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Upper front tooth abscess

I woke up on monday morning in extreme pain and with a completely swollen top lip, stretched nose and puffy cheek. Having no idea what was wrong I went to the doctors and was put on amoxcillin (they weren't sure what was wrong as the abscess isn't visible, it is really high up under my lip and quite large).

Some of my swelling has gone down since and the pain has completely stopped, although obviously the abscess still causes discomfort because of the pressure, does this mean my front tooth has died? It has changed in colour, it's now slightly greyish. I have a dentist appointment in two days and was wondering what they would do.?

To drain the abscess I think that they would need to make an incision quite deep into my lip/gum as it is so high up and the skin seems quite thick. I am terrified of the dentist and after reading WAY too much about 'upper front tooth abscesses' I just want to know exactly what to expect.

Will they do a root canal on my first appointment, after the drainage? Is it incredibley painful during and after? And how often are teeth removed? I don't have any rotten teeth or fillings and after wearing a brace and looking after my teeth really well I am so upset! The only possible reason for this abscess that I can think of is that about a year ago, my front tooth got the corner chipped off.

Please respond asap... I am a worrier!!


This discussion is related to dental abscess.
7 Responses
745634 tn?1243727047
First off, take a deep breath, everything will be fine.

Continue taking your amoxicillin until its gone, stopping early just creates more problems.

The grey color does indicate the nerve of the tooth is dead.  Depending on the size and severity of the abcess, they may or may not need to drain it.  Incision and drainage is only used for really severe infections, otherwise antibiotics are enough to remove the swelling.

If you are still swollen, most likely the dentist will not do the root canal that day.  We usually like to wait until the antibiotics clear most of the infection first.  

A root canal is a rather simple procedure, especially on front teeth.  They are much easier than people think (not the dreaded thing everyone claims them to be).  The dentist should get you numb, and after that everything is painfree.  After, you should feel no pain, and the only discomfort you might feel would be from the healing bone where the body is still fighting the infection outside the tooth.

If your tooth is mostly intact, there is no reason the dentist would need to remove it.

How did you chip your tooth?  How much of the tooth was chipped off?
Avatar universal
Thank you for your info, I'm feeling a bit calmer now! It got chipped by a friend dropping a camera on my face..nothing exciting! It was just the bottom corner, starting about half way up the tooth - my dentist filled it in and it has been quite sensitive since.  My face swelling has gone down a lot, its just the abscess itself now. It feels like a grape pushed up under my top lip, pushing into my nose! I hope it can be sorted out tomorrow. I'm glad a root canal isn't always like the horror stories that I have read!

Thanks again
Avatar universal
The other day I found out I chiped my tooth I got infection in there and now have an abscesson my gums.also my face swoll up. I went to the dentist and I need to to pull the tooth. They gave me antibiotics but I have been taking them for two full days and the abscess is still there and blood is pooring out every so often. what should I do.
Avatar universal
i had root canal treatment done on my upper middle large tooth around twenty years ago, from time to time over the years i felt a little lump on my gum, never caused me pain. last sunday i woke up with a severe pain in this tooth, went to dentist on monday, who took an xray and said i had a abscess. he put me antibotics and gave me pain killers also, its now wed and my lips and gums are swollen, the pain has gone down a tiny bit but i still cant sleep with the pain.  is this normal that the pain and now the swelling has started. does the abscess have to burst or clear before it gets better.  my dentist says he cant check the root canal work done previously until the infection clears.,  i am so worried about loosing my tooth.  when will the anti botics start to work.  i look forward to hearing from you, many thanks. ann
Avatar universal
I have been vomitting for 2 days I'm on antibiotic but can't keep much down. Face and mouth swollen . When do I go to ER?
Avatar universal
Just a little update... I wrote the original post back in 2009 and my root canal (and crown) on my front tooth lasted 8 years and then the problems started! In the last year, the abscess returned so I had another root canal (which failed) and then an apicoectomy last week by a specialist endodontist. But here I am... at 1am, lying awake in awful pain. I'm pleased to report I still have no fillings but I'm coming to the realisation it may be time to say goodbye to this tooth forever... gosh if it wasn't my front tooth I'd have got rid of it a long time ago. Who knows what implant options will be viable (if any!) after the (multiple) infections & surgical treatments. One crazy accident with a camera being dropped on my face, knocking my tooth and chipping it all those years ago, has resulted in a lot of pain, many dentist appts, waving goodbye to large sums of money and still no permanent solution as yet. Oh joy. If only 2009 me knew what I know now, maybe I'd have just had it out straight away. I'd be very interested to know if anyone else has experienced a similar situation and what end result they opted for!
Avatar universal
I chipped my front tooth 44 years ago, and had a root canal, braces, bonding then finally a crown put on. In the early 90s, I had an abscess make an opening in the front of my gums and start draining. It seems that the metal point in my root canal caused the abscess and an endodontist did a second root canal, removed the metal and used gumma percha and it was fine. Now it’s 2018 and I have a soreness beneath my nose and I thought it was from clenching my teeth while I sleep.  That was until I just poked my finger up there and there is a swelling about the size of a raisin and it is painful. Wonderful. I bet it’s a new abscess. Will be locating a new dentist in the morning and hope that I can get in somewhere. I’m nervous.
1 Comments
HI, how did this turn out. It sounds like my story.
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