Dental abscesses usually appear as small pimples or swelling along the gum tissues inside of the mouth. The abscess may come and go, drain, or leave a bad taste in the mouth. Bacteria from the infection come from inside of the tooth…deep inside the nerve chamber, when a tooth has experienced trauma or a deep cavity.
Your dentist can confirm the abscess as well as determine the extent of the infection by examining the area and taking an x-ray of the tooth. If the infection is extremely severe, it may be necessary to prescribe an antibiotic before any treatment is completed. This will cause the bulk of the infection to decrease long enough for treatment to be performed.
An abscessed tooth will either need to have a root canal or be removed. In the majority of cases, root canal therapy is the choice method of treatment. This allows the tooth to last for several more years and prevents the need for tooth replacement. During a root canal, the damaged portion of the tooth is removed. Damaged nerve tissue is also removed, and the nerve chamber is cleaned, medicated, and sealed off permanently. The tooth is then prepped for a full coverage crown, which prevents the non-vital tooth from chipping away.
Extractions are usually only necessary if the infection is too severe for the tooth to be restored. If the infection is addressed as early as possible, this can be avoided.
Sometimes abscessed teeth can also cause pain, but not always. If you’re experiencing pain from an abscess, ask your dentist about pain relief until your treatment can be completed.
Posted on behalf of Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
Wisdom teeth are almost a “rite of passage” for growing teens and young adults. Do all wisdom teeth need to be extracted? At what point does a person know whether or not their wisdom teeth need to be removed after all? While every person is different, here are 3 common reasons why dentists recommend wisdom teeth extractions:
#1- The teeth are only partially erupted.
It might not seem like a problem if a tooth has only partially broken through the gum tissue, but it actually is. Teeth that are partially erupted allow food debris and bacteria to pack down under the gums between the gum tissue and the tooth, making it nearly impossible to clean. Because of this, decay and gum infections will eventually occur in this area, and can compromise adjacent teeth as well.
#2- Wisdom teeth that are impacted against other healthy teeth.
When a tooth is coming in at an angle, it causes pressure against the nearby teeth that otherwise have nothing wrong with them. This pressure can cause damage to those teeth, promote crowding throughout the mouth, or encourage disease to form between the wisdom tooth and other molar.
#3 – Lingering discomfort and jaw pain.
Most discomfort associated with the eruption of wisdom teeth will come and go on a frequent or infrequent basis. This can begin in the teens and last through the late 20s. If discomfort persists and a healthy eruption pattern is not going to be achieved, then removing the wisdom teeth can help alleviate pain.
A panoramic x-ray and clinical exam can easily determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed. Schedule a consultation visit with your dentist at your first convenience.
Posted on behalf of Dr. John Carey, North Metro Oral & Implant Surgery
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