Your mouth is an extremely sensitive part of the body, and when it’s uncared for, is prone to bacterial infections. Abscessed teeth are one of the most common examples and can be a painful, potentially life-threatening oral health issue. It’s important to identify the symptoms of an abscessed tooth, and more importantly, ways to prevent it through proper dental care and visits to the dentist.
Your Guide to Abscessed Teeth
What Is an Abscessed Tooth?
An abscessed tooth is the result of a bacterial infection. Pockets of pus form in and around the tooth, including the tooth’s root, on the gums next to the tooth root, or directly on the gums. They occur when decay-causing bacteria infect the pulp inside your tooth, when a food item or foreign object is embedded in your gums, or as a consequence of gum disease. The infection can spread to the neck, head, and brain without treatment, and in the most serious cases, can lead to sepsis, a potentially fatal health complication.
What Are the Symptoms?
Abscessed teeth are typically accompanied by moderate-to-severe pain in or around the tooth. Additional symptoms include pain in the neck, ear, or jaw, swollen gums, tooth sensitivity, loose teeth, and fever. You should seek treatment from your dentist right away if you experience these and go to the emergency room if you experience high fever, difficulty swallowing, or a rapid heart rate.
How Is It Treated?
A dentist needs to completely clear the infection from your mouth to treat an abscessed tooth. They’ll first drain the pus and clean the area. Then, a root canal will be performed to remove the infected pulp. If the tooth is seriously damaged, your dentist may extract it. To help combat the infection, they may prescribe an antibiotic.
Proper dental care is the only way to prevent an abscessed tooth. Brush and floss twice a day and visit the dentist twice a year for a comprehensive exam.
Dentist Dr. Mike Olsen and the team at the Dental Clinic of Onalaska are committed to keeping their patients’ smiles healthy. Located in Onalaska, WI, they offer a variety of services, including pediatric dentistry and cosmetic solutions like dental implants and veneers. They’ll work closely with you to achieve the best results, and you can explore their practice further on their website. Call (608) 783-3341 to schedule a cleaning and connect on Facebook for news and updates.