How do you treat a lower jaw abscess?
A superficial abscess of the lower jaw should always be surgically opened and rinsed out. Depending on the size of the abscess, a hospital stay of several days may be necessary, because a drain is placed to drain the pus in order to empty the abscess completely. Depending on the exact location of the abscess, it can be opened from the outside or inside.
The incision is therefore made either on the outer edge of the lower jaw or the temporal region, or it is placed inside the oral cavity. Additionally, antibiotics are used in the therapy. In the case of an abscess in the face, the antibiotics are always administered via the vein.
The antibiotics of choice are 1st generation cephalosporins. In case of an allergy to penicillin, the antibiotic clindamycin can also be used. In case of a lower jaw abscess, a surgical opening and removal of the abscess should always be performed.
Depending on where the abscess is located on the lower jaw and in which regions it extends, the incision is made to open the abscess. Some lower jaw abscesses are opened from the outside, while other abscesses are opened from the inside via the oral cavity. Furthermore, superficial abscesses that are not very extensive can be opened under local anaesthetic by the dentist (or oral surgeon).
Deeper abscesses affecting the bone or deep soft tissue are always treated in hospital under general anaesthesia. A jaw abscess is a clinical picture that must be treated medically to avoid serious complications. Although it is possible to temporarily relieve the pain by cooling, this does not cure the underlying problem.
The use of home remedies should therefore be regarded as critical, since as few manipulations as possible should be carried out on an abscess. Touching the abscess, including the application of home remedies, can cause the abscess to empty and thus lead to a carry-over of germs into the bloodstream. The consequences would be fatal. The use of household remedies should therefore be avoided. If an abscess in the lower jaw is suspected, a doctor or the hospital should be consulted in any case.
Causes of an abscess in the lower jaw
- A common cause of a lower jaw abscess is an untreated root canal inflammation. In most cases, a spreading caries is the cause, which is hidden behind the inflammation of the tooth root. If untreated, the infection can spread and lead to a purulent abscess on the lower jaw.
Pain, fever and the loss of the tooth are possible consequences. – But root canal inflammation is not the only cause of a lower jaw abscess. Complications during dental surgery or other operations on the lower jaw may also be responsible for the penetration of germs and the development of an abscess.
- In addition, abscesses can also occur without a recognisable cause. – In addition, remnants of teeth, such as remains of wisdom teeth in the jaw, can lead to an abscess in the lower jaw. – Dental implants that have become loose are also a possible cause of an abscess in the lower jaw.
- Injuries to the soft tissues or inflammation of the lymph nodes in the lower jaw are also potential causes of an abscess. One cause of an abscess in the cheek can be remnants of the wisdom teeth and inflammatory processes in this region of the lower jaw. Swelling, similar to that after removal of the wisdom teeth, is possible.
Typical are “hamster cheeks”, whereby the abscess is more likely to be found on one side than both sides. In any case, treatment is necessary, as the abscess can spread to neighbouring regions, such as the palate and neck. There is a risk of breathing difficulties and shortness of breath.