If you have heard anything about a dental abscess, it is probably enough to know you don’t want one. Dental abscesses are known for causing intense pain, which makes seeking emergency dental treatment nearly unavoidable. Here is a closer look at what causes a dental abscess to form and what to expect if you actually suffer from one.
- What is it?
- A dental abscess (or abscessed tooth) is essentially an infection that is sealed off beneath the gum line. This forms a localized collection of pus that is associated with the tooth. The infection can penetrate the pulp of the tooth or spread from the tooth root to its surrounding gum tissues and bone.
- What causes it?
- An abscess can be caused by a number of factors, including severe tooth decay, broken teeth, uncontrolled gum disease or a failed root canal. It may even begin with a trapped piece of food within the gum line.
- What are the symptoms?
- In most cases, you will definitely know it if you have an abscessed tooth. An extreme toothache that causes throbbing, sharp or shooting pain is common. Other symptoms may include fever, pain when biting, tooth sensitivity, a bitter taste, bad breath, swollen jaw or general malaise.
- How is it treated?
- An abscess demands prompt treatment, not only to relieve the pain but also to prevent the infection from spreading to other areas of your face or body. Untreated dental infections can also cause tooth loss. Treatment involves draining the abscess and eradicating the infection, which if often supplemented with antibiotics. Depending on the severity of your case, treatment can include root canal therapy, tooth extraction or gum surgery.
- How can it be prevented?
- Just like other dental complications, the most successful way to prevent an abscess from developing is to practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session. Floss at least once per day, as this can significantly reduce your chances for having food and bacteria trapped beneath the gum line.
At Mitzi Morris DMD, we want to see you as soon as possible if you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth. We offer emergency dental treatment and our office is equipped to perform a full menu of dental procedures to ensure your smile is restored to comfort and health.
Posted on the behalf of Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
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