Abscessed Tooth

August 23, 2018

An abscessed tooth is an infection caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease or a cracked tooth.

These problems can let bacteria enter the pulp (the soft tissue of a tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue) and can lead to pulp death. When pus builds up at the root tip in the jaw bone, it forms a pus-pocket called an abscess. If the abscess is not treated, it can lead to a serious infection in the jaw bone, teeth and surrounding tissues.

 

Symptoms of an abscess include:

  • pain

  • swelling

  • redness in the gums

  • bad taste in the mouth

  • fever

An abscessed tooth can be treated with various treatments, depending on the severity of the infection.

 

Here are some of the treatment methods a dentist may consider:

  • antibiotics, to destroy the bacteria causing the infection

  • drainage of the infection

  • cleaning the space between the tooth and the gum if the cause is from gum disease

  • root canal treatment if the abscess is caused by decay or a cracked tooth

Following good oral hygiene practices and routine dental exams will significantly reduce your risk of developing a tooth abscess. If your teeth experience trauma (become loosened or chipped), see your dentist as soon as possible.

 

This article, along with additional links, can be found at: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/abscess

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