Dental Tips Blog

Dec
26

What Is a Tooth Abscess?

Posted in Gum Disease

An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms in gums or bone as a result of an infection. It can also occur alongside of teeth with serious periodontal disease. Most commonly, an abscess forms at the tip of a tooth root after it’s been compromised by decay or trauma.

Signs You May Have An Abscess 

An abscess can cause severe pain, but in some cases it won’t hurt at all. Other symptoms can include:

  • Pimple on the gums (where pus drains out)
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Your tooth is extremely sensitive to pressure and/or temperature
  • Swelling in your face
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Fracture or advanced decay in the tooth

Your dentist will most likely need to take an x-ray to pinpoint where the infection is originating.

Will It Go Away On Its Own?

No. This is a serious bacterial infection looking for a way out. As an abscess grows, it eats away at the tooth root and surrounding bone. There’s also a risk of the infection spreading to other parts of your body.

How To Treat An Abscessed Tooth

Get some relief by swishing lukewarm salt water to bring down inflammation and encourage the release of pressure. You can also take an over the counter medication such as ibuprofen.

These measures aren’t meant to buy you extra time. You still need to contact your dentist ASAP. If you have to wait for your appointment, these steps will help you get some relief before your scheduled visit.

Your dentist may need to drain the abscess if it’s very large. You’ll may even take some antibiotics. But to treat it thoroughly, your dentist will either need to do a root canal or extract the tooth.

The sooner your see your dentist, the sooner you’ll get relief and the better your chances of holding onto your natural tooth!

Posted on behalf of:
Riverheart Family Dentistry
8618 Mexico Road
O’Fallon, MO 63366
(636) 205-4045

Aug
3

What is an Abscess?

Posted in Root Canals

“Abscess” is that scary “A-word” no one likes to hear at the dental office! The infection occurs when the tissues inside a tooth becomes inflamed from bacteria that enter the sterile nerve chamber. The infection can’t escape through the hard tooth structure, so instead, it travels through the root tips and out the side of your jaw.

If the abscess isn’t relieved and treated, it can cause severe damage to other teeth and the infection can even travel to other areas in your body.

Signs Of An Abscess

  • Swelling around your tooth
  • Throbbing pain
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Tenderness to biting pressure
  • Fever
  • Pimple on the gums next to a tooth
  • An noticeable salty taste or smell in your mouth

Sometimes, you can have an abscess and not feel anything. This is one of the reasons regular dental checkups with x-rays are so important!

Think You Have a Dental Abscess? What You Should Do

Call your local dentist right away. Take a doctor-approved painkiller. Place an ice pack on the side of your face if you have any swelling. Your dentist will see you at the earliest opportunity since abscesses can’t wait! Visit the emergency room if you have difficulty swallowing or breathing.

Treatment For An Abscess

When you get to your dentist’s, he or she will likely prescribe you an antibiotic to reduce the number of bacteria present. If the damage is severe enough, the abscessed tooth may need to be extracted. In many cases, a tooth can be saved with root canal therapy.

If you suspect you have an abscess, don’t wait! The sooner you take action, the greater your chances of keeping your tooth.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

Jul
24

Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

How can you know whether or not you have a dental abscess? These infections are nothing to joke about, but they may not always cause pain or discomfort alerting you to their presence. Once a tooth has abscessed, it is no longer vital and requires immediate attention. What signs and symptoms should you look out for?

•       Swelling on the gums along the root

•       “Pimples” on the gums that come and go

•       Heightened sensitivity

•       Pain when pressure is applied

Abscesses can’t wait; you need to get professional dental care right away. Especially for children. Why? Because they can become so severe that in certain circumstances they even result in hospitalization. Treating the abscess with an antibiotic can clear up any residual infection, but it won’t prevent it from coming back. It simply makes it easier to treat the tooth during the root canal procedure.

Why a root canal? Because these restorations go down into the nerve chamber and seal it of – preventing reinfection from occurring. During the procedure all diseased nerve tissues are removed, saving the tooth from the possibility of decomposing prematurely. Cleaning the area out and placing a filling into the root allows the dead tooth to remain functional for several more years. However, the tooth will become more brittle and can therefor wear down or chip away during regular biting and chewing. That’s why your dentist will recommend placing a crown over the tooth following your root canal treatment.

If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth – call your dentist today to schedule a quick exam and x-ray. Catching the infection quickly can save your tooth!

