Can You Avoid Root Canal Treatment By Treating an Abscess Yourself?

Dental abscesses can be very painful, not to mention alarming. And unfortunately, they can form in a matter of hours. The speed of abscess formation usually depends on your current health and the extent of the decay present in a tooth. Because of the pain and swelling involved, your first reaction will likely be to want to seek relief. But don't forget, you have an infection that needs treatment too.

While you can treat an abscess yourself as long as you use a sanitised needle and have the necessary antibacterial and inflammatory medication at hand, your tooth still requires a root canal. Skipping root canal therapy on an infected tooth is inadvisable for several reasons.

The Abscess Is Gone, but the Infection Isn't

Bursting an abscess will relieve the pressure and pain — for a while. This is because the pus, which is a mixture of dead white cells and bacteria, has drained out of the tooth and relieved the build of pressure inside it. However, you need to remember that you have only treated one of the symptoms of the problem, not the cause.

The cause of the abscess itself is an infection or, in other words, an invasion by the bacteria that live in your mouth. You may have drained away a lot of the waste material and many of the invading bacterial organisms for now, but it won't take long for them to return in numbers. According to research, in the right conditions, some strains of bacteria can multiply every twenty minutes!

A Root Canal Removes the Source of the Infection

If you have an abscess, it means that the pulp inside your tooth has died. This probably happened due to dental decay or trauma. If the damage is severe enough to expose the nerve inside your tooth, bacteria will invade that tooth and infect the nerve, killing it in the process. Once the nerve has died, those bacterial organisms will then feed on the dead tissue, multiplying in the process.

This is why the abscess forms. Add to that the fact that the space inside a tooth is already cramped, and you can understand why an abscess forms. There is simply no space for the infection to take hold, which is essentially an ongoing war between your body's white cells and the invading bacteria. As a result, the only way to stop the infection completely is via root canal treatment.

If you get to a dentist quickly, they can anaesthetise the area and use their dental files to remove the dead and infected tissue. Ultimately, this will stop the infection and prevent any more abscesses from forming. The dentist will then clean the tooth out and fill it so that further infections don't take root.

Don't skip root canal treatment, even if you have dealt with the abscess yourself. Otherwise, the infection will return, and it may spread to other parts of your body if left untreated.