Whether or not your abscess has a fistula, it’s vital to receive treatment as soon as possible. Once an infection has progressed to this level, it will not heal independently and requires professional intervention. Untreated infections can spread, worsen, and lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications.
Because abscesses cause dental fistulas, there’s not much you can do to treat them directly on your own. Treatment for your fistula will include resolving the underlying cause of the abscess and infection.
According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment for a tooth abscess may include:
- A root canal or extraction of your infected tooth
- Draining the site of your infection
- An antibiotic prescription to treat your underlying infection
There are some steps you can take to decrease your discomfort or pain while you’re waiting to see a dental professional. Remember that these steps do not treat the underlying cause of your symptoms, and you still require treatment.
- Apply a cold compress to the area of your cheek closest to the painful area
- Continue your normal oral care routine gently as not to aggravate sensitive areas
- Take over-the-counter pain medications as prescribed or instructed on the packaging
- Rinse with warm (not hot) saltwater
Helpful tip: Even though bacterial infection causes tooth abscesses and dental fistulas, do not take antibiotics without a prescription. Dental professionals will not always prescribe these medications as they are not always necessary or the best option for your individual situation.