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Emergency Treatments for Infection / Pain

Maybe you’ve had a toothache for several weeks and it seems to have escalated. Or perhaps there is severe sensitivity to hot and cold and the pain is unbearable. Perhaps you’ve had a “gum boil” for several months that does not seem to resolve. Or perhaps you’ve woken up with painful swelling on your gum or the side of your face. Pain and swelling are most commonly the result of inflammation or infection from teeth decay, gum disease, and other pathological conditions. Either way, pain can be severe. Infection-related swelling can spread quickly to other areas of the head and neck and lead to dangerous complications.

If you are experiencing severe pain, swelling of gum tissue or face, drainage, difficulty opening, fever, or redness over the skin, you are most likely having an infection which requires immediate treatment. Call us at 301.654.7070 for an emergency appointment.

Oral & Facial Infection

The most common cause of swelling in the oral and facial area is infection. Infection is characterized by swelling, severe pain, difficulty opening the mouth, difficulty swallowing, or fever. The primary source of most oral infections is the teeth. Whether due to tooth decay, gum disease, or a crack, inflammation can lead to an infection causing pain and swelling. The infection can quickly spread to different facial areas and the body, hence immediate treatment is recommended.

Oral & Facial Pain

Pain can range from a mild and intermittent discomfort to a severe and continuously throbbing one. Any type of pain, whether from a tooth, gum tissue, or jaw bone should be evaluated by your dentist or an oral surgeon before it escalates. Common sources of oral pain include tooth decay, abscess, infection, sinusitis, related to muscles, or certain types of oral pathology.

Oral & Facial Swelling

Oral and facial swelling is most often caused by an infection from a tooth abscess or gum disease. Swelling may also be result of hypersensitivity or certain types of systemic diseases. A thorough clinical evaluation by an oral surgeon along with a cone beam CT scan is important in finding the right diagnosis and treatment.

Anesthesia and Managing Anxiety

Anxiety is not uncommon among people having swelling or pain related to infection. This anxiety is mostly related to hearing others’ bad experiences with excessive pain, swelling, or complications. We resolve this in several ways. First, the use of IV sedation allows patients to nap during the surgery. This helps greatly to make them comfortable and reduce anxiety. Second, patients will be cared for by a group of friendly and professional staff members who take time to personally connect with each patient and allay their fears and concerns. Third, the surgery is done conservatively, which minimizes or avoids swelling, pain, and complications.

IV sedation anesthesia is highly recommended for any surgery related to infections. Local anesthesia or simple numbing often do not provide adequate pain relief in these situations during surgery.

Dr. Kazemi is trained and licensed in administering office anesthesia. Its safety is attributed to continued monitoring techniques, the short acting nature of the medications, availability of emergency equipment, and most importantly, proper training of the surgeon and the staff. Another option is local anesthesia, with or without nitrous oxide (laughing gas), but in this case, the patient is completely awake and fully aware of the procedure.


Recovery following treatment of oral and facial infection can vary based on severity of the infection, patient’s age, health, and overall healing potential. During recovery, patients’ progress is closely monitored by Dr. Kazemi and his team. Clear instructions, appropriate antibiotics, and timely follow-up appointments are all important for a rapid recovery.

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