What Is an Abscessed Tooth?
What begins as a mild tooth pain could signal bigger dental problems down the line. One common cause of this dental pain is an abscessed tooth. This term is used to describe an infection in the tooth or gum and should be treated as soon as possible.
While you schedule your dental appointment, find out more about this dental condition and what options you have to help treat it.
Tooth Abscess Causes
An abscessed tooth is caused by a bacterial infection, which can occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most frequent causes of an abscessed tooth is tooth decay, which can happen when you do not floss or brush your teeth enough. Infrequent dental care allows bacteria to easily enter your tooth through a cavity.
You can also end up with an abscess after your tooth experiences some kind of trauma, with bacteria entering the infected area through a chip in your tooth. Gum disease is yet another underlying condition that can lead to a tooth abscess.
If you can avoid any of these dental issues, you have a good chance of avoiding an abscessed tooth.
Common Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth
The first symptom most people notice is throbbing or shooting pain where the abscess is located. This pain might be the first sign that something is wrong. After you notice the pain, you might note other common tooth abscess symptoms, such as fever, bad breath, facial swelling, and swollen gums and jaws. You may even see an open sore on your gums.
If you notice any of these symptoms, contacting your dentist to get a diagnosis and treatment for your abscessed tooth is essential to help ensure that the mouth pain can be treated.
Tooth Abscess Treatment Options
If your dentist discovers you have an abscessed tooth, he or she will decide on your treatment choices based on your specific circumstances. In most cases, the first step is to drain the tooth abscess and then clean the area.
This treatment is often enough to eliminate the infection, although you might also need antibiotics if the infection has spread from the abscess. The next step is often a root canal, which will remove the infected tooth pulp and essentially save the tooth. To help cover up the open area, a crown will also be needed.
In some cases, the dentist can’t save the tooth and must remove it. Eliminating the infection is critical and must be done so that no further damage is caused to the rest of the mouth.
If you suspect you have an abscessed tooth or any other dental issue, contact Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry today to get the help you need.