Frequently Asked Questions About An Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is one of the most serious dental conditions that you can have. It can cause severe dental and facial pain, cause someone to become extremely ill, or can even lead to death. Due to the severity of this dental condition, it is important that everyone understand what an abscessed tooth is and what the signs are that one is present so that they can get emergency dental care if they suspect they have an abscessed tooth. Here are a few frequently asked questions about an abscessed tooth and the answers. 

What is an Abscessed Tooth? 

An abscessed tooth, also called a dental abscess, can form in different parts of the tooth or the gums. It is a pocket of pus that is caused by bacteria, or an infection of the affected area. There are different types of dental abscesses, including a periapical abscess, which is an abscess at the base of a tooth's root, right next to the tooth, a periodontal abscess, or an abscess next to the root of the tooth by the gums, or a gingival abscess, or an abscess on the gums. 

What Are the Signs You Have an Abscessed Tooth? 

If you have an abscessed tooth, you may experience tooth throbbing or pulsing. The pain you are experiencing will typically not subside with home treatments, such as ice packs or over-the-counter pain relievers. You may notice a really bad taste or smell in your mouth. You may also experience swelling in your gums, neck, cheek or neck region. Due to the infection, you can also develop a fever. As the infection spreads, the swelling and pain may increase, and you may experience trouble breathing. If you have trouble breathing, seek out emergency medical treatment immediately. 

How Can You Prevent an Abscess From Forming?

Most abscesses are formed when a dental condition is not properly caught, cared for and treated. For example, an abscess is more common when a cavity is not treated and filled within a timely manner. While you cannot prevent every dental abscess from forming, getting routine dental care, and seeking out dental care if you are experiencing dental pain, can help to minimize or decrease the chances of an abscess developing or forming. 

What Should You Do If You Suspect You Have an Abscessed Tooth? 

If you suspect you have an abscessed tooth, it is important to contact an emergency dentist. You want to seek treatment as quickly as possible for the dental abscess. Depending on the situation, the dentist may see you in their office immediately to begin treatment, or they may prescribe you antibiotics to help reduce the pain and swelling before they work on you. Once you are in their office, they will determine where the abscess is located. They will remove the pus that is causing the infection, as well as removing any decay that is harboring the bacteria causing the abscess. 

If you have any signs of an abscessed tooth, you will want to seek immediate dental care. Here at Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we can help you to get the treatment you need. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.