A tooth abscess is when a pocket of pus forms around a tooth due to an infection. It is usually caused by untreated tooth decay. Dental offices like Drake Dentistry are trained to deal with all issues of the teeth, including tooth abscesses.
Signs and Symptoms
When you have a tooth abscess, you may notice a lot of swelling on one side of your mouth, which can be relieved by ice packs. The pain is usually acute and continuous. If you touch the tooth or the surrounding area, you will find that it causes extreme pain.
Other symptoms include some of the following:
- Extreme sensitivity to cold or heat
- Bitter Taste in Mouth
- Bad Breath
- Swelling in the lymph nodes, gums, and/or cheeks
- A painful, open wound on the side of the gums
You may experience some or all of the symptoms listed above. In some extreme cases, the abscess may affect the nerve tissue as well. In this case, you may not feel pain, but you will notice swelling. Any time you notice extreme swelling, you should contact your dentist. It may cause the bones in the jaw to deteriorate if not treated in a timely manner.
How Is an Abscess Treated?
Because an abscess is caused by an infection in the mouth, the first thing a dentist will do is find the source of the infected area and treat it with antibiotics and draining of the infection site. In many cases, the root of the tooth is so infected that a root canal may be necessary. The tooth may also be extracted if the root is so full of infection that it cannot be saved.
As part of treatment, you may also need prescription pain medication. After the wound has been drained, warm salt water rinses can be used to fight infection, reduce pain, and aid in healing.
Can an Abscess Be Prevented?
The best way you can prevent a tooth abscess is to follow good oral hygiene practices. Brushing twice a day and flossing is key to preventing dental problems. Also, getting your teeth checked out at offices like Drake Dentistry will do a lot to help you prevent tooth abscesses and other dental issues as well.
This is a guest post provided to Mile High Mom for its readers.