Emergency Dental Interventions For Apical Abscess

Posted on: 12 November 2021


An apical abscess is a severe infection of the nerve of a tooth. The abscess is filled with bacteria-laden pus, and can cause a severe toothache, a bad taste in your mouth especially when biting down or chewing, fever, fatigue, and muscle pain. If emergency dentist services are not implemented, your apical abscess may spread to other parts of your body. Here are interventions your dentist may recommend to treat your apical abscess.

Drainage And Root Canal

One of the most important dental interventions in the management of an apical abscess is drainage. Once all of the pus has been drained and the area thoroughly cleaned, the nerve and its surrounding areas can begin to heal. In addition to draining the infectious material, your dentist may recommend a root canal to further treat the infection.

A root canal can help save an abscessed tooth from extraction, and if your family dentist determines that you are a candidate for a root canal they may refer you to a dental specialist known as an endodontist. An endodontist is a dental specialist whose practice is limited to diagnosing and treating dental pain and performing root canals.

Antibiotic Therapy

In addition to draining the apical abscess and root canal treatments, emergency dental services for an abscessed tooth may also include oral antibiotics. While antibiotics are very effective in treating apical abscesses, the entire prescription needs to be consumed to ensure that the infection has completely resolved.

While most antibiotics used in the treatment of dental infections are typically well-tolerated by most patients, certain individuals may experience mild gastrointestinal upset. For these people, taking an over-the-counter probiotic such as acidophilus or eating yogurt that contains live cultures can help repopulate the gastrointestinal system with good bacteria.

It is important to note that taking probiotics and eating yogurt may need to be carefully timed. Your dentist may recommend taking probiotics or eating yogurt a couple of hours before or a couple of hours after taking your antibiotics so that they do not interfere with the effectiveness of the medication. 

If you develop any of the above symptoms of an apical abscess, see your dentist as soon as possible. When an apical abscess is diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages, your infection will be less likely to spread to other parts of your body and you will be less likely to lose your tooth to extraction.