(Natural News) Tooth abscesses can become deadly if you don’t have access to specialized dental care. Preppers and homesteaders must learn about the warning signs of a dental abscess, how to prevent it, and how to treat this dental emergency when it happens off-grid.
An infection produces pus, which accumulates into an abscess. In tooth infections, the pus pools at the base of the root.
People with tooth abscesses display distinct signs and symptoms. They experience throbbing pain that spreads to the jaw and nearby structures.
The affected tooth grows sensitive to cold, heat, and physical pressure caused by chewing. The site of the abscess also develops a whitehead.
The bacterial infection triggers a fever, inflames the gums, causes the face to swell, and leads to bad breath. The swollen tissues may also make it hard to swallow or even breathe.
On the other hand, a tooth may grow dark in color without showing any of the above warning signs. If it does, it may have a decaying pulp. (Related: A guide to making your own dental emergency kit.)
Look out for risk factors of dental abscesses
It is easier and safer to prevent a dental abscess. Determine if anyone in your group is at risk and take the appropriate steps to reduce or eliminate risk factors for a tooth infection.
Bad oral hygiene contributes to tooth decay, infection, and abscesses. Amend this by regularly brushing teeth and flossing.
Smoking is a bad habit that weakens tissues and the immune system. Stop smoking to lower your risk of infections
Diabetes, acid reflux, and a compromised immune system can make a person more susceptible to tooth infections. Having previous dental procedures may also up a person’s risk.
Consumption of sugary foods should be limited. Sugar feeds the harmful bacteria in the mouth that may cause tooth infections and abscesses.
Having a dry mouth makes a person more likely to get a tooth abscess. The elderly often have dry mouths.
Steroids and certain pharmaceutical drugs may leave the patient vulnerable to an abscess. Try to find natural alternatives like turmeric.
Finally, people with bruxism unconsciously grind their teeth. This action damages the enamel and allows bacteria to enter the tooth.
A mouthpiece can help reduce the wear and tear caused by bruxism. If a person gnashes his teeth while asleep, he will need a custom mouth guard.
How to treat a tooth abscess off-grid
If a person develops a dental abscess off-grid, a prepper or homesteader must know how to treat it. Treating the infection will eliminate the source of pus.
Penicillin antibiotics are prescribed for infections that spread past the abscess to the jaw. However, these drugs may not be available off-grid. Some dentists also warn that abscesses can wall themselves off from oral antibiotics.
Natural medicines or antibiotics that are worth trying include garlic, echinacea, olive leaves, and tea tree oil. The first three come in capsule form.
To get rid of infections, make echinacea tea for gargling or brush your teeth with a few drops of tea tree oil. The oil can also be mixed with water to create a mouthwash.
A root canal is out of the question when off-grid. The complicated operation requires a specialist and equipment for sealing the tooth with a filling or crown.
For periodontal abscesses, a medic may perform incision and drainage by cutting the affected area open with a scalpel to drain the pus. Afterward, the abscess should be washed with a saline solution. Sometimes, there is a need for a rubber drain to keep draining the area.
In cases of periapical abscesses, the nerve may be too damaged for healing. A medic may need to extract the tooth.