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Ask Dr. George McKee Your Own Question
Dr. George McKee
Dr. George McKee, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 1396
Experience:  Licensed dentist with 30 years clinical experience in general practice and cosmetic reconstruction.
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Is it okay to apply a heating pad to an abscessed tooth?

Customer Question

Is it okay to apply a heating pad to an abscessed tooth?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. George McKee replied 9 years ago.
Dear ,

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer.

The application of heat to an
abscess will promote its coming to a head and bursting. This is a desired outcome as the immediate drainage of the accumulated pus will allow the antibiotic to concentrate on a fewer number of active bacteria and speed up your healing. Therefore a heating pad will help this along.
You might also want to try rinsing your mouth with very warm (as warm as you can stand) salt water. Put one half teaspoon in a glass of warm water and rinse the solution over the abscess. Do this for two minutes every two hours. The direct heat will both soften the wall of the abscess, and increase the circulation to the area bringing more antibiotic to the site. I hope this answers your question.

If you have any concerns regarding this issue that I have not addressed, please let me know and I will get back to you with more information.

Sincerely, ***** ***** DDS