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West Bowmanville Family Dental Blog

What Is a Tooth Abscess?

Anyone who has ever had an abscessed tooth will know it’s excruciating, but it’s also a condition that needs to be taken seriously. Without treatment, a dental abscess can become life-threatening. It’s the reason why anyone who has a toothache should seek emergency dental care in Newcastle.

What Causes a Tooth Abscess?
An abscess can develop when bacteria get right inside the tooth pulp. This is the soft inner part of a tooth containing blood vessels, connective tissues and nerves. Bacteria can get inside your tooth through an untreated cavity or crack or chip in the tooth, and the infection can spread right to the tooth root. Eventually, it causes swelling because pus will form, and without treatment can spread beyond the tooth root, affecting other parts of your body.

Who Is at Risk of Developing a Dental Abscess?
If you ignore a cracked or chipped tooth, lose a filling or have untreated tooth decay, your risk of developing a tooth abscess is higher. It’s a problem that can develop in someone who hasn’t been to the dentist for a while and who has ignored any symptoms of dental problems. Some people who have problems affecting their immune system or who are receiving specific medical treatments are also at higher risk.

What Are the Symptoms?
As well as a severe toothache, a tooth abscess can cause bad breath and a bitter taste that you can’t get rid of. You will most likely feel pain when you try to chew or bite, and the tooth could feel more sensitive to hot and cold. Take a look at the gum around the tooth because it’s most likely red and swollen or it could be leaking pus. Other symptoms affect your general health, and you may feel ill, your lymph nodes in your neck and jaw could swell up, and you’re more likely to have a headache. If the infection advances, you might feel nauseous, your face may swell around the affected tooth, and you could feel feverish. This might indicate that the infection has spread deeper into your body, so if you can’t get in touch with your dentist in Clarington, you must visit the emergency room straight away.

How Is a Dental Abscess Treated?
Hopefully, it will be possible to save the tooth by performing root canal treatment. However, if the infection is too far advanced, it may be necessary to remove the tooth to allow the abscess to drain and to get rid of the infection. You might also need to take antibiotics to kill the bacteria and to help aid healing.
A tooth abscess isn’t at all pleasant, and we much prefer to provide preventative dental care!

Preventing a Tooth Abscess
Often, it’s possible to avoid a tooth abscess with ongoing dental care, and it’s one of the primary reasons why we always recommend regular dental checkups and hygiene appointments with us here at West Bowmanville Family Dental. With regular ongoing dental care, we can monitor the condition of your teeth and gums, detecting any tiny cracks or chips, failing fillings or signs of cavities before they become severely infected. You can help by ensuring your oral hygiene routine is the best possible, brushing at least twice a day and flossing once-a-day. Also, it’s a routine that can be considerably cheaper than treating a tooth abscess, and especially if we cannot save the tooth and must remove it. We always prefer to save our patients smiles!

Has it been a while since you saw a dentist in Courtice? Get in touch now and begin 2019 with a healthy mouth.

Jan 4, 2019 by

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