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Signs You Are Suffering with an Abscessed Tooth

Posted on 4/15/2017 by Office - Boone DMD
A woman suffering from a dental abscess.
A damaged tooth is a serious issue, even if the damage doesn't seem that bad. If you have cracked or broken a tooth, there is a chance that the damage has exposed the interior of your tooth.

Bacteria can then travel inside the tooth, which leads to an infection. And an infection can cause an abscess.

What is an Abscess?

An abscess is a pocket of pus and bacteria that develops in response to an infection. As bacteria continue to multiply, they attempt to spread. Your body makes an attempt to contain the bacteria and prevent this from happening, thus forming the abscess.

Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

There are several symptoms of a tooth abscess that you should be on the lookout for:

•  Pain while chewing.
•  Tooth sensitivity.
•  Bitter taste in your mouth.
•  Bad breath.
•  General ill feeling.
•  Red, swollen gums.
•  Swollen neck glands.
•  Fever.

Dangers of Untreated Abscess

An abscess needs to be treated. Ignoring it can have serious consequences. As the abscess grows, it destroys your jawbone. The infection can leak outside of the abscess and spread into the jaw and neck. The bacteria can enter your blood stream and spread throughout your body. This can lead to other serious health issues including heart problems, stroke, sepsis, and other infections. An untreated tooth abscess could cost you your life.

Treating an Abscess

Tooth pain alone is often enough to warrant a trip to the dentist, who will be able to diagnose an abscess through a thorough exam and X-rays. To treat the abscess, the infection needs to be drained.

This is most frequently done with a root canal, a procedure that involves drilling into the top of the tooth, removing the interior of the tooth, taking out the roots and disinfecting the tooth. The tooth is then filled and capped with a crown. Your dentist may also prescribe you antibiotics to kill off any lingering bacteria.

Abscesses are a serious problem that should not be ignored. Good oral hygiene, which includes regular brushing and flossing, is important in abscess prevention. If you do experience any symptoms of an abscessed tooth, contact our office right away.

Margaret A. Boone, DMD
30485 SW Boones Ferry Rd, Suite 203
Wilsonville, OR 97070

(503) 601-0610
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