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Do You Have an Abscessed Tooth?

woman with tooth painWhen the inside of your mouth is hurt or becomes irritated, bacteria can get inside that can lead to the development of an infection. Bacteria that cannot drain out collect below the gum line, leading to the formation of an abscess. An abscess is a sac that forms around the bacteria to contain it and prevent its spread. When an abscess forms treatment is needed immediately. Without it, serious problems could arise. Weekend Dentistry can help with abscess treatment.

What Causes an Abscess?

There two types of abscesses, a periodontal abscess, and a dental abscess. A periodontal abscess is one that forms in the space between the tooth and your gums. This type of abscess often forms when a piece of food or other debris gets caught below the gum line and causes an infection. A periodontal abscess can also form as a result of severe gum disease when bacteria build up under the gum line and in the bone.

A dental abscess is one that forms as a result of infection inside of your tooth, and often as a result of a dead or dying nerve. As the bacteria multiply, they can begin to spill out through the root of the tooth, leading to the formation of an abscess at the apex of the tooth root.

Symptoms of an Abscess

One of the biggest indications of infection and an abscess is pain. Some individuals experience little to no pain, and may not even know there is an infection until other symptoms begin to appear. Other symptoms of an abscess include:
•  Redness.
•  Swelling in the gums or jaw.
•  Facial swelling.
•  Sensitivity to pressure.

If the abscess continues to worsen, more significant symptoms may begin to appear. These include:
•  Nausea and vomiting.
•  Fever.
•  Chills.
•  Trouble swallowing, breathing, or even just opening your mouth.

Effects of Untreated Abscesses

When an abscess forms, treatment is needed immediately. Abscesses do not go away on their own and only worsen over time. Abscesses grow larger as bacteria continue to multiply. This can lead to bone loss in your jaw.

Additionally, if an abscess ruptures, bacteria can get into your bloodstream. This can lead to serious issues such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more.

Treatment for an Abscess

There are a few different ways in which an abscess can be treated. One way is to make an incision and drain the abscess. The infection is then treated, and you may be provided with antibiotics. A dental abscess also needs to be drained. This is done through a small hole inside of the tooth. A root canal is also performed to remove the infected pulp and clean out the entire inside of the tooth. The tooth is then provided with a crown to restore strength and prevent reinfection. If the abscess is very large or the tooth very badly damaged, the tooth may need to be removed and then the abscess treated.

Can I Treat an Abscess at Home?

When you suspect an abscess, it is essential that you seek dental treatment immediately. For pain and inflammation, you can take over the counter pain relievers. While these can help with discomfort, they cannot stop the infection. If the abscess ruptures on its own, rinse your mouth several times a day with a saline solution. It is still essential that you seek dental treatment right away.

If you suspect that you have an abscess in your mouth, it is imperative to get dental care right away. Call Weekend Dentistry today at (210) 783-0944 for more information and to schedule your appointment.

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