Posted on behalf of:
Rowe Family Dental Care
2320 Satellite Blvd NW #120
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 622-5909

Apr
28

Why Antibiotics Aren’t Enough for an Abscessed Tooth

If you’ve had a tooth infection or dental abscess, you’ve probably asked your dentist if you can just treat it with antibiotics. Although your dentist may recommend antibiotics to clear up the initial infection, this is not an effective method for eliminating the condition or preventing it from returning. Instead, it is used prior to restorative options and to alleviate discomfort.

All abscessed teeth have some type of infection inside of the root canal chamber. That means infected nerve tissue is being exposed to bacteria from some external source, such as a cavity or crack in the tooth. After the initial infection is cleared up with an antibiotic, that nerve tissue needs to be removed and the canal must be sealed off. This prevents reinfection, bone damage and loss of the tooth.

Maybe you’ve already realized what’s coming next. If you guessed a root canal, you’re right! Root canal therapy is the process of removing the damaged nerve tissues, medicating the inner chamber of the tooth, filling the canal and then sealing it off to prevent reinfection. The process is almost like having a filling, but a bit more tedious. After the tooth is crowned, a crown will be placed over it to prevent the enamel from fracturing.

If you’ve experienced off and on swelling or a “pimple” that pops up on your gum tissue, then chances are that you have an abscessed tooth. Don’t wait until it means a trip to the hospital or losing your tooth completely before you seek out care. Schedule an exam and x-ray with your dentist to see what’s really going on with your mouth.

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Denture and Implant Specialists
203 Woodpark Pl #102
Woodstock, GA 30188

Apr
7

“But My Tooth Doesn’t Hurt” – When to Have Your Dentist Check

Have you ever had your dentist tell you that something was wrong with a tooth, but your first thought was “but my tooth doesn’t hurt?” If so, you’re not alone! It’s a common predicament to be told that something is wrong with a tooth but to never once feel symptoms related to it. While some people have severe pain and sensitivity, other people may have no discomfort whatsoever. Here are a few examples of instances where a tooth could be compromised, without any pain:

Abscessed Tooth

Even with an active fistula (“pimple”) on the gumlines, some people never experience discomfort from an abscessed tooth. A quick x-ray can determine the extent of the infection present inside of the bone. 

Broken or Chipped Tooth

From small chips to large tooth fractures, a structurally compromised tooth can continue to break down if not treated quickly. Since some people have smaller or more desensitized nerves, a broken tooth does not always mean pain. 

Leaky Filling

Upon visual inspection, your dentist may determine that an old filling has begun leaking. That means bacteria from the outside can seep in around the filling, causing new tooth decay around it. Most leaky fillings or failing margins are asymptomatic. 

Gum Disease

Severe bone loss and gum detachment may occasionally cause soreness, but not in everyone. Untreated periodontal disease will lead to tooth mobility and tooth loss without the right care. Unfortunately, severe periodontal disease cannot be reversed with simple brushing and flossing.

Having a dentist you can trust is important. Especially when he or she finds something that you didn’t even know was there. Thanks to digital radiographs and intraoral cameras, most dentists can have you “co plan” your own treatment alongside of their own findings. Never put off your dental care! Even if the tooth doesn’t hurt, serious complications could be on the horizon.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

 

Mar
8

The Aches of an Abscess

Posted in Root Canals

There’s a small pimple-like blister on your gums, just next to where the root of your tooth would be. What is it? It may drain and come back, or just leave a sore that does not go away. Accompanying this fistula may cause severe tooth pain, aches in the area, or more severe swelling in that part of the mouth. This dear friends, is a dental abscess.

What causes an abscess? Abscesses are due to infection caused by tooth decay that has reached deep into the pulp tissue inside of the tooth. Once bacteria have contaminated the pulp, it also becomes infected. Unlike open tooth decay, a closed canal through the root of the tooth does not have an easy access to drain infection, which causes it to extend down and out the tip (apex) of the root, and then through the soft tissues until an abscess is formed on the gums.

To treat an abscess, pulp therapy is needed, such as a root canal (adults) or a pulpotomy (children.) This removes the infected nerve tissues, tooth decay, and eliminates the cause of infection, preventing it from returning. If the abscess is severe, the dentist may need to treat the patient with antibiotics to reduce the extent of infection before treatment is performed. Unfortunately, antibiotics do not remove tooth decay, so abscesses can easily return if the tooth is not treated professionally. This can lead to permanent tooth loss and spread of infection to other areas of the mouth. Thankfully, nerve and pulp therapies are an everyday occurrence in many dental practices, and are a proven method for eliminating abscesses and restoring non-vital teeth.

Posted on behalf of Patrick O’Brien DMD, Carolina Comfort Dental

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