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Abscessed Tooth with SEVERE Swelling
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Abscessed Tooth with SEVERE Swelling

May 15 I developed an abscess. They can't get me in to get the 2 teeth pulled until June 25th. The next day, my cheek was the size of a baseball and the meds weren't helping. I went to th ER. Dr numbed it, cut a slit in it, gave me dilaudid &zophran, &sent me home with vicodin. RELIEF!

June 3 it was back. I went to the dentist June 5. He couldn't see me. They called in 825mg amoxicillin 2x a day &the weakest dose of vicodin. Yesterday, I was throwing up &in a world of pain so I went to the ER. The PA called "Chicago" Dental hoping to get me a sooner appt to no avail. They refused to numb &drain the abscess, citing dangers of not using appropriate tools (&this time it's about the size of a golf ball). They sent me home with zophran &percocet. I'm not throwing up &my pain went from intolerable to sore. I have a few questions:

I've heard people say to sterylize a needle &poke a hole in it to drain it. I'm not afraid to do it at all. I can't deal with it being so swollen &hard. If the swelling went away, I know I would have even less pain than I do. My question is: If a brand new needle and my hand are properly sterylized, is there real danger in trying this?

How long should it take for the swelling to go down? This is day 3 of 6 on the antibiotic.

Is 6 days enough?

Should the antibiotic make it so that I'm not in severe pain until June 25th?

Thank you so much for having this site!!!!
540545_tn?1377626518
Hi Helen,

I wouldn't recommend doing that, just because you're already infected and there's still a risk of another infection or worsening of the infection due to a contaminated area.  There's no need to complicate the situation more.  If any needle would do, I think healthcare's standards would be much lower.

The antibiotics should help to contain the infection.  If the antibiotics don't work, you could look into getting another prescription for a different antibiotic that may work better.  

Why didn't the previous hospital visit not want to do an incision and drainage in the area?  I would think any hospital would have a clean scalpel to make an incision.  Its possible the doctors/nurses were not comfortable in providing this care.



3 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
They say that they don't have the proper tools to drain abscesses, that they can make the infection worse. For the third time in a month, the abscess is back! I can't believe it! I did a round of Keflex, a 6 day round of amoxicillin, and this last time, a 6 day round of clindamycin (not sure if I spelled that right but I'm sure you know what I mean). The thing that irritates me the most is that I've been responsible, taking the prescriptions exactly as prescribed, not a single missed dose! June 25th can't come fast enough! Would you recommend half peroxide and half water as an oral rinse?
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540545_tn?1377626518
It may help.  Try a warm salt water rinse and use that frequently in the area.  Sometimes by being salty, it can help drain some fluid out of the abscess and then you can spit that out.  

I'm surprised they don't have the proper tools but if that's what it is, that's what it is.

Follow their antibiotic regimen and hopefully they'll find the right one that the abscess will respond to.
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Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
Irvine Modern Dentistry
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