Dental abscesses and what you need to know. A guide from our dentist in Harley Street

A subject that is rarely covered, because it makes people cringe, is the area of dental abscesses.


If you have ever been unfortunate enough to experience an abscess under one or many of your teeth, then it is unlikely that you will have forgotten what it felt like. Dental abscesses are the reason for the majority of emergency dental appointments and so, it is important to know a few facts about this particular dental issue so you can make informed decisions.

Firstly, they are usually caused by an infected pulp which will require a dental expert to treat effectively. While you may want to avoid the dental surgery altogether for fear of judgement or additional discomfort, when it comes to abscesses it is important not to do so.

And at Harley Street Dental Clinic, our team will be comforting and reassuring and will not pass judgment at such a stressful time. Our dentist Harley Street will endeavour to treat the discomfort from the abscess first and attend to any secondary issues once it has calmed and you are in no discomfort. We pride ourselves on our emergency dental team, so if you have an infection spring up overnight, contact us immediately!

But what are some of those lesser-known facts about dental infections and abscesses? Our dentist Harley Street provides them below.

Abscesses do not get better on their own

If you are extremely fearful about attending a dental appointment, you may have convinced yourself that the abscess will simply go away on its own.

And while the majority of dental abscesses do burst and seemingly resolve, this is only temporary; the pulp of the tooth is still infected and still needs the attention of our dentist Harley Street.

You may need a root canal

If you have recently recovered from an abscess, then our team is likely to schedule a root canal to ensure that the infection does not reoccur.

The infected debris of the tooth is removed from the pulp, which is then filled to prevent any bacteria from infiltrating it.

They show up on an X-ray!

You may be confused when you attend our surgery with an abscess as to why our team is taking an X-ray.

In short, an X-ray will show us how large the abscess is underneath your gum line and will help us to plan the most appropriate treatment. Once the abscess has calmed following medication, our team may take a second X-ray before beginning the root canal procedure.

You may need antibiotics

Abscess are infections and so, it is highly probable that you will need antibiotics to help in the recovery.

Standard abscesses may need a 2-week course, but more serious infections may need up to a month of antibiotics before they heal completely.

They can cause permanent damage

If left untreated, abscesses can cause deformation to the surrounding bone and may cause your teeth to protrude at odd angles, due to pressure underneath the gum.

So if you have an abscess, contact our team right away for fast relief to your discomfort.