An abscessed tooth in Spring is, in scientific terms, not all that fun. Fortunately, your dentist can help you avoid them with regular preventive attention. But what is a tooth abscess? You’ll know when you’ve got one — but we don’t want you to have to learn the hard way. Keep reading to find out more about them in this week’s blog post!
What Is a Tooth Abscess?
A tooth abscess is a few things. It’s painful, unpleasant, and something that requires treatment right away. But aside from all that, a tooth abscess is a pus-filled pocket on the root of a tooth that occurs as a result of an infection in the interior of the tooth, the part we call “pulp.”
Tooth abscess is a common problem, especially for adults who do not stay on top of their routine preventive dental care. Most cases arising as a result of untreated tooth decay, dental injury, or malfunctioning dental work.
What Are the Signs?
It’s not easy to miss the signs of an abscessed tooth, as abscesses cause sufferers intense pain — most often increasing at night.
The symptoms of a tooth abscess include…
- Pain in the tooth
- A painful jaw
- Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Difficulty sleeping due to the infected tooth
Do not hesitate to seek treatment for an aching tooth. Healthy teeth don’t hurt, and an infected tooth is highly unlikely to heal on its own.
If untreated, the infection causing an abscess can quickly spread to other parts of the body — like the brain. In the worst cases, tooth abscess can result in death.
How Is an Abscessed Tooth Treated?
If the tooth can be salvaged, your dentist may treat it with root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment. It is a common restorative procedure in which your dentist removes all diseased tissue from the interior of the tooth, refills it with a biocompatible material, and restores its strength with a permanent filling or dental crown.
Root canal treatment has a reputation of being scary or painful, but there is no reason to dread this procedure — in fact, an abscessed tooth causes infinitely more pain than the treatment that fixes it. With modern options in anesthesia and sedation, you are unlikely to feel a thing throughout endodontic treatment.
A tooth that cannot be saved will need to be extracted. Your dentist will carefully evaluate the situation and make the recommendation that serves you and your smile best.
About the Author
Dr. Kelly M. LeBlanc is a general dentist providing superior dental care for families and friends in Spring, TX. He remains up-to-date on the latest advances in dentistry through his active participation in a number of professional organization — and he’s been named a Superior Dentist for his excellence in treatments like root canal therapy for abscessed tooth. To learn more about Dr. LeBlanc’s office or to schedule an appointment, we invite you to contact the team at (281) 376-3959.