going down on my left cheek.
    I am still VERY worried;
    a)That the inlay tooth has to be taken out, despite the inlay just being applied late December, and me spending 300 Euros on a ceramic option which will obviously be wasted if the tooth has to come out anyway.
    b) The fact that I am not in pain (yet) - maybe at the point of no return you just stop feeling pain anymore on an infected area.
    c) If I have to go to the emergency dentist to have it drained, it will hurt, they will give no local/general, that they will not be sympathetic to me.
    d) MOST IMPORTANTLY - that the problem is very serious, and the infection is deep in my skull and I need facial surgery and I am left with scars etc.. while they go right in there near my eye and fill the hole with bone cartilage. If the abcess fluid gets to my brain, I will have brain disease and will die if not treated.
    I am sorry to sound overdramatic, but this is me, all the time. Please, please tell me something good. I do speak German, but I do not understand everything the German dentist says, and even if he said it in English for me, I would still freak all the same.
    ...Visitor from Berlin, Germany    (answer)

  • My son who is now 9 years old keeps getting abcessed teeth. He has multiple health issues including immune issues and eosinophilic gastroentritis with reflux. Would the reflux be causing these abcesses? Is there anything I can do to help prevent them? Should he rinse with listerine or something else antibacterial after brushing? He has had 5 abcesses in the past couple of years and the 2 over the past month. I am becoming increasingly concerned that if this trend continues he will lose his adult teeth at a very early age. Also his dentist has not mentioned use of spacers. Should he be using spacers on these areas where he has lost teeth to abcess? ...Visitor from MA    (answer)

  • About 10-12 yrs ago, my dentist sent me to an endodontist for a consult after he noticed a fistula on my gum, which was small but pussy and draining. Endodontist found tooth was not dead, did all the tests, and said I did not need a root canal. This is a chronic abcess that will flare up off and on over the years..Have been to 4 different dentists, plus the endodontist and all have just given me Augmentin, Tetracycline, and drained abcess. Have also been to 2 different family doctors recently (thinking maybe its not a dental problem) and they both said it was an apthous ulcer. One gave me Magic Mouthwash, the other Keflex. Went to my regular dentist last week for a cleaning, showed him fistula, he took an xray (which showed nothing he could see with tooth), and am now on Keflex for 10 days. My tooth where fistula is above does not now and never has hurt. I have no pain on biting, chewing etc. Tooth is not discolored nor loose after all these years. It does have a filling, which was done 15 yrs ago. It is a back molar upper tooth. My gum is off and on draining and sore though. Who should I see next for a consult? I was thinking of seeing an oral surgeon. Don't really know if it is a tooth or gum problem, but it hasn't changed any in 12 yrs! It is just annoying when it flares up! ...Visitor from PA    (answer)

  • If a molar has an abscess must it be pulled? Why can't a root canal be done and the tooth capped if the abscess has been cured with antibiotics? ...Visitor from FL    (answer)

  • Anemia: I have an abscess on my upper left side for over two years. The Oral Surgeon I saw would not treat me until I could bring my anemia in check. I have tried for two years to do so and am unable (even under my primary physicians supervision) to bring the numbers to an acceptable level. What choice do I have? The abscess cannot be left untreated and the anemia continues unabated. If a molar has an abscess must it be pulled? Why can't a root canal be done and the tooth capped if the abscess has been cured with antibiotics? ...Visitor from PA    (answer)

  • Abscess affecting hip implants?I have at least five untreated tooth abscesses, the result of severe tooth decay. After about a week of swelling and pain a sort of painless encapsulation ensued. I'm considering implants, but I'm concerned that these abcsesses could not be cleaned up or removed adequately, pockets of infection clinging, leaking out at any time in the future; or that they have bored out cavities that would make the implants fail. Also, I must have hip implants. I wonder how the abscesses and the lurking infection in my mouth could spread, pouring bacteria and whatnot into the bloodstream, raising havoc in my hip implants. ...Visitor from NV    (answer)

  • Abcess on root of tooth: My daughter has been sick with an abcess for a month now and has been on 4 different antibiotics and nothing is getting the infection down so that the tooth can be pulled. What do we do - - have the tooth pulled now or is that dangerous? ...Visitor from TX    (answer)

  • I have a abcess that has been underneath one of my back molars for over 3 years. I've been taking antibiotics to the point of immunity to certain kinds. I got a root canal on the tooth and the abcess is still there and worse, its causing the nerves in my jaw, neck, and upper chest to tighten and cramp up. What should I do? Did I waste money on getting a root canal (that the dentists strongly recommended) when I should've got an extraction? ...Visitor from TX    (answer)

  • Ever since being about 15 years old I have always suffered with abscesses on my teeth. As I am getting older (now 23) they are getting worse. I have had around 8 this year in 3 different places. I would say I have good hygiene. I brush my teeth 2 - 3 times a day but they still keep reacurring. Is there anything else that could be keep causing them? Or is there anything I can do to help prevent them from occurring so often? ...Visitor from United Kingdom    (answer)

  • My dentist told me my eye tooth needed a cap. After drilling the tooth down and cementing the cap, there was some sensitivity which subsided after a couple of weeks. 3 months later, an abscess developed and I'm told I need a root canal. My medical doctor, whom I mentioned this to, said it sounded like a case of failed cap. Is there such a term and what would cause a tooth which has never given me problems before to abscess? My MD said the cap should be redone. I cannot afford a root canal and I'm not sure what to do. ...Visitor from NC    (answer)

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