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If there is an abscess with no pain attached there can be two possibilities related to this abscess:
1) It can be an Acute abscess, the source of this abscess is the involved pulp of a tooth which has necroses and the dead nerves. This condition can be painful at it onset, but often the pain vanishes if this infection becomes chronic (Long standing). It may or may not be confined to the same associated tooth.
2) There can also be a possibility of periodontal involvement of the tooth giving rise to periodontal abscess. Tooth is often painless in this condition and the abscess is generally confined to the gum margin of the infected tooth.
So it would be wise for him to start with an antibiotic such as Amoxicillin to reduce the chances of infection:
He can take 500mg, three times daily for 5 days
Read more about this drug here:
Or Erythromycin if one is allergic to penicillin.
Read more about this drug here:
These will require a prescription from your dentist, you can even go to the ER and attending physician can give you the prescription.
The source of this infection is his tooth which needs to be treated. If the tooth has infection, visible swelling too, the antibiotics will only benefit to some extent to reduce the swelling or infection. Once he stops the taking the antibiotics, the swelling tends to come back because the source of infection-the tooth is not yet treated.
The treatment options for the abscess are different so the best for him is to get an X-ray made with the same tooth.
1) If there is any visible pupil involvement of the decay( i.e. caries inhabiting the pulp) resulting in necrosis(death of living pulp) and tooth is no longer vital(living), the only resort to save this tooth is to get the source of infection removed and get it treated by Root canal procedure!
Your dentist will be able to assess his tooth's condition by looking at the x-ray.
2) For Periodontal(gums) involvement he will have to get complete scaling and root planning done in that area. Also Curettage procedure is indicated in some regions to remove the abscess present below the gingival as scaling instruments usually do not penetrate much deeper below the gum line.
At home you can do the following to help him drain the abscess. He can Rinse frequently with hot salt water solution, dissolve ½-teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water as hot as he can tolerate without burning his mouth, and rinse for two minutes every four hours.
The heat will soften the tissue wall of the abscess, and promote drainage by softening the tissues around the infection. It will facilitate the localization and drainage of accumulated pus.
I would also like you to call your dentist and fix an appointment as early he can give.
Meanwhile you can do the following things too if you are looking for an affordable dental treatment plan for your husband., I suggest the following options to you which can really help you out:
1. Try to contact the local dental society in your area and see if there are any charitable organizations or foundations that will do your treatment for a reduced fee. They can also help you finding a doctor for your emergency services.
Here's the link for the contact details of Dental Society in Kansas:
2. He can also consider getting treatment from a dental school in or near by your city. The charges are lesser here than those charged by any private practioner. The treatment here is rendered by dental students under the supervision of skilled dentists.
Here is a link with the list of all the dental schools in the USA, There is a dental school in North Carolina too, the contact information is given in the link: