If you or someone in your family has an abscessed or infected tooth, you need to take action immediately because ignoring it can be very dangerous to your health. When you have an abscess, you have a serious infection that requires immediate attention from a dental professional. If you do not have the abscess treated, this infection can destroy the tissues in the tooth itself, the surrounding bone in your jaw, and may even lead to other health problems.
The very beginning of an abscess can be traced to poor oral hygiene which has led to tooth decay. If the decay is not removed, your tooth may crack or develop a cavity, which exposes the sensitive inner pulp. This leads to problems when bacteria begin infecting the pulp. Left untreated, the nerve dies and pus begins to form in the root or bone under your tooth. This pocket of pus is the abscess. You can also get an abscess when a piece of food is stuck under the gum tissue and is not removed through brushing or flossing. Bacteria will eventually begin to attack the food, leading to infection.
Symptoms that you might have an abscessed tooth include a shooting or pulsating pain in your mouth, or pain when chewing. This pain may linger even if you aren't putting any pressure on the tooth. Your tooth might also become extremely sensitive to tapping or hot foods and liquids. If your symptoms advance to a redness or swelling in your gums, fever, foul-smelling breath, a bitter taste in your mouth, or swollen glands, you need to find a dentist immediately as the infection can spread and affect other areas of your body.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and think you might have an abscessed tooth, you need to find a dentist immediately who will examine your mouth, determine the level of infection, prescribe antibiotics and recommend a course of action. In the most serious cases you may need to find an endodontist to perform a root canal in order to save your tooth.
ChooseYourDentist.com is your go-to source for dental information and dental education. If you have an abscessed tooth, use our dental profiles to help find a dentist or find an endodontist who can help because ChooseYourDentist.com is "where patients and dentists meet."