It is safe to say that with most dental emergencies in south east London most can be handled with a few painkillers until you can get seen. With a dental abscess though, this can quickly turn into a life threatening situation and you’ll need to be treated immediately and stuffed with antibiotics. The reason for this is that as soon has the damage caused by tooth decay has forced the abscess to erupt, it will make your face horribly swollen, but this is caused by quite nasty little toxins that have now set off via the bloodstream, through your body and this has been known to infect the brain and induce a coma situation. All you can do is sit tight until the antibiotics have begun to work and the swelling has gone down. Then your dentist can get in there and remove the decay in the tooth, normally with a root canal in order to save it. However this can be a false economy and there is a warning with an abscess: they don’t walk lightly and they have a habit of returning which sadly means that only by removing the tooth can you stop yourself going down this path again.