A dental abscess is a severe infection of the inside of your tooth, the surrounding bones, or your gum tissue. Because dental abscesses are purulent infections, meaning they contain bacteria-rich pus pockets, it is essential that you make an appointment with your family dental professional for prompt evaluation and treatment. Here are some signs and symptoms to be aware of and some treatment options to consider if you have a dental abscess.
Signs And Symptoms
It is important to note, that while most dental abscesses cause certain signs and symptoms, others may be asymptomatic. This may be the result of nerve damage which may reduce the incidence of abscess-related pain or even the rupture of the abscess, which may also help relieve pain and pressure.
When signs and symptoms do occur, they may include throbbing pain, gum swelling, a bad taste in the mouth, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and tooth sensitivity. In addition to fever, other systemic symptoms of a dental abscess may include fatigue, muscle pain, loss of appetite, headache, and a general feeling of illness. Further, bad breath, earache, and facial inflammation may also develop in response to a dental abscess.
Treatment Options For Dental Abscess
Your emergency dentist may base your treatment plan on the location and severity of your dental abscess. Oral antibiotics are typically prescribed to eliminate the dental infection and to help prevent the spread of the infection to other locations in your bloodstream. A root canal procedure may also be recommended to help save the infected tooth. However, if the abscess has caused extensive damage to the tooth, the bones that support the teeth, or the gums, then your family dental professional may recommend that you have the tooth pulled.
Your family dentist may extract the tooth themselves; however, if bone destruction or significant tissue damage is present, then they may refer you to an oral surgeon for additional evaluation and surgical intervention. Similarly, your family dentist is also qualified to perform root canals; however, they may opt to refer you to a root canal specialist known as an endodontist. Once your dental abscess has been treated, your symptoms should begin to subside.
If you develop any of the above signs and symptoms, see your dentist as soon as possible. When dental abscesses are recognized and quickly treated, complications, such as bone and gum damage, may be greatly reduced and you may be at a lower risk of losing your tooth to extraction.
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