Abscessed teeth cause more than just a toothache. They can have several effects on other teeth, the mouth, and even the health of the patient. Although they initially don’t cause concern among patients unless some discomfort is present, abscessed teeth can also exhibit symptoms like:
• Drainage around the tooth
• Bad breath
• Pain when pressure is applied to the tooth
• Visible swelling around the root area on the gum tissue
What happens during an abscess is that the infection needs to find somewhere to drain, so it comes out of the tip of the root, where there is an opening for nerve tissue. At this point the pus creates an abscessed area in the bone and gum tissue surrounding the root, and drains out the side of the gum tissue. Not only is this painful, it also causes infectious bacteria to enter into the bone and possibly spread into the sinuses or to nearby teeth.
This can cause loss of bone structure, infection in other teeth, and even health complications that result in hospitalizations. In rare circumstances, dental abscess bacteria have had the ability to spread through the head and into the brain. In young children this can be extremely dangerous, and the parent may not even realize what is going on until severe facial swelling has developed.
The best thing to do when there is an abscessed tooth is to complete treatment as soon as possible, allowing your dentist to remove the infection and prevent it from swelling. You may need a root canal and in some cases the patient may also be placed on an antibiotic if the infection is severe, before the treatment can be completed and to alleviate the cause of pain.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Hamir Contractor, Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
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