An abscess is a pocket of pus formed around the root of an infected tooth. If you have one, you should have it treated by an Able Dental professional. Otherwise, the infection can spread to your neck and head, as well as other parts of the body putting you in a potentially life-threatening situation. If it happens that the infection spreads, you might even develop sepsis. A periapical tooth abscess is usually a result of an injury, untreated dental cavity, or prior dental work.

A tooth abscess is treated by a dentist who drains it to get rid of the infection. If tooth abscess has progressed, the patient has to have the tooth pulled. However, if the situation hasn’t regressed too much, your tooth can be saved with a root canal treatment

What are the Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess?

Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures
  • Persistent, severe, throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, ear or neck
  • Sensitivity to biting or chewing
  • Fever
  • Swelling in your face or cheek
  • Gum redness and pain
  • Swelling
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes in your neck or under your jaw
  • A rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting, salty fluid in your mouth
  • Pain relief if the abscess ruptures
  • Trouble breathing

Sometimes, you may notice a pimple-like bump on your gum. If you squeeze it and liquid oozes out, that liquid is pus. It is a sure sign you have an abscessed tooth.

Risk Factors

The most common risk factors are as follows:

  • Poor dental hygiene: Not brushing your teeth regularly and not flossing can increase the risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental and mouth complications
  • A diet high in sugar: Eating and drinking foods rich in sugar can cause dental cavities that progress into a tooth abscess.

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Preventing a tooth abscess comes down to keeping your teeth in good health and having regular check-ups with your dentist. Here are some of the most important tips to follow:

  • Drink fluoridated drinking water
  • Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Use dental floss regularly
  • Limit sugar intake and eat healthy food; limit between-meal snacks
  • Whenever the bristles on your toothbrush are frayed, replace them
  • Have regular checkups at your dentist

Consider using an antiseptic or a fluoride mouth rinse, to add an extra layer of protection against tooth decay.

Regular check-ups are recommended and necessary for proper oral hygiene. Also, they are for catching early stages of a tooth abscess to treat it. If you experience any of the symptoms we’ve laid out above, make sure you schedule an appointment with your dentist. In case your dentist isn’t available, go to an emergency room. If you are experiencing alarming difficulties like trouble swallowing or even breathing, it’s possible the infection has spread, and you are in need of urgent medical assistance. To prevent this from happening, be a regular at your friendly neighborhood Able Dental office.