a man pressing his jaw due to tooth pain

A dental abscess, a collection of pus caused by a bacterial infection in the tooth or surrounding gum tissue, can be painful and concerning. While seeking professional dental help is crucial for definitive treatment and preventing complications, there are some measures you can take at home for dental abscess self-care while awaiting your appointment.

However, it's essential to remember that dental abscess self-care is not a substitute for professional treatment; it aims to manage the symptoms and discomfort until you see your dentist.

Understanding Dental Abscesses

Before discussing dental abscess self-care, it's important to understand the condition itself. A dental abscess can form due to various reasons, including:

Symptoms of a dental abscess can include:

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's vital to schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of your body and causing serious complications.

Dental Abscess Self-Care: What You Can Do at Home

While dental abscess self-care cannot cure the infection, it can help manage the symptoms and discomfort until you see your dentist. Here are some things you can do at home:

Saltwater Rinses

For quick relief from inflammation and discomfort, try this easy and helpful home remedy: dissolve half a teaspoon of table salt in warm water. Swish the solution gently for 30 seconds, then discard it. Repeat this process throughout the day as needed.

Over-the-counter Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage the discomfort and swelling associated with a dental abscess. However, it is crucial to adhere to the dosage instructions on the label strictly and never surpass the recommended amount to avoid any potential complications.

Cold Compresses

Applying a cold compress to the outside of your cheek, near the affected area, can help reduce swelling and discomfort. Wrap the ice pack in a towel to prevent skin irritation.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Brushing and flossing regularly, even around the affected area, helps remove bacteria and debris that can worsen the infection. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and be gentle around the abscess.

Elevate your Head

Elevating your head while sleeping can be a simple yet effective way to manage swelling and discomfort associated with a dental abscess. By using extra pillows to prop yourself up, you create a slight incline that helps reduce blood flow to the affected area, leading to a decrease in inflammation and pain.

Avoid Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking and the consumption of alcohol should be avoided as they can irritate the gums. Furthermore, these substances are known to decelerate the healing process, potentially prolonging recovery time.

Important Reminders:

Seeking Professional Dental Help

a woman cupping her jaw because of tooth pain

Seeking professional dental help is crucial for definitive treatment and preventing complications from a dental abscess. Here's what you can expect:

Scheduling an Appointment:

Preparation for your Appointment:

During your Appointment:

Your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, including the affected area and surrounding teeth. X-rays might be taken to assess the extent of the infection and the condition of the underlying tooth.

Based on the examination and X-rays, your dentist will discuss the best course of treatment for your specific case. This may involve a combination of:

Early diagnosis and treatment of a dental abscess are essential to prevent complications and ensure a successful recovery. Don't hesitate to seek professional help the moment you suspect you might have an abscess.

Preventing Dental Abscesses

Here are some ways to help prevent dental abscesses:

Get Expert Help at Belvedere Family Dentistry

close-up shot of a man during a dental consultation

Experiencing throbbing toothaches, facial swelling, or discomfort around your gums? These could be signs of a dental abscess or a painful infection that requires prompt, professional attention. At Belvedere Family Dentistry, we understand the urgency and discomfort associated with dental abscesses.

Our team is dedicated to providing gentle and effective treatment, ensuring your comfort throughout the process. We offer a variety of treatment options based on your specific needs.

Don't wait for the pain to worsen. Take control of your oral health and well-being. Call Belvedere Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment and get the expert care you deserve.


A dental abscess is a serious condition that requires professional treatment. While dental abscess self-care can help manage the symptoms and discomfort until you see your dentist, it's crucial to remember that it's not a substitute for professional care. By understanding the symptoms, practicing good oral hygiene, and seeking prompt dental attention, you can manage your dental health and prevent future complications.


Can I rely on natural remedies like clove oil or garlic to address a dental abscess?

Nope, natural remedies such as clove oil or garlic may promise relief from dental abscess pain, but they don't tackle the root of the problem—the infection itself. In fact, they might even do more harm than good. It's always best to seek professional dental assistance for an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan.

How long will it take for a dental abscess to disappear without treatment?

Dental abscesses won't vanish on their own. They require professional intervention to clear up the infection. Putting off treatment can result in severe consequences, including the loss of teeth, infection of the jawbone, and potentially life-threatening scenarios.

Can I consume food and drinks normally while dealing with a dental abscess?

Though staying hydrated is crucial, chewing or swallowing might be uncomfortable with a dental abscess. Opting for soft, bland foods and lukewarm liquids can minimize discomfort.

It’s National Heart Health Month! Did you know that oral health can be directly linked to heart health? Delta Dental has recently provided evidence that gum disease in both moderate and advanced stages puts you at a greater risk for developing heart disease than you be with healthy gums. Regular oral screenings can also help point doctors to a variety of other diseases that may start with warning signs in your mouth.

