How dangerous is an abscess in the upper jaw?
Although an abscess in the upper jaw is unpleasant, it is not life-threatening if treated in time. An optimal treatment of an abscess in the upper jaw is given by a surgical removal of the pus and a simultaneous fight against the cause of the abscess development. However, if the abscess is not treated and can continue to spread undisturbed, there is a risk that the pathogen will spread to the inside of the skull via a blood vessel in the face.
This can then lead to a life-threatening blood clot in the veins of the skull, a so-called sinus cavernosus thrombosis. If an abscess has formed in the area of the upper jaw, it will become visible from the outside at the level of the cheeks as it expands. Characteristically, a bulge-like swelling then forms here, which can become painful and sensitive to pressure as it progresses. A jaw abscess on the cheek can also become visible by a reddening of the swollen area and feel warm. In advanced stages of the disease, the accumulation of pus is already visible from the outside of the cheek area.
Treatment of the abscess in the upper jaw
The treatment of an abscess in the upper jaw can be done in different ways. First of all, it is important to fight the cause of the abscess, e.g. to remove the focus of inflammation in the oral cavity. In the early stages, an abscess in the jaw can be treated with antibiotics, but this only delays the progression of the pus accumulation and does not make the abscess disappear.
Therefore, in the case of an upper jaw abscess, the pus cavity must be opened and the contents sucked out. Depending on the extent of the abscess, this can be done through the oral cavity, but in some cases the access must also be chosen from the outside through the facial skin. Learn more about this under: Pus in the jawThe surgical treatment of an abscess in the upper jaw can be carried out with two different methods.
These are both carried out either under local or general anaesthesia. The first method is used for smaller abscesses. Here the pus cavity is opened from the oral cavity and then the pus is sucked out.
The resulting wound is not sutured, but left open. Here a drainage is then inserted to allow further pus to drain away. This is important, because if the wound were closed immediately, pus would accumulate again.
After a few days the drainage can be removed. The second method is performed when the abscess is already relatively large. Here the access is placed over the skin from the outside and then a drainage is inserted.
The patient then usually receives a head bandage. However, during the surgical removal of an abscess, it is essential that the cause of the accumulation of pus is always removed, otherwise the surgical procedure must be repeated quickly. Generally, home remedies against abscesses are used, which have an anti-inflammatory or antibacterial effect.
For example, the application of a sliced onion is recommended. Sometimes it is also recommended to use so-called traction ointment, which is supposed to help drain the accumulation of pus to the outside. However, since an abscess in the facial area always involves the risk of the pathogens being transmitted into the inside of the skull with life-threatening consequences, household remedies should not be experimented with here. Thus, even in the case of an abscess in the upper jaw, a visit to a doctor is essential.