Tooth abscesses can be extremely painful, dangerous, and even life-threatening. It is crucial to get it looked at as soon as you suspect you may have one. At the tip of the root, is an abscess, which is a pocket of pus caused by bacteria that are formed in the bone or gum tissue around a tooth. This is the result of infection and can cause inflammation. Bacteria can penetrate the deepest part of your tooth through a cavity, a chip, or a crack in your tooth. Causes of a tooth abscess are tooth decay, tooth injury, or gum disease.
Signs of a tooth abscess consist of
- Swollen gums, tongue, or cheek
- Teeth sensitivity to hold or cold
- Pain when chewing, swallowing, or opening the mouth
- Severe, throbbing toothache, often radiating to the jaw, ear, and neck
- Unusual taste or smell in the mouth
Thankfully there are treatment options available to relieve the abscess and pain. While it is a dental emergency, the best place to treat a tooth abscess is the dentist.
Draining the abscess
Getting your abscess drained and taking antibiotics to eliminate the infection are the most common forms of treatment. Antibiotics help fight the infection, making local anesthetics more successful. However, sometimes simply draining an abscess is not possible and exploring other forms of treatment is necessary.
A root canal is the most effective way to treat an abscess, which consists of removing the infected tissue in the pulp, treating it which medication, followed by a root filling.
Deep scaling or surgery may also be required to remove the infection and promote regeneration.
In extreme circumstances, tooth extraction might be your only option. If you have left the infection to fester before getting treatment, it might be too late to get a root canal. Ultimately, this is due to the infection already spreading to other parts of the body that can cause significant damage.
If you ignore a dental abscess, it can spread quickly and lead to other health problems, some of which can be life-threatening. Some of these are Osteomyelitis, dental cysts, tooth loss, sinus infection, Ludwig’s Angina, Septicemia, and brain abscess. They are quite easy to treat if you catch a dental abscess early.