Dental Emergencies

Treating dental abscesses

If you think you may have a dental abscess, make a dentist appointment as soon as possible.

There isn’t a lot your GP can do other than recommend painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, to help relieve the pain. You can get these over the counter from your local pharmacist.

Treatment varies, depending on what caused the abscess. Generally, treatment involves draining the infection, either with root canal treatment, removing the affected tooth or gum treatment.

Unlike some other types of infection, a dental abscess will not get better on its own and must be treated by a dentist. With appropriate treatment, the bacterial infection that causes a dental abscess can usually be cured. Antibiotics are not used to treat a dental abscess, but may occasionally be used to reduce the symptoms.

Finding an NHS dentist

If you are not registered with an NHS dentist, there are a number of options available to you:

    • call NHS 111 to request details of dental services in your area


Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website