Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What can I do for an abscessed wisdom tooth extraction site?"
7 days ago, I had my #10 wisdom tooth pulled. The next day, my neck began to swell. By the third day the swelling encompassed my entire neck. At 1 in the morning the pressure started to squeeze my throat and my husband rushed me to the E. R. Whereupon they performed a C. A. T. scan and diagnosed me with having a dry socket and enlarged lymph nodes. The doctor prescribed for me antibiotics and steroids to reduce the swelling. My neck is still swollen and puss spurts out of the tooth hole. What do I do now?
That is an excellent question and one that is best answered by your primary care doctor or the dentist that performed the tooth extraction in the first place. Although it sounds like the antibiotics are helping, sometimes when infections grow and become abscesses, they require surgical drainage as the antibiotics cannot sometimes get into the purulent pocket that has been created. It is impossible to know what is happening with regards to your teeth without performing a history and physical and examining the imaging studies but for this reason, it is advisable that you see your primary care doctor, dentist, or ENT surgeon who can evaluate whether surgery would be required to drain all the purulence or whether it looks like antibiotics alone can resolve the infection in time. It is unfortunate that this occurred, but thankfully you were evaluated in the emergency department and treated appropriately at the time. If you notice anything similar happening again, it could be that the abscess has reformed. If this is the case, it is advisable that you go back to the ER as soon as possible because this can become a serious issue that requires urgent treatment and possible surgical drainage.
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