The human body has many different ways of dealing with infections and providing you with a warning sign that all is not well. When it comes to your dentistry, you may be alerted to a particular issue by the formation of an abscess. What exactly is this and what should you do, both in the short term and in the longer term, to deal with this?

When All Is Not Well

An abscess is the body's reaction to an infection. As soon as this develops, pus will build up beneath the surface of the skin as part of the defence mechanism, and as the body tries to kill off that infection. As this happens, however, pressure will also increase and impact the nerve and this sends a message to the brain resulting in the pain that you are feeling. The nerve in question will gradually die off and sometimes the pain associated with the abscess appears to disappear. This is not the case, though, and if left unchecked it can spread elsewhere in the body and cause a variety of additional issues.

What Causes This?

Usually, poor dental hygiene allows an infection to take place and begin the process of inflammation. It's possible that you have a small cavity in the area and that bacteria has entered the cavity and started to cause problems. You may also have a crack in the enamel of a particular tooth, and a similar issue could result.

Other Indications

You may also notice some other side-effects, apart from pain. A sore may develop in the area and some drainage from this could give you an unusual taste in your mouth. It's also possible that you could develop a low-grade fever and the area will certainly be sensitive to hot or cold food or drink.

What Can You Do Now?

While you make an appointment to go and see the dentist on an urgent basis, you can try and find some short-term relief. Mix a tablespoon of salt into a glass of warm water and gently "swish" this mixture around in your mouth for a couple of minutes. You can also try putting a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide into a small glass with water and tea tree oil and try that instead. Always ensure that you spit this out and never swallow.

How Can the Dentist Help?

When you visit the dentist, the specialist will have a look and let you know what the best course of action is. Much will depend on what caused the inflammation in the first place and how advanced it is. You might have to try a dose of antibiotics first to clear the infection, but the dentist may be able to irrigate the area to relieve some of the pressure on the nerve. During a subsequent visit, it may be necessary to have a root canal procedure, to clean up the infection and remove the nerves from that tooth.

For more information, contact companies like The Happy Tooth Kurri Kurri​.