There are few dental issues which require care quite as urgently as a tooth abscess. Unfortunately, many Americans still aren’t aware of the signs that signify this serious problem. Keep reading to learn what to look out for, and contact Austell Dental Associates today for all your oral hygiene needs.
Signs of a Tooth Abscess
A pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection, tooth abscesses occur at different places in the tooth for various reasons. A professional dentist will treat the infection by draining the abscess, and in some cases, performing a root canal. Time is of the essence with a tooth abscess, however, as the longer it exists, the greater chance there is that the tooth will have to be pulled.
Signs of a tooth abscess include:
- A throbbing and persistent toothache
- Severe pain radiating through the neck, ear, and jawbone
- Increased temperature sensitivity
- Swelling of the face and cheek
- Inflated and tender limp nodes in the jaw and neck
- A fever
- An odorous and nasty-tasting liquid in the mouth, in the case the abscess ruptures
If you experience any of these signs, make sure to contact your dentist right away. In the event that your dentist is not available, seek treatment at the nearest emergency room.
Causes of a Tooth Abscess
Tooth abscesses form when bacteria makes its way deep into the most central part of the tooth, called the dental pulp. The dental pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, causing extreme sensitivity during cases of infection. Bacteria can enter the dental pulp through a dental cavity, as well as chips or cracks in teeth. From there, it will spread down to the tip of the root, leading to the swelling and inflammation one feels in their mouth due when they are suffering from an abscess.
Not maintaining proper dental hygiene is a surefire way to put yourself at risk for a tooth abscess, including not brushing your teeth two times a day and not flossing. High-sugar food and drinks such as soda and candy can also contribute to abscesses. In general, it is important to be mindful of dental hygiene, and to avoid sugar whenever possible, not only to avoid abscesses but for the overall health of your teeth and gums.
Complications from a Tooth Abscess
It is virtually impossible to get rid of a tooth abscess without treatment. While the pain may be temporarily alleviated if the abscess bursts, you will still need seek to professional dental service to treat the remaining infection.
Abscesses are not merely dangerous for your teeth. If not properly drained, the infection from a tooth abscess can expand to your jaw, as well as other parts of your head and neck. This may lead to severe complications and illnesses, including sepsis, which is a life-threatening infection that can spread through your entire body. And if you are sick or already have a weakened immune system, the chances of an infection spreading become even higher.
Bottom line, untreated abscesses can lead to extreme sickness, and even death. If you believe you may be suffering from a tooth abscess, don’t delay, and talk to your dentist as soon as possible.
Preventing a Tooth Abscess
In addition to practicing basic dental hygiene on a daily basis, there are several simple steps you can take to avoid getting an abscess or other suffering from other serious tooth issues. While there are no guarantees when it comes to abscesses and infections, preventative care significantly reduces the likelihood that an abscess will occur in your mouth.
The best ways to avoid an abscess are:
- Use fluoridated water whenever possible
- Use a fluoridated toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day
- Use dental floss or an interdental cleaner every day
- Use an antiseptic or fluoride mouth wash every day
- Replace your toothbrush any time the bristles start to get frayed (generally every 3-4 months)
- Eat healthy foods, avoid snacking, and stay away from sweets
- Make regular trips to the dentists for checkups and cleanings
Don’t Delay, Call Austell Dental Associates Today!
At Austell Dental Associates, we are committed to improving your health and well-being. Our goal is for patients to recognize that taking care of their teeth is a major part of this and that you should treat your mouth the same way you would treat the rest of your body. From regular cleanings and checkups to cosmetic dentistry, we provide comprehensive dental services designed to make your teeth and your entire mouth look and feel its best. For a smile as healthy as it is beautiful, call our offices for trusted family dental services in Austell.
Dial (770) 467-3888 today to schedule your next checkup with Austell Dental Associates, or contact us online to learn more about our services. Spanish-speaking assistance is also available.