What is the Cause of an Abscessed Tooth?
An infection causes a tooth abscess at the root of the tooth. The cause is advanced tooth decay, gum disease, or trauma to the tooth.
All these conditions cause openings or holes to appear in the hard outer covering of tooth enamel, enabling bacteria to enter and infect the center of the tooth called the pulp.
The infection can spread to the root of the tooth, and even into the boney socket around the tooth.
What are the 6 Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth?
The most common symptom is having a severe toothache that might be sharp or throbbing, but other symptoms can include:
- Feeling tooth pain when eating.
- Having a fever
- Noticing an increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
- Having an unpleasant taste in your mouth or bad breath
- Seeing that the gums surrounding the tooth are swollen or red
- The abscess may have created an open sore on the side of the gum
Sometimes the toothache can stop, and a common mistake is to think the infection has cleared up. In some cases, the infection is still there, but the nerves are dead. The infection will continue to spread, destroying more teeth and tissue.
For this reason, it’s essential to book an appointment with Midtown Dentistry if you have a toothache or any of the above symptoms so you can get a proper diagnosis.
Diagnosing an Abscessed Tooth
Your dentist will carry out several different tests to assess whether or not the tooth is abscessed. They may probe the affected tooth, and it will tap it very gently. Besides, your dentist will ask you to bite down, and to say if the pain increases when you do so. Dental x-rays may be necessary to see the extent of the infection.
How do You Treat an Abscessed Tooth?
Treatment for an abscessed tooth will focus on eliminating the infection while preserving the tooth.
The abscess will need to be drained using root canal therapy or by making an incision in the gum tissue.
Sometimes the infection can only be drained through extracting the tooth, which is the last resort as the aim will always be to try to save the infected tooth.
Your dentist is likely to prescribe antibiotics to help fight infection, and you’ll probably want to use over-the-counter painkillers to help relieve any discomfort. Your dentist will restore the tooth with either a filling or through completely crowning the tooth when there is no more infection.
How to Avoid an Abscessed Tooth?
You can avoid dental abscesses by practicing good oral hygiene, combined with proper regular professional dental care in the form of exams and professional cleanings.