How Does Your Oral Health Connect to Your Heart?

Every system in your body is connected. Just like consuming food through your mouth makes its way to your stomach, any bacteria or germs that start off in your mouth can fairly easily be spread throughout the rest of your body through your blood stream.Mayo Clinic and theAmerican Heart Association have been able to show that this bacteria can actually attach itself to any already damaged areas when it gets to your heart. The attached bacteria can then lead to further inflammation, which has been linked to clogged arteries and even strokes.

Are You At Risk?

People who suffer from chronic gum diseases like gingivitis or advanced periodontitis are at the highest risk for developing heart disease as a direct cause of poor oral health and dental hygiene. It is important to know that plaque buildup from skipping just one brushing or flossing session a week can easily add up to create issues with your gums.

How To Prevent Heart and Oral Diseases

Keeping up with your regular cleanings and examinations here at Belvedere Family Dentistry & Orthodontics is extremely important in protecting yourself against harmful bacteria and diseases. Call our front desk today at 704-927-5499 to schedule your next appointment with us! If you have any concerns surrounding your oral health, and gum diseases especially, be sure to talk to one of our dentist and explain all of your symptoms.

Read this article by Tracey Sandilands, published for Colgate, to learn more about how your heart and mouth are related and what you should do to prevent disease from growing.

Seeing some red in the sink after brushing or flossing may raise an eyebrow or two. It may seem like your gums are bleeding for no reason. But before you venture down the rabbit hole of what-ifs, consider these common causes of bleeding gums.

Common Causes of Bleeding Gums

When It’s Time for a Visit

If you do make these suggested changes to your oral health routine but the bleeding doesn’t improve within 10 days, it’s best to come in to Belvedere Family Dentistry for a visit. Give us a call today at 704-927-5499 or schedule your next appointment online now!

Scaling and root planing may be the right solution for you if you have any signs or symptoms of gum disease. Belvedere Family Dentistry is one of the best dental offices that’s located in Charlotte, North Carolina. We care about our patients and we want you to have a smile that you can be proud of. In this article we will be discussing How scaling and root planing can boost your oral health.

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

First, we are going to be talking about what the procedures are and then we will get to the part on how it can boost your oral health. Scaling and root planing is two different procedures that are combined into one. When you come into the office for a visit and if you show signs and symptoms of gum disease, we will recommend that you need to get this deep cleaning treatment. The number one question is what exactly is scaling and root planing?

Scaling is the first part of the procedure that we will do. This procedure is really similar to a normal dental cleaning, but what makes the two procedures different from one another is that when we do the scaling we will require different tools to use to remove the plaque and tarter off of your teeth in the hardest places to reach in your mouth. Plus, we do this below the gum line as well.

Root planing is the last part of the procedure. This procedure will make it more difficult for the bacteria to grow back onto your teeth. What we do is we will smooth out the surface of your teeth and at the root of your teeth and around the gum line, we will buff all the grooves and crevices away.    

How can Scaling and Root Planing Boost Your Dental Health

Scaling and root planing is a procedure that is done in one visit and it is well known as dental fillings and root canal treatment. Scaling and root planing is a restorative procedure that will help boost your dental health. This procedure is considered as a deep cleaning of your teeth and will prevent gum disease form progressing further. Having this procedure done will boost your confidence and make your smile more bright and full of life. 

If you are having any signs and symptoms of gum disease, we urge you to call us and set up an appointment as soon as possible. That way we can gain the upper hand and get control of this horrible disease. Here at Belvedere Family Dentistry in Charlotte, North Carolina, we take pride in our work and we strive to give you the best care possible. Call us today for a consult.  

Perhaps you are young, or maybe you have always taken good care of your teeth. Therefore, you have not made many steps to prevent gum disease, specifically. In your mind, such a problem may seem years away or even a complete impossibility. Instead of allowing this disease to run you down later on, take preventative measures now. A number of reasons exist to do so.

You may not realize until it’s too late.
While you may have some warning signs of gum disease, that is not always the case, especially if you are haphazard about your oral hygiene. By the time you recognize that a problem exists and schedule an appointment with the general dentist, you may have put yourself into a precarious position with your health.

You can detect the warning signs.
Instead of allowing yourself to sit idly while you wait for gum disease to arrive, you should speak with your general dentist now about what to look for. Seeing what you have to watch out for is crucial. That way, as soon as you notice a problem, you can head to the dentist to talk about plans.

You can figure out what your risks are.
Even if you still end up developing gum disease, you can go into the situation with an educated mind. Speaking to your dentist now allows you to make plans for the future. Your dentist may be able to tell you what your chances are of getting gum disease. If the risk is high, you can begin to acclimate your mind to the types of treatment plans you will need to follow in the future.

