What Is A Dental Abscess? | Smile Workshop Cedar Hill

[:en]Dental pain is no joke, especially when it interferes with your everyday routine. There are many reasons for a toothache, but if you are experiencing other symptoms, such as fever or swelling, you may have a dental abscess, also known as a tooth abscess. Never heard of it? That’s okay, we at Smile Workshop Cedar Hill know plenty on this topic and are happy to share:

What is a Dental Abscess?

When bacteria enters your mouth and causes an infection, a pocket filled with pus is formed in the tissue as a barrier to keep the bacterial infection from spreading to the rest of your body. Unable to drain, the pus builds up and begins to create swelling and pressure, which causes pain.

What are the Symptoms?

If you are experiencing a dental abscess, symptoms include:

  • Throbbing or sharp pain
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation and redness of the gums
  • Pain upon touching the infected area
  • Teeth sensitivity to pressure and temperature
  • Bad taste in mouth
  • Fever

Typically, pain is the most prominent symptom but sometimes, you may have little to no pain. If you are experiencing any symptoms, see your local dentist as this infection won’t clear up on its own, and it can spread to other parts of your body.

How Can You Treat A Dental Abscess?

The first thing your dentist will do upon your arrival is clean the area around the abscess. Your dentist will then attempt to drain the abscess to release trapped pus and treat the infection. Sometimes a fistula, a hollow tunnel in the mouth through bone and skin that allows pus to drain, may have formed. The dentist will also need to clean this area but it typically closes up on its own.

If the infection has started inside the tooth, your dentist will need to make a small hole in the tooth to allow the tooth abscess to drain. Following this treatment, a root canal and filling or crown will be required unless tooth removal is necessary due to the amount of damage. Should your dental abscess be caused by periodontal disease, you will need additional treatment to prevent further infection.

Antibiotics and painkillers may also be prescribed to treat infection and prevent spreading.

Can You Avoid A Dental Abscess?

While cracking or damaging your tooth may cause a dental abscess, practicing proper dental hygiene, like brushing and flossing twice a day and seeing your dentist every six months, should help you avoid this type of infection.

Are you experiencing a toothache that may be dental abscess related? Give us a call or schedule an appointment today!

Image from Thinkstock by Getty Images. Item Number 471398101[:]