A dental abscess is a collection of pus that can form within the teeth, gums, or even in the bone that holds the teeth in place. An abscess may form after bacteria get into the tooth and gum.
Your mouth is full of bacteria, which form a sticky film on your teeth known as ‘plaque’. If you don’t regularly brush your teeth and they are not kept clean, acids produced by the bacteria in the plaque can cause damage to teeth and gums, which then can result in gum disease or tooth decay.
The following increase the risk of developing a dental abscess:
- Poor oral hygiene – plaque can build-up on your teeth if you don't floss and brush your teeth regularly.
- Consuming lots of sugary or starchy food and drink – these can encourage the growth of bacteria in plaque and may lead to decay that can result in an abscess.
- Injury or previous surgery to your teeth or gums – bacteria can get into any damaged parts of the teeth or gums.
- A weakened immune system – this includes people with certain underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, and those having treatment, including steroid medication or chemotherapy.
Food and Drink. Consume soft foods and you can help to reduce the pressure and pain of the abscess by not consuming food and drink that is too hot or too cold. You should also try eating on the side of your mouth not affected by the abscess.
Analgesia. Painkillers may offer some relief but do not use these as a reason to delay treatment. Seeing a dentist for a face-to-face consultation should always be paramount or you can try the NHS using the 111 service should you need to urgently speak to somebody about your symptoms. Medical Specialists® Pharmacy are able to prescribe certain analgesic medication that may help with your pain – such as Diclofenac or Naproxen. With painkillers – and indeed any medication you may take – remember to not exceed the recommended dosage. Some treatments may also contain the same active ingredients so you should check with your own doctor before taking different painkillers simultaneously.
Brushing. It is advisable using a soft toothbrush and to avoid flossing the affected tooth.
Medical Specialists® can provide an antibiotic emergency dental abscess treatment, however this is done on the understanding that you book an appointment with your own dentist so that they can find the cause of the problem. Using antibiotics on a continuous or long-term basis will not treat the cause and can increase the risk of antibiotic resistance.
Amoxicillin 500mg is the first-line treatment for tooth infections/abscesses and this is available to buy online from us without a prescription. For those who are allergic to Penicillin within Amoxicillin, we can prescribe Metronidazole 200mg tablets as an alternative treatment.
Dental abscesses left untreated can cause further complications and Medical Specialists® would like to stress to all patients that it is imperative that you make an appointment with your dentist to properly treat the problem.
‘Dental caries’ is the scientific description for tooth decay or cavities. It is caused by certain kinds of bacteria. They produce acid that attacks and damages the tooth's enamel and the layer under it, the dentine.
What causes Dental Caries? The acid is produced by the bacteria after it has broken down food debris or sugar sitting on the surface of the tooth. This sugar is the bacteria’s food and it uses it to live and multiply. As the simple sugars contained in food are these bacteria's primary energy source, having a diet low in simple sugars can lower the risk of dental caries. The cavities may present as different colours from yellow to black. Tooth decay symptoms can include pain and difficulty with eating.
Prevention of Dental Caries. Colgate Duraphat 2800ppm and 5000ppm contain a higher fluoride concentration than regular toothpaste and therefore delivers a much greater caries reduction than regular fluoride toothpaste. Duraphat toothpastes are prescription-only and can only be prescribed by a dentist, dental hygiene therapist, doctor, or certain other prescribers. However, Duraphat has been shown in clinical studies that people who are at a higher risk of tooth decay can derive additional benefits from the daily use of the toothpaste, helping to prevent tooth decay and reverse early stages of tooth decay. Duraphat 2800ppm and 5000ppm are both available from Medical Specialists® following an online consultation with one of our Prescribers.
The main treatment for a tooth cavity is simply for a dentist to drill out the decay and insert a filling (restoration) made from materials such as composite resins, amalgam and porcelain. Extensive tooth decay may require a crown, root canal treatment or the tooth may need to be extracted.
Bad breath (also known as halitosis) occurs when an unpleasant odour is present upon exhaled breath. However, rest assure that 95% of us suffer with it at some point in our lives, with a quarter of adults battling it on a regular basis.
What causes Bad Breath? Consistently poor oral hygiene is primarily the cause of bad breath. Bacteria from poor oral hygiene can accumulate on the teeth and tongue, causing plaque to form, gum disease and tooth decay. Unfortunately, this bacteria joins with saliva in the breakdown of food particles and proteins, culminating in the release of unpleasant smelling gases known as volatile sulphur compounds (VCSs). The culprit VCSs include: hydrogen sulphide, methyl mercaptan, allyl methyl sulphide, and dimethyl sulphide. The failure to brush and floss on a regular basis will mean that food still trapped in areas between your teeth will be broken down by the bacteria, giving you bad breath.
There are numerous other factors though that can contribute to bad breath, and it is worth being aware of them.
- Crash dieting.
- Food and drink.
- Certain Medicines.
Treatment will usually depend on the cause of your bad breath. Stopping smoking, avoiding certain food and drink, eating enough carbohydrates, having good oral hygiene, as well as using CB12 mouthwash (as seen on television) are just some of the things you can do to try and alleviate bead breath. CB12 Mint/Menthol and CB12 White are available to buy online from the Medical Specialists®. In addition to combating bad breath, CB12 White can even help to strengthen enamel, remove stains and whiten your teeth!
It is also important to go for regular dental check-ups as your dentist/hygienist can ensure any plaque is removed from your teeth – especially in areas difficult to get to. In addition, the dentist can spot any early signs of gum disease and advise appropriate treatment as early as possible.
Dental and Mouth Care Tips. Remember it is imperative to look after your teeth, after all you only get one set of adult teeth! There are many thing you can do to lower your risk of suffering with the above dental and mouth problems:
- Brush your teeth twice a day and brush for at least two to three minutes.
- Preferably use an electric toothbrush.
- Spit after brushing and do not rinse, so the fluoride stays on your teeth longer.
- Go for regular check-ups with your dentist or hygienist.
- If you do not use an electric toothbrush, then make sure to change your toothbrush every two to three months, or sooner if the filaments become worn.
- Floss your teeth daily.
- Have a healthy diet low in sugar.
- Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food (don’t open bottle tops with your teeth for example).