My husband said he cut his gum when he hit it with his fork. He says it’s fine and just sore, but I’m not so sure. It’s oozing. That doesn’t sound sore. That sounds infected.  Does he need an emergency dentist, as I think he does?

Amy F. – California

Amy,

You’re right. Your husband needs to be seen by his own dentist right away, or an emergency dentist if that’s not possible. It sounds like he has an abscess, which as you noted, means an infection.

If he’s not seen soon, he’ll wake up with a swollen face. I know it’s hard to believe, but even in the United States people still die from tooth infections.  These infections can quickly spread to the brain or heart.

He’ll need to have the infected part of the tooth cleaned out, which has to be done manually by a dentist. It won’t be fixed by simply taking an antibiotic.

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