What To Do If You Get A Periapical Or Dental Abscess


Occurs secondary to an infective process in the pulp.

Clinical Features

Clinically presents with pain and localized swelling adjacent to the carious tooth. This swelling can be purulent and can spread to the adjacent mucosa depending on severity.


  1. Initiate analgesics treatment: Ibuprofen 400mg orally 8 hourly.
  2. In the presence of an abscess: Give amoxicillin 500mg 8 hourly orally and metronidazole 400mg 8 hourly.
  3. Incise and drain the abscess; swab for culture and sensitivity.
  4. Institute root canal treatment for the offending tooth.
  5. Wait 4 days to extract the tooth if it is grossly carious to allow the abscess to subside. Provide dental prosthesis thereafter.

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