Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

"Making you smile from the inside out"

Tooth abscess: early treatment is the key December 18, 2012

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 2:20 pm

It is a condition none of us want, but it is something that can happen to anyone.  Usually abscesses of the teeth are a result of one of several causes:

An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. It’s most commonly caused by severe tooth decay. Other causes of tooth abscess are trauma to the tooth, such as when it is broken or chipped, and gingivitis or gum disease.

These problems can cause openings in the tooth enamel, which allows bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (called the pulp). The infection may also spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth.

Some signs that you may have an abscess include a toothache that is severe and continuous and results in gnawing or throbbing pain or sharp or shooting pain are common symptoms of an abscessed tooth. Other symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Foul smell to the breath
  • Swollen neck glands
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
  • Redness and swelling of the gums
  • Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw
  • An open, draining sore on the side of the gum

A word of caution – if the root of the tooth dies as a result of infection, the toothache may stop. However, this doesn’t mean the infection has healed; the infection remains active and continues to spread and destroy tissue. Therefore, if you experience any of the above listed symptoms, it is important to see a dentist even if the pain subsides.

If you suspect an abscess you need to contact us immediately and make an appointment.  This particular problem comes under the category of “the sooner the better” in terms of treatment.  This condition doesn’t get better with age or by itself.

Call us with any questions you might have.  We’d be glad to answer them for you.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

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