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What Are the Different Types of Gingival Abscess Treatment?

By M. DePietro
Updated May 17, 2024
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A gingival abscess is a pus-filled pocket or sac on the gum line. These may develop when bacteria gets trapped under the gum line or they may be caused by gingival disease. Gingival abscess treatment should start as soon as possible to prevent the abscess from spreading to the tooth. Treatment will often include antibiotics and draining of the abscess.

The first step in treating gingival abscess is draining the abscess. In some cases, the pus-filled sac will rupture on its own. If this occurs, a dentist visit is still needed to be sure the infection has not spread to the periodontal structure.

If the abscess had not opened, the dentist will need to drain it. In some cases, the abscess can be drained by inserting a small needle into the sac. This causes the sac to burst open so the pus can drain. In other instances, a dentist may need to make an incision in the gum tissue to get to the abscess. Regardless of how the abscess is reached, after it is opened up and the pus is drained, any additional infected material will need to be removed.

It is also important for the dentist to determine if the infection has spread any further than the gum line. If the infection has spread into the periodontal structure, the dentist may suggest deep cleaning, which reaches under the gum line. In some cases, a gingival abscess may affect the structure of the tooth and cause it to become loose. If the tooth is loose, gingival abscess treatment may include extraction of the tooth.

Antibiotics are usually prescribed as part of gingival abscess treatment. The length of time the medication will be needed may depend on the extent of the infection. Pain medication may also be needed. Often, over-the-counter pain relievers will be enough to treat the pain. A dentist may suggest frequent warm salt water rinses to promote healing of the tissue and relieve pain.

Although most gingival abscesses respond well to treatment, it’s essential to see a dentist at the first sign of an abscess to prevent serious complications. In rare cases, a gingival abscess may have spread to surrounding areas, such as the floor of the mouth and the jaw. Complications can occur, such as swelling, which becomes so severe breathing becomes difficult. If this has occurred, gingival abscess treatment is more aggressive and will include surgery under general anesthesia to remove the infection. Intravenous antibiotics will also likely be needed.

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Discussion Comments
By SteamLouis — On Apr 26, 2013

@ysmina-- Garlic is a natural antibacterial and a warm tea bag will help the abscess pop and drain.

By burcidi — On Apr 25, 2013

@ysmina-- I've never had an abscess on my gum, but I have had a tooth abscess before.

Hydrogen peroxide is a good home treatment. I usually mix it with water and swish it around in my mouth without swallowing. It may help your abscess drain.

As for the infection, some natural oils such as clove oil or oregano oil can be applied. They taste very bitter though so beware of that.

I still think that antibiotics is the best and safest treatment, just because the abscess can easily spread to the rest of your mouth. But you may be able to deal with the pain and infection for a few days with these remedies until you can see your dentist.

By ysmina — On Apr 25, 2013

I woke up this morning to discover an abscess on my gum. It's slightly painful but it's not extremely bad.

I can't get to a dentist until Monday. Are there any home remedies that will make the abscess drain and clear up on its own?

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