My gum is infected over an abscess. Dentists, can you calm my fears?



Dec 20, 2009

I'm feeling soooo worried right now & I could use some common sense advice.

I have an abscessed 2nd molar. The tooth itself is nothing but roots now as it broke off at the gum some time ago. I'm due to get it extracted in the next few days, but I'm worrying to the point of making myself ill.

The gum over the tooth has swollen up and hurts like hell. It's also swollen and reddened around the side - and the wisdom tooth next to it is slightly raised as if swelling is pushing it up. Swallowing hurts a bit as my tongue pushes against the sore bit.

The soreness I'm feeling does not seem like classic, throbbing abscess pain. It seems more "surface" if that makes sense, which makes me think that it's the gum tissue that's infected now. I should also add that gland in my neck directly below this tooth seems slighly swollen and sore.

My dentist didn't seem overly concerned and wasn't inclined to prescribe any antibiotics, but when I told him how worried I was about any swelling getting out of control, of getting blood poisoning he prescribed me 2x3g sachets of Amoxil for my peace of mind. He told me only to use this if things deteriorated massively and I became unwell.

I haven't taken the Amoxil as I can't honestly say that anything has gotten worse since I saw him, and I don't want to waste it. But this means that I'm not taking anything for the infection and it's not showing any signs of going away.

The thought of an infection in my mouth is scaring me. Can you tell me if this kind of thing is likely to get dangerous? Do I need to be as panicked as I am?

Also, when I have the extraction and this infection is still there, will that cause it to spread? And the thought of having a needle in this sore area brings me out in a cold sweat.

I'm sorry this is so long. Please advise if you can.

Thanks :)

Stress Doc

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Dec 10, 2008
Hi DM69

Good and reasonable questions. I will do my best to answer.

A dental abscess can manifest in many ways depending upon different factors. They may have terrible pain or small discomfort. Swelling is very common.

An abscess tends to stay localized and does not really spread. If you are in decent health you should not have any problems. Blood poisoning or anything like it is fairly rare. The body does a great job with isolating these things.

Since you are getting this dealt with in a few days you will be fine. Also the topical anesthetics numb the area nicely so the LA can be administered without discomfort.

The whole process will be quick and painless. You will be amazed at how easy this is. You will do great and be pain free when this is taken care of.

I hope this helps.

Blessings :D