What Is A Tooth Abscess?

Tooth Abscess

Do you suspect you may have a tooth abscess? Tooth abscesses are deep infections caused by bacterial infiltration. Without treatment, these infections can be extremely painful and even life-threatening. If you think you have an infection in or around your tooth or in your gums, it’s best to call our dentist in Largo, FL right away at 727-581-2087 so that your oral infection can be treated.

Understanding Tooth Abscesses

Tooth abscesses are pockets of pus that develop under or around a tooth due to bacterial infiltration. There are three types of abscesses, including periapical abscesses, gingival abscesses, and periodontal abscesses. Periapical abscesses develop at the very tip of the root of the tooth. Periodontal abscesses occur next to the root along the gum line and are often caused by cavities. Gingival abscesses occur on the gum and do not necessarily affect the tooth.

It’s important to understand that every oral abscess is extremely serious whether it forms inside or under the tooth or in the gums. If you’re having extreme tooth or gum pain, drainage, or extreme tooth sensitivity, it is extremely important that you schedule an appointment right away.

Symptoms of a Tooth Abscess

The symptoms can vary according to the individual, where it is located in the mouth, and the severity of the infection. These are a few of the symptoms:

  • Having a fever
  • Extremely swollen and red gums
  • Having an extremely bad taste in your mouth, usually due to pus leakage
  • Moderate to severe pain while chewing or eating
  • Radiating pain from the jaw to the ears or down the neck
  • Swelling in the face and discoloration or redness
  • Extremely bad breath that does not go away with brushing, flossing, rinsing, or breath fresheners

Causes of Tooth Abscess

It’s important to understand that once you have a tooth abscess, it takes medical treatment in order for it to heal. No amount of brushing, flossing, or rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash will heal the abscess.

  • Untreated cavities
  • Having untreated gum diseases, like gingivitis or periodontal disease
  • Getting something stuck in your gums, like a piece of food
  • Having chips or cracks in your teeth that can allow bacteria inside

Habits that Can Increase Your Risk

Certain habits can increase your risk of developing a tooth abscess and needing immediate dental care, these include:

  • Eating a diet that is high in sugar, sticky foods, and simple starches
  • Having dry mouth
  • Not brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day
  • Not getting regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings every six months that can catch cavities and gum disease at the earliest stages

Treatment Plans

Tooth abscess treatment may start with digital x-rays so that our dentist knows exactly where the pocket of pus is located. Next, we will drain the abscess to help get rid of the infections and alleviate pain. In fact, once the abscess is drained, pain often decreases dramatically and immediately. This is because the pocket of infection is no longer putting extreme pressure on the nerve.

If the tooth is severely damaged, it may need to be extracted or you may need a root canal and a CEREC crown. Once the infected tooth has been dealt with, you will most likely receive a prescription for antibiotics in order to help clear the rest of the infection. If your tooth had to be extracted, you may be a good candidate for a dental implant. These can be inserted as soon as your infection has healed and your gums are healthy.

Our dentist in Largo, FL can diagnose and treat your tooth abscess so you can maintain your dental health and wellness. To get treatment and to schedule your next dental appointment at Bonham Dental Arts, give us a call at 727-581-2087 today.