Instructions for Dental Infections

An infection (abscess) of a tooth or the gums can start out small, but can quickly become quite severe, even requiring hospitalization, if not attended to properly.

  • Be sure to follow these instructions. The success of fighting infection is dependent largely on how closely you follow them. If you have any questions or problems, call us at Branson Dental Center Phone Number 417-336-8478.
  • If antibiotics are prescribed, start taking them immediately. Take them exactly as it says on the label. Finish all the pills even if you feel better before they are gone.
  • If pain medication is prescribed, take it only as you need it. Don’t exceed the dose on the label. Taking with food or milk will help reduce upset stomach. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery when taking pain prescriptions.
  • Use warm saltwater “holds”. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in a warm glass of water. Take a mouthful and hold it in your cheek over the infection area until the water cools; repeat until the water is gone. Doing this every hour will help pull the infection towards the surface of the gums so it can drain. Doing this at the same time as using the cold packs outside of the mouth enhances the effect.
  • Use cold packs on face over the infected area. Place on face for 15-20 minutes, and then leave off for 15-20 minutes,  and leave off for 15-20 minutes.
  • Do not use heating pads on the outside of your face. This can cause the infection to worsen and spread further.
  • You may need to eat softer foods.
  • Avoid smoking until the infection has subsided

Even when following these instructions, it may take at least 24 hours for the infection and discomfort to stop. If you don’t get significant improvement within 48 hours, or if it continues to get worse after 24 hours, call Branson Dental Center Phone Number 417-336-8478.