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Dental Abscess: What You Need to Know

Happy teeth illustration

If you’ve heard the term dental abscess before, it probably wasn’t in a positive way. An abscess is an infection, and when it involves the mouth, it is typically very painful. A tooth abscess is described as an infection at the root of a tooth, or between the tooth and the gum. While symptoms can sometimes be silent leading up to the infection, once an abscess forms, few patients can ignore it. In fact, an abscessed tooth is often referred to as a dental emergency.

What Causes an Abscess?

In most cases, an abscess occurs from severe tooth decay, or an untreated cavity. However, a dental abscess can also form in response to a sudden trauma or gum disease. When tooth enamel is damaged or weakened, harmful bacteria is allowed to invade the center of the tooth (or the pulp). Unfortunately, this is where your tooth nerves reside, so any compromise to the inner chamber of a tooth can produce significant discomfort.

Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

Since toothaches can be caused by many different culprits, it is common for patients to wonder if an abscess is the cause of their debilitating pain. Here are some typical symptoms of a tooth abscess:

  • Tooth pain that is gnawing, sharp, shooting, or throbbing
  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Bitter taste
  • Fever
  • Foul-smelling breath
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods

If severe, patients may even experience general fatigue, swollen lymph glands in the neck, jaw inflammation or a lesion/sore on the gums.

How is an Abscessed Tooth Treated?

A dental abscess can be easily diagnosed upon visual exam and x-rays if needed. The goal of any treatment is to eliminate the infection and save the tooth. Neglecting to treat a dental abscess can lead to spreading of the infection to neighboring teeth as well as tooth loss.

Your dentist may choose to drain the abscess and remove the diseased tissue, which can be performed through root canal therapy. A tooth extraction is sometimes needed if the infection is too widespread. Many cases may also involve antibiotic treatment to ensure the infection is cleared. You may be given over-the-counter pain medications to relieve your discomfort.

Are you suffering from tooth pain associated with a dental abscess? Call Mitzi Morris, DMD as soon as possible. We offer emergency dental care to ensure your comfort and health are restored quickly.

Posted on the behalf of Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC

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Our Patient Reviews

Mitzi D. Morris, DMD, PC

4.8/ 5.0

Based on 44 reviews

  • Dr. Morris is an excellent dentist. Her ability to relate to her patients makes her a stand-out amongst those in her profession. She practices dentistry with superior technique and care. Her staff is friendly, helpful, and accommodating. I feel she hires only the best! One special mention: I suffer from panic attacks at times- along with claustrophobia. Dr. Morris is the first dentist I have ever had who helped calm my fears. Thus, my experience exceeded expectations! Great service!

    Cathy Q
  • Going to a new dentist can be stressful, but this experience was the BEST I have ever had. Dr. Morris and Dr. Fields are a cut above the rest, and they offer state of the art technology, and an environment that takes the sting out of going to the dentist for sure. Conveniently located in Roswell, the staff is caring, patient-focused, and efficient. I've never smiled so much at a dentist's office! I highly recommend friends and family making their next visit to this dentist. Pain free!!!!

    Lesley G
  • Definitely would recommend Dr. Morris to anyone. She has been my dentist for over 8 years! Dr. Morris is extremely personable and is serious about the completing the best care possible. Great established dental team! Very accommodating to your schedule.

    Kelly T
  • Great and very educational experience. Compared to my last two dentists this experience blows them both out of the water. The staff is very friendly, and very helpful. I had to go in for a total of four visits a few weeks apart from each other. They made me feel very comfortable the entire time and kept making sure I was pleased. Getting a deep cleaning went very smoothly. It was also brought to my attention that the way I was flossing was incorrect. And have since changed methods. I worked specifically with Dr. Morris. She was very nice, and took the time to explain things. Which is a huge plus for me. Dr. Morris and the staff members worked effortlessly together. I was comfortable enough to sit back and relax, strangely enough, while having cavities drilled and fillings put in. Billing and scheduling appointments, as well as follow up for confirmation of upcoming appointments was very easy. I will say my favorite part of the experience was how friendly of an environment the staff has created. That alone is deserving of a 5 star review, and the rest is honestly icing on the cake. I highly recommend this practice on all fronts and will continue using them!

    Eric F
  • I transferred from a long-term and very good relationship with my former dentist because of a move, and I was a little apprehensive about a new dentist. Dr. Morris has been great. She is friendly, patient-concerned and the office is new, comfortable and clean. Everyone seems to enjoy working there. I feel like I'm in good hands!

    Christopher P
  • Dr. Morris and her staff are very professional. Additionally, she as well as her staff have an excellent "bedside manner." The office is new and well equipped. If one has an appointment and an earlier one opens up, Dr. Morris offers it to her patients as she did with my last appointment.

    David G
  • I have never met a staff so nice and charming. This staff will make you feel comfortable and relaxed in Dr. Morris's Spa like office and everyone is professional and approachable too. Andrea R. explained the process of my appointment and procedures and is definitely a highly-educated and thorough dental hygenist -- SHE IS A ROCKSTAR. I'm so glad that Dr. Morris and her dental team have been my "go-to" for the last 5 years, and I wont be going anywhere else! Overall - A++ Dr. Morris...highly recommended to my family and friends!!!

    Adam O
  • I've been a patient of Dr. Mitzi Morris for many years, and recommend her without reservation. The office is modern. clean and spacious. The staff has always been welcoming and very helpful. And the women who work for her as dental technicians are fantastic; they do a professional and effective deep cleaning, but with a careful, gentle touch. It is clear to me that Dr. Morris reads her professional journals and upgrades her practice to stay very current with the latest best practices in dentistry. (I have had some dentists who stopped updating their practices after leaving dental school!) With Dr. Morris you can count on receiving the very latest dental technology. Her prices are very fair, and I have never been surprised by an unexpected cost or had problems with insurance not covering services rendered.

    Bruce C

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678-459-2990

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Tuesday: 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
Wednesday: 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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1295 Hembree Rd, Suite B202
Roswell, GA 30076

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