How Do I Know I Have A Tooth Abscess?

Understanding Abscesses

A tooth abscess is a pus-filled pocket that can occur at different areas near a tooth. It’s an infection generally caused by tooth decay, though there are other causes.

How does an abscess form?

You might have a cavity on a tooth surface caused by buildup of plaque. Due to its acidity, plaque can destroy enamel, weaken it and cause an opening into the inside of the tooth. This crack is the portal by which food, bacteria, and other debris can enter, reach the pulp and cause infection. Pus now builds up in the pulp and may cause its death. It can penetrate the root tips and enter bone tissue. Forming a pocket of pus, it is now called an abscess. Untreated, it can lead to a serious infection in the jaw bone and surrounding tissues.

According to its location, abscess that occurs at the tip of the root is referred to as a periapical abscess. If it occurs in the gums at the side of a tooth root, it’s a periodontal abscess.

What are symptoms of an abscess?

Pain is generally present when there is an abscess. It can be severe, constant, and throbbing, which can spread to the jaw, neck or ear. Pain or discomfort is also felt when taking hot or cold food or drinks or biting or chewing using the affected tooth.

The gums that hold the tooth may swell and become tender; that part of the face may also swell. There may be fever, tender and swollen lymph nodes in the neck or jaw, and a foul odor in the mouth. If the abscess ruptures, one can sense the sudden rush of foul-smelling and -tasting, salty fluid in the mouth, as well relief from pain.

Can tooth abscess be treated?

Depending on the severity of the infection, an abscessed tooth can be treated with various treatments. For example, antibiotics can be prescribed to eradicate the infection, pus drainage can be done and cleaning up where pus had developed between the tooth and the gums. Root canal treatment is another option if the crown is badly damaged.

Know that good oral hygiene practices and regular dentist visits reduce the risk of developing abscess. One must also have a healthy diet, a low to moderate sugary and acidic consumption. Tooth abscesses require treatment and its spreading needs to be addressed.

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Knowing When To See Your Issaquah Dentist

When you think you have a tooth abscess, delay no further and see your dentist in Issaquah. Know how you can save your tooth when it happens.