An abscessed tooth is a localized collection of infection that usually forms at the root of the tooth. It may result from severe tooth decay, trauma to the tooth, gum disease and gingivitis. These conditions will cause pores in the tooth enamel, which allow bacteria to ingest and infect the pulp. The infection even spreads to the bones that support teeth.
Symptoms of Abscessed Tooth
The common symptoms of an abscessed tooth include swelling, pain when chewing, a dull or a constant toothache and a constant shooting pain associated with tooth. Other symptoms include:
- Sensitivity of the teeth to cold or hot
- Foul breath
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Uneasiness, ill feeling and general discomfort
- Swollen neck glands
- Swelling and soreness in gum
- Swollen upper and lower jaw
- Draining sore on the side of the gum
If the root dies due to infection, the toothache will stop. This doesn’t mean that the infection is healed; the infection continues to spread to the gum tissue. Therefore, it is important to consult a dentist even if the pain reduces.
Diagnosis of Abscessed Tooth
The dentist will examine the teeth using a dental instrument. If you have an abscessed tooth, you can feel the pain on tapping the tooth. The dentist will ask for the pain you are experiencing while biting or closing the mouth. Moreover swollen gums also show the presence of abscessed tooth. X-rays may also taken to examine any erosion of the bone due to abscess.
Treatment for Abscessed Tooth
The primary goals for treating an abscessed tooth include the strategies to kill the infection, preserve tooth health and prevent further complications.
- Firstly to kill the infection, the abscess should be drained. This can be achieved by a procedure called root canal in which a badly decayed or infected tooth is repaired and saved. Root canal surgery is also done to remove the diseases tissue of the root. This is later covered by a crown.
- The abscess can also be drained by creating an incision in the swollen gum tissue. Drainage can also be made through the socket.
- Antibiotics are recommended to help kill the infection. Warm salt water rinses and over-the-counter pain medications help in relieving the discomfort and pain associated with abscess.
- Low-level lasers are used where in the patient feels more comfortable in receiving the injection in a easier manner. This will help in relieving the pain and inflammation of the abscess.
Care / Prevention of Abscessed Tooth
Practicing good oral hygiene practices help to reduce the chances of tooth abscess. Also, seek prompt dental attention when you experience trauma of the teeth.