It's both interesting and unpleasant how quickly a dental abscess can make itself known. Of course, the abscess would have been developing for quite some time, and yet the mild tingling that quickly developed into inflammation and discomfort might be the first you've heard about it. The tingling sensation that can precede the seemingly sudden appearance of an abscess might not automatically be a cause for alarm, but from the moment that pain starts to develop, you need to seek dental treatment.
Your regular dentist should be your first port of call, and yet don't hesitate to find an emergency dental treatment provider if the abscess should erupt on a weekend or late at night. Aside from seeking dental treatment as soon as possible, is there anything you can do at home to make yourself comfortable?
It's not as though you should delay treatment, but there are some types of abscesses that will benefit from some immediate, though minor, intervention. Over the counter pain relief can be helpful, and you should opt for a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (ibuprofen) if you should have some on hand. Regular aspirin can also bring some relief, but it will not have any effect on the inflammation. Despite the fact that a dental abscess has the potential to be quite painful, do not exceed the recommended dose. But what about when an abscess seems to develop extremely quickly and even bursts?
A Visible Abscess
It depends on the severity of the abscess and its position in your mouth, but you can sometimes see it. It looks like a small white dot, similar to a pimple. It's also similar to a pimple in that it's filled with pus that your body is seeking to expel. Do not attempt to burst it, as this can lead to infection. A warm compress applied to the affected area in conjunction with over the counter pain relief will keep you comfortable until you arrive at the dentist's office. However, there are some instances when an abscess can burst of its own accord. What should you do if that happens?
A Burst Abscess
Again, it depends on the severity of the abscess, and yet sometimes it seems as though they can bleed quite heavily. You need to minimise this bleeding. You might only notice that your abscess has burst by the sudden onset of a disgusting taste in your mouth. This is the pus that has just flowed from the abscess. It might be followed by the taste of blood. Rinse your mouth thoroughly. You now need to staunch the bleeding. Steep a teabag in hot water for a few minutes. You want it to be warm, but not scalding. Press it onto the bleeding abscess and apply light pressure. Ideally, it should be held in place by your cheek, but you can also bite gently down on it to hold it in place. The tannic acid in the tea can help the blood to clot.
While there are some things you can do to care for your dental abscess, these are only methods for bringing relief until you can see a dentist, which should be as soon as possible.