Don’t Do It!
Here’s a little bit of advice, in case this ever happens. If you have a painful tooth or swollen gum don’t ever do this:
Do not put heat on the outside of the face. Do not use a heating pad of hot towel. It might feel comforting but it can draw infection out of the tooth or gum and cause a severe wound on the outside of the face or neck. Any time you have pain or swelling in the mouth it is best to have it evaluated by a dentist. Sometimes the problem is minor and easily remedied and other times having it looked at early can save you a lot of time and money as well as preserve more of your tooth or gum tissue. If you cannot get in to the dental office right away, warm salt rinsing is a safe bet. Use one teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water. Then see your dentist as soon as you can. The old adage “better safe than sorry” applies to pain or swelling in the mouth.
Richard Stickney DDS PS