Gum disease can be deadly.
Preparing for potential problems is always useful, especially when the problems can pose a fatal risk to your health. For example, if you have gum disease, you may be inviting bacteria into your gums. Once these diseases are in your gums, they can travel to through your bloodstream to other parts of your body; they could, for example, reach your heart.

Gum disease is a major dental issue, but too many people take it lightly and ignore the serious consequences it can have. Do not allow yourself to fall into this scenario. Instead, call our office now to schedule an appointment with one of our dental experts.

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in tree bark, plants, fruits, and vegetables. The human body also produces it in small amounts. It looks and tastes like sugar, so as part of a health regimen, most people require no willpower to use it.

Xylitol is safe (approved by the World Health Organization) because only a small amount is needed for health benefits. With a glycemic index of seven, it is safe for diabetics. It has less than three calories per gram and 40% fewer calories than other carbohydrates. If eaten in extremely large amounts too quickly, it has a laxative effect in humans.

Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars you eat. When you eat food that contains ordinary sugar, it gives energy to the bacteria on your teeth, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that destroy the enamel on the teeth.

Since xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants, it does not break down like sugar, so it helps maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth because they are unable to digest it. That is how it protects the teeth from cavities.

With xylitol, the acid attack is diminished. With less bacteria and acid, your teeth stay healthier. The frequency of xylitol ingestion is important: aim for five grams a day, or one gram every three hours.

Studies of xylitol use as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have demonstrated a dramatic reduction in new cavities. It has also stopped and even reversed some existing cavities. This effect is long lasting and possibly permanent. Low cavity rates persist even years after the trials have been completed.

Xylitol needs to be one of the first ingredients in a product to be effective. It is convenient and easy to use. You can find it in health food stores and specialty grocery stores. Xylitol can be delivered to your teeth in chewing gum, tablets, or even candy and mints.

It also comes in toothpaste, mouth rinse, baby oral wipes, gel and pacifiers, nasal wash, dry mouth spray, a granulated form for cooking, granulated packets to add to drinks, and commercially prepared foods. It can replace sugar on a one-to-one ratio.

Sweet rewards in xylitol are good for the body and the teeth! If you have specific questions please feel free to contact our Uptown Charlotte dentist today. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Our team at our Charlotte dental offices knows that periodontal disease isn’t something exclusive to adults. It can affect adolescents as well. Gingivitis, which is a milder form of periodontitis, is a form of periodontal disease, and a warning that more serious problems may arise. Untreated gingivitis can develop into full-blown periodontitis.

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) explains that research proves that younger people may develop more severe forms of gingivitis. Gingivitis is linked to periodontal disease. Children and adolescents who have type 1 diabetes or immune deficiencies are more likely to suffer from periodontal disease.

There are three types of periodontal diseases that our team sees in children and adolescents.

Chronic gingivitis

Parents may suspect that their adolescent has chronic gingivitis if he or she shows or complains of symptoms such as redness, swelling, or bleeding gums. Early treatment may prevent gingivitis from developing into a more severe form of periodontal disease.

Aggressive and/or chronic periodontitis

Once called adult periodontitis, the term chronic replaces “adult” because periodontitis can occur in people in their early teenage years, and progress throughout their teens. Chronic and aggressive periodontitis primarily affects incisors and first molars. One of its distinguishing characteristics is bone loss. Curiously, patients who suffer from this form of the disease have minimal dental plaque on examination.

Generalized aggressive and chronic periodontal disease

This form of periodontal disease has many of the same characteristics of the chronic and aggressive form, but this more severe type of the disease affects the entire mouth. Symptoms include major plaque and calculus accumulation, and inflamed gums.

In both forms of more severe periodontal disease, the overall gum structure may change. The severity of these changes may alter gum strength enough to loosen teeth, or even worse, cause them to fall out.

The success of any treatment is largely contingent on early diagnosis. Our dentists should conduct a thorough periodontal exam as part of an adolescent’s twice-yearly complete dental examinations.

The mouth is full of bacteria. Some of it is necessary for food digestion. Diseases are more likely to develop if bacteria travel to open places in the mouth, such as exposed gum pockets or cavities. Proper dental hygiene is essential for a healthy mouth, and a healthy mouth offers greater protection against painful dental diseases.

Be sure every member of your family has a complete dental exam and cleaning twice a year, and contact our team when you or your young kids or adolescents complain of pain, sensitivity, or other oral problems. Early detection leads to treatment of oral problems and prevents them from turning into serious periodontal disease and potentially irreversible problems.

Uptown Charlotte Dentistry & Orthodontics

Specializing in Invisalign, Composite Bonding, Veneers and Crowns.

We do our best to make it easy for you to get the beautiful smile you deserve! Our office accepts nearly all major insurance plans. Even though dental insurance is a private arrangement between you and your company, we will file your claim, handle all the paperwork, and help you get maximum insurance benefits.

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