Patient Education: Submandibular Abscess

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Understanding Your Condition

  • Submandibular Abscess: This is an infection that results in a collection of pus under the jaw, often due to a bacterial infection originating from the teeth, mouth, or throat.
  • Symptoms: Include swelling and pain under the jaw or along the neck, difficulty swallowing, possible elevation in temperature, and general feelings of unwellness.


  • Consultation and Evaluation: Your healthcare provider will assess your condition, often using physical examination and possibly imaging tests such as an ultrasound or CT scan to confirm the diagnosis and the extent of the infection.
  • Antibiotics: You may be started on antibiotics prior to the procedure to begin controlling the infection.
  • Fasting: If general anesthesia or sedation is planned, you'll likely need to fast for several hours before the procedure.

During the Procedure

  • Environment: The procedure is typically performed in a sterile environment to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
  • Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is generally used, although sedation or general anesthesia might be employed depending on the severity of the infection and patient comfort.
  • Incision and Drainage: The doctor will make a small incision over the abscess to drain the pus. This relieves pressure and pain and is crucial for treating the infection.
  • Drain Placement: A small rubber drain may be inserted to keep the area open for continued drainage as the abscess heals.

Post-Procedure Care

  • Pain Management: Pain relief medication will be prescribed to manage discomfort following the procedure.
  • Wound Care: Instructions will be provided on how to care for the wound. This might include cleaning and dressing the incision site properly to prevent reinfection.
  • Continued Antibiotics: Completing the antibiotic course post-procedure is vital to fully eradicate the infection.
  • Follow-up Visits: You will need follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process, manage any complications, and remove the drain if used.

Recovery Tips

  • Rest: Give yourself time to rest and recover. Avoid strenuous activities that could stress the area.
  • Diet: You may find it easier to eat soft foods or liquids if swallowing is painful.
  • Hydration: Staying hydrated is important for your overall health and aids in recovery.
  • Signs of Complications: Keep an eye out for signs of worsening symptoms like increased redness, swelling, pain, or fever, and report them to your healthcare provider immediately.

Prevention of Future Issues

  • Oral Hygiene: Maintain good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing to prevent dental issues that can lead to abscesses.
  • Regular Dental Check-Ups: Visiting your dentist regularly helps address potential issues before they develop into serious infections.
  • Avoid Smoking: Smoking can decrease immune function and increase the risk of infections.