How to Treat an Abscessed Tooth?
Among the various reasons for oral pain, one is an abscessed tooth. In this article, we explain what is an abscessed tooth and its treatment.
What is an Abscessed Tooth?
An abscessed tooth is a bacterial infection that causes a pocket of pus to grow in various regions of the tooth. It is also known as a dental abscess. It causes moderate to severe discomfort, which can sometimes radiate to your ear or neck. It can become a serious, life-threatening condition if left untreated.
What Causes an Abscessed Tooth?
The cause of a dental abscess is bacteria finding its way into your teeth and gums. The types of an abscessed tooth can also vary depending on how these bacteria enter the teeth:
Bacteria enter the pulp of your teeth. This typically happens due to a cavity. The soft, inside component of your tooth is referred to as the pulp. Nerves, connective tissue, and blood arteries make up this structure.
This type of dental abscess usually happens because of gum disease. However, it can also happen as a result of an injury.
Bacteria develop due to the presence of a foreign body stuck in your teeth or gums. For example, a toothbrush bristle or popcorn hull.
Signs of an Abscessed Tooth
The main sign of having a dental abscess is pain near a tooth or in your gums. This pain usually comes on suddenly and becomes worse with time. Other signs of an abscessed tooth can include:
- Pain that goes to your neck, jaw, or ear
- Pain while chewing or biting
- Pain that becomes worse while lying down
- Red and swollen gums
- Sensitivity in teeth
- Facial swelling and redness
- A foul taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Discoloration or loosened teeth
- Swollen or tender lymph nodes under the jaw or in the neck
Tooth Abscess Treatment
If you notice the signs of an abscessed tooth, you should visit your dentist immediately. The dentist will perform an examination of the tooth and its surrounding areas.
Additionally, they may tap on your tooth because an abscessed tooth usually has root sensitivity to touch or pressure. The dentist may perform a dental x-ray to get more detailed information and recommend a CT scan to determine if the infection has spread to other areas in the neck.
The goal of tooth abscess treatment is to get rid of the infection. For this purpose, the dentist may make a small incision to drain out the pus, perform a root canal therapy so that the tooth can be restored once the infection is removed, or pull out the affected tooth if removing the infection is not possible without doing so. If the infection is spreading to the nearby teeth or other areas of the jaw, the dentist is likely to prescribe antibiotics.
Dental Care in Dallas
Dr. Drew Randall in Dallas offers quality dental care, including tooth abscess treatment. Call or visit us to learn more or book your appointment.