A dental abscess, or abscessed tooth, is when a tooth infection causes a pocket of pus to form around the root of the tooth. Anyone can get an abscess. If you do have one, it’s important to have it addressed as soon as possible to save the tooth and to keep the infection from spreading.
Dr. Afroz Burges, D.D.S., P.A. Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Pearland, TX has the experience and expertise to treat an abscessed tooth. In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about dental abscesses.
There are two types of tooth abscess
Sometimes, the area around the affected tooth hurts- but this isn’t always the case. If there is pain, it’s typically a sharp, throbbing pain- especially when pressure is placed on the tooth. This pain may also spread to your jaw and other parts of your face. Some of the other symptoms include:
In many cases, an abscess will cause a pimple/boil on the gum near the tooth. If liquid oozes out when the pimple is pressed, you have an abscess. If you have swelling, along with a fever and difficulty breathing/swallowing, the infection may have spread to other parts of your body and you should go to the emergency room as soon as possible.
There are several factors that may increase your risk of developing an abscessed tooth:
Your risk of dental issues in general increases when you don’t take proper care of your teeth, such as brushing twice daily and flossing at least once. You may also want to use an alcohol-free mouthwash to help keep bacteria away.
If you consume a lot of high-sugar foods and beverages, your risk of developing cavities increases. When left untreated, cavities can turn into abscesses.
Dry mouth, whether due to aging or a side effect of certain medications, increases your risk of tooth decay. When left untreated, tooth decay can lead to an abscess.
The primary goal of treatment is to get rid of the infection. If the infection has spread, you will be given antibiotics. While this will not cure the abscess itself, it will get rid of the infection.
We always strive to save the natural tooth when possible. Therefore, the first recommendation will be root canal treatment. In this procedure, the infected pulp is removed from the tooth and it is filled with a rubber-like material. Then, the tooth will be covered with a crown or a dental filling.
If the tooth is not salvageable, extraction will be recommended.
An abscessed tooth will not clear up on its own. If the abscess does rupture, the pain may improve, and you may think that the problem is gone. However, it’s still important to seek treatment right away.
If left untreated, the infection may spread. If the tooth is located near the maxillary sinus, you may develop an opening between the sinus cavity and the infected tooth. This allows the infection to spread into your sinuses. In addition, the infection may spread to the rest of your body, causing sepsis. Risk of complications increases if you have a weakened immune system.
An abscessed tooth is much more than just a dental issue. If left untreated, the infection could spread to other parts of your body and be life-threatening. Therefore, it’s important to seek treatment right away.
If you are in or near Pearland, TX and you have a dental abscess, it’s important to seek emergency dentistry services right away. The team at Dr. Afroz Burges, D.D.S, P.A. Family and Cosmetic Dentistry can help.