Infections, Pain, and Swelling

What are common causes of infections?
What are common causes of pain?
What are Common causes swelling?
How soon should I see a dentist?
What is the emergency treatment for an abcess?
What is the emergency treatment for infections?
What is the emergency treatment for pain?
What is the emergency treatment for pain and swelling?
How long before pain and swelling resolves?
How safe are the procedures?
What is the expected recovery?

What are 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.

What are 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.

What are 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.

How soon should I see a dentist?
Presence of pain or swelling needs immediate evaluation by your dentist or oral surgeon. Infection can spread very quickly and cause life-threatening complications.

What is the emergency treatment for an abcess?
A tooth with significant sensitivity, decay, and abscess may be receive root canal treatment if the tooth is restorable and have good prognosis. However, with severe breakdown, fracture, or facial infection, the best treatment option is extractions of the offending teeth.

What is the 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.

What is the 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.



What is the 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.

How long before pain and swelling resolves?
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.

How safe are the procedures?
Emergency oral procedures are safe and predictable when performed by a skilled and experienced oral surgeon. Specialized instruments and techniques are used for teeth extraction. Dr. Kazemi specializes in management of oral pain and infections and has treated thousands of patients successfully. The office is also designed and equipped for such oral surgical procedures and his team receives specialty training and education for total patient care. Methodical, exacting, and detailed protocols are followed strictly to make sure every patient has a safe, comfortable, and successful extraction.

What is the expected recovery?
Pain: Pain subsides significantly once the source of infection is treated. Of course the level and duration of pain depends on the complexity of the infection, surgery, and patient’s tolerance. Pain gradually diminishes over three to five days and can be managed with pain medications such as Vicodin or Percocet. As pain gradually diminishes over the next two to three days, Ibuprofen (Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be used. After seven to ten days, most patients no longer have pain and may stop their medications.

Swelling: Any swelling related to infection resolves gradually seven to 10 days after treatment. Swelling related to surgery will maximize in 36 to 48 hours following procedure, and gradually taper over the next five to seven days. Ice helps to reduce surgical swelling in the first 24 hours, but ineffective for infection-related swelling.