Pain and Infection FAQ

Common causes of Infections
Common causes of pain
Emergency treatment for pain
Emergency treatment for pain and swelling
Common causes of Infections
Common causes swelling
How soon should I see a dentist?
Emergency treatment for infections
Emergency treatment for pain and swelling
How long before pain and swelling resolves?


Common causes of Infections
Oral and facial infections are most commonly caused by teeth. Tooth decay or gum disease can lead to localized abscess which if not treated, will expand and result in further bone damage, pain, and swelling. Oral and facial infections can be very dangerous and spread quickly to the neck and throat area and potentially cause life threatening complications. It must be treated immediately. Infections may also originate from salivary glands or sinuses and may present with pain, swelling, and drainage.

Common causes of pain
Oral pain is most commonly caused by tooth decay, abscess, infection, or cracks. The nerve of tooth can become inflamed resulting in temperature sensitivity. If inflammation is not treated early, the nerve can undergo necrosis and lead to an abscess. Either way, there is severe and throbbing pain that can radiate to different parts of the jaws.

Emergency treatment for pain
Pain and swelling can occur suddenly and progress rapidly. Early evaluation and immediate extractions or root canal treatment are the only way to solve the problem. Until you can see your dentist or the oral surgeon, here is what you can do about pain and swelling:

  • Take 400-600 mg Ibuprofen (2-3 tablets of Advil) or 500-1000 mg of Tylenol every four hours for pain.

  • If pain becomes more severe, you may take Vicodin or Tylenol #3 prescribed by your dentist.

  • Call your dentist immediately for evaluation or referral to an oral surgeon.

  • Mild inflammation may resolve by simply brushing the area and keeping it clean.

  • Treatment (Extractions or root canal treatment) should be done as soon as possible before a potential increase in pain and infection.



Emergency treatment for pain and swelling
If you have pain and swelling with possible drainage of pus or difficulty opening mouth:

  • Take 400-600 mg Ibuprofen (2-3 tablets of Advil) or 500-1000 mg of Tylenol every four to six hours.

  • Contact Dr. Kazemi for immediate evaluation.

  • Begin antibiotic therapy immediately. If you can not see an oral surgeon right away, ask your dentist to prescribe antibiotics and pain medication.

  • The appropriate treatment should be done as soon as possible, before infection spreads and involves other areas of face with potential life-threatening consequences. This may include extraction, drainage of infection.

  • Do not apply ice. It does not improve swelling caused by infection

  • Do not place heat pack on face as it can draw the pus from the infection towards the skin and cause scarring.



Common causes of Infections?
Oral and facial infections are most commonly caused by teeth. Tooth decay or gum disease can lead to localized abscess which if not treated, will expand and result in further bone damage, pain, and swelling. Oral and facial infections can be very dangerous and spread quickly to the neck and throat area and potentially cause life threatening complications. It must be treated immediately. Infections may also originate from salivary glands or sinuses and may present with pain, swelling, and drainage.


Common causes swelling:
Most common cause of swelling in the oral and facial area is infection. Infection is characterized with swelling, severe pain, difficulty opening mouth, difficulty swallowing, and fever . Whether due to tooth decay, gum disease, or crack, necrosis of the tooth nerve can lead to an abscess. This can further spread, causing facial infection presented as swelling. Infection can worsen and spread to other areas of the face and neck.


Presence of pain or swelling needs immediate evaluation by your dentist or oral surgeon. Infection can spread very quickly and cause life-threatening complications.


Emergency treatment for infections:
Proper management of infection requires all of the following:

  • Elimination of the infection source (extraction or root canal treatment)

  • Antibiotics

  • Drainage if indicated.


Remember, antibiotics alone does not cure the infection. It is most important to eliminate the source of infection via extraction or root canal treatment if appropriate.


Emergency treatment for pain and swelling
If you have pain and swelling with possible drainage of pus or difficulty opening mouth:

Take 400-600 mg Ibuprofen (2-3 tablets of Advil) or 500-1000 mg of Tylenol every four to six hours.
Contact Dr. Kazemi for immediate evaluation.
Begin antibiotic therapy immediately. If you can not see an oral surgeon right away, ask your dentist to prescribe antibiotics and pain medication.
The appropriate treatment should be done as soon as possible, before infection spreads and involves other areas of face with potential life-threatening consequences. This may include extraction, drainage of infection.
Do not apply ice. It does not improve swelling caused by infection
Do not place heat pack on face as it can draw the pus from the infection towards the skin and cause scarring.


Following appropriate treatment, pain subsides significantly and resolves completely within five to seven days. Pain medications can provide relief during this period. Swelling responds well to the treatment and antibiotics and resolves gradually over seven to 10 days.