Abscessed Tooth - Complications

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What is the prognosis for an abscessed tooth?

The prognosis depends on the extent of the spread of infection. Usually, when the infection is localized to the tooth, the prognosis is very good if treatment is sought as soon as signs and symptoms are noticed.

If left unchecked and untreated, the infection may be more difficult to control and serious health complications could occur. There is the danger that the infection could rapidly spread to the bone of the jaw and other spaces of the head and neck. The swelling in the jaw or neck could even be so great as to block the airway and be life-threatening. Finally, there is risk of further complication and spread of the infection throughout the body (sepsis). In these situations, medical care at a hospital is required.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Dawn, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 31

I have chronic abscess problem and this flares periodically. I take anti-inflammatories, naproxen, pain relief Codeine Effervescent 500-1000 mg 4 hourly. I rub tea tree oil around the gum of the tooth area of pain. Then get amoxicillin antibiotics and put ice pack to face when pain arises, at the start.

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Comment from: Roberta, Male (Caregiver) Published: April 26

My husband is a 58 year old diabetic who chose to ignore a bad tooth for approximately a year. He hasn't seen a dentist this past year either. The tooth would ache, he'd take some aspirin for pain, and then it would quit being painful, off and on. Fast forward to yesterday when his jaw has visibly swelled. Now his neck is swelling too. I talked to the dentist who said it can shut off breathing if the swelling gets very big. My husband seems very fatigued, but did get our family doctor to call in an antibiotic prescription since the dentist is out for the weekend. It's sad and scary for a wife and kids to have to watch, always worried what will happen before he decides to get help. The worst part is I believe all this could have been prevented! I hope some other family is spared this situation.

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