Abscessed Tooth – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
An abscessed tooth constitutes a dental emergency and should be attended to as soon as possible. It’s not only the intense pain of an abscess that presents a problem: the infection can spread, affecting your overall wellbeing, and even leading to sepsis and death.
Abscessed Tooth Symptoms: What you Need to Know
An abscessed tooth has a pocket of infection and pus beneath it. The pus continues to build up, causing pressure and pain, and the inside of the tooth is riddled with infection. This infection is poised to spread – unless something is done to stop it in its tracks.
You can’t be sure you have an abscess until a dentist has examined your teeth, but symptoms include:
- Very severe toothache that keeps getting worse
- Extreme sensitivity to heat, cold, sweet, and sour sensations
- Sometimes, a visible bump or pustule
- A bad taste in your mouth because pus is leaking into it
- Swelling of the face near the affected tooth
- Feverishness, an overall feeling of being unwell
What Causes Dental Abscesses?
We all have a lot of bacteria living in our mouths. The tooth enamel usually prevents them from causing infections, but when the enamel has decayed or becomes chipped, cracked, or broken, these bacteria can invade the inside of the tooth. The infection makes its way down through the pulp and into the bone surrounding the root of the tooth.
The best ways to prevent dental abscesses are through good oral hygiene practices and regular visits to the dentist for check-ups. If your dentist picks up tooth decay in its earlier stages, root treatments aren’t needed, and a simple filling will prevent the infection from spreading through your tooth.
The Treatment and Why It’s Better Than Extraction
As any dental patient who has ever undergone one knows, a root canal treatment is more time-consuming than painful. The dentist must carefully clean out all the canals in your tooth, removing the infected tissue with a very fine drill.
You’ll be numbed up and unable to feel any pain, but you may get a little tired of sitting with your mouth open. Your dentist helps you with specialized aids that keep your jaw in the necessary position.
Once he or she has finished, the dentist gives you a temporary filling. The time between the placement of your temp filling and the final filling of your tooth allows your dentist to determine whether the infection really has been cleared away.
After all, sealing an infection in isn’t the smartest move ever, and the inoculum could be microscopic. Your dentist might give you antibiotics as an additional infection-fighting measure
Saving a tooth will always be a triumph for both the dentist and the patient. Although modern dental implants are a close equivalent to a natural tooth, there’s still nothing to beat keeping your own teeth intact.
What Should you Do if You Think You Have an Abscessed Tooth?
If you think that you might have an abscessed tooth, you should not wait to see if it gets better. It will need treatment, and if you wait, the infection will only get worse. Make an emergency appointment with your dentist.
Be sure to tell the receptionist that you are currently in pain. We will attend to you at the first possible opportunity, and although you will experience a great deal of discomfort before your treatment, there will be immediate relief once the dentist has completed his or her work.