A tooth becomes abscessed when it becomes affected by an infection, and an infected tooth causes a tremendous amount of pain. More importantly, the problem with an abscessed tooth is that it can cause the infection to spread to the surrounding teeth, which in turn, can ultimately lead to several different oral issues as well as tooth loss.
What causes an abscessed tooth? In most cases, the culprit is an untreated cavity. If a cavity is left untreated for a long time, the inside of it, commonly referred to as pulp, becomes infected too. It is through this infected pulp that the infection spreads to other areas of the oral cavity.
Often, gum disease is also responsible for an abscessed tooth. Gum disease leads to the appearance of space between teeth. This space between teeth becomes a safe haven for bacteria and plaque. These bacteria, in turn, damage teeth and cause infection. An infected tooth becomes abscessed if left untreated for far too long. In fact, an untreated infection can even cause the bone around a tooth to become dissolved, a condition that is associated with immense pain.
Here’s How You Will Know You Have an Abscessed Tooth
How do you know you are dealing with an abscessed tooth? There are some symptoms you can look out for. If a tooth has developed an infection and the area around it has become abscessed, you will encounter swollen gums and jaw. That apart, you will continually have a salty taste in your mother. If the infection has spread far too much, it will manifest itself in the form of fever and blood in the mouth.
However, the easiest way to know is the pain. The pain caused by an abscessed tooth is nearly unbearable. The affected tooth does not only hurt bad but the area around it becomes tender as soon as you touch the tooth. In one special case, however, an abscessed tooth does not lead to any pain — when the bone underneath becomes dissolved due to the infection. However, a dissolved bone almost always leads to tooth loss. So, if you experience any swollenness, pain or blood in your mouth, immediately consult your dentist. You certainly don’t want to lose a tooth.
Here’s What Your Dentist Will Do
Dentists are experts. Therefore, they will simply inspect the affected area and tell you within minutes if you are dealing with an abscessed tooth. However, in case they are unsure, they will do an x-ray to know for sure.
If it is an abscessed tooth you are dealing with, your dentist will give you antibiotics to get rid of the pain and infection. If the infection is severe, they may choose to drain out the pus formed inside by making a small hole in the infected tooth. You may find this step unnerving, but it will certainly help you get rid of the pain.
After the pain has subsided, your dentist will perform a root canal and get rid of the infected part of the tooth. If you are too afraid of a root canal, you can ask your dentist to go for a tooth extraction. Once the procedure is done, your dentist will ask you to use an ice pack over the affected area and will also prescribe some over-the-counter medicines to help deal with the post-treatment pain and discomfort.
The Final Word
An abscessed tooth is a painful condition and therefore, something you want to avoid at all costs. To steer clear of oral infections, practice good oral hygiene: brush at least twice each day and floss regularly. Also, if you feel any pain or soreness, immediately consult your doctor. This way, you can stop the pain from becoming unbearable.
If you are looking for a dentist, HPS Advanced Dental Care would love to see you. Dr. Heather is gladly accepting new patients.
We are located at 4741 24 Mile Rd. Shelby Township, MI 48316, and we can be reached at (248) 652-0024. We look forward to meeting you!