What Should You Do When You Suspect A Dental Abscess? 

You are sitting in your office busy with work when you feel a sudden sharp pain in your tooth. The pain could be due to a dental abscess especially if you have a history of gum infection, tooth infection, or cavities.

The only way you can differentiate pain from a dental abscess from other types of dental pain is that it is very intense. You may also notice a small bump that looks like a pimple on the gum near the tooth abscess.  

What exactly is a dental abscess? 

An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms within tissues. They are usually a result of a bacterial infection, which is localized in the area where the abscess forms. A dental abscess is an abscess that affects the teeth and adjacent jaw tissue. There are two common types of dental abscesses: 

Periapical abscess 

These affect the inside of the tooth and occur near the tip of the root. Periapical abscesses are more common among children, especially those with poor dental hygiene.  

Cavities can erode the dental enamel and dentin allowing bacteria to make its way into the pulp. This causes inflammation of the pulp and may lead to lead of nerves in the tooth. As dead tissue is vulnerable to infection, it puts the tooth at high risk of developing an abscess.  

In case of large cavities, where damage to the enamel and dentin is damaged, the bacteria can enter the pulp and lead to a condition known as pulpitis. Long term and severe pulpitis can lead to periapical abscesses that cause swelling in the cheeks, jaw, and floor of the mouth.  

Periodontal abscesses 

These abscesses are more common among adults compared to adults and are often a result of gum disease. When trauma or gum disease causes the teeth to become inflamed or loose, and the surrounding area also becomes inflamed, a pocket forms between the tooth and the tissue. This makes the tooth susceptible to bacterial infection, which can eventually lead to the formation of a periodontal abscess.  

Do I have a dental abscess? 

The most common signs of a dental abscess are:  

  • Intense toothache or pain the gums 
  • Bad taste in the mouth 
  • Sensitivity to cold or hot foods or drinks in the affected area 
  • Redness inside the mouth, or on the face or jaw 
  • Swelling in the jaw or face 
  • Difficultly chewing or opening the mouth 
  • High temperature 

What to do if you have a dental abscess? 

A dental abscess can be a serious condition because if left untreated, the infection can spread and lead to complications. The infection can spread both locally or through the bloodstream and can cause infections of the jawbone, lungs, heart valves, or brain. So, you should never ignore a dental abscess.

If you suspect a dental abscess, you should have it immediately checked by your dentist. The dentist will open the infection, clean the area and remove the bacteria, and administer antibiotics.  

If you experience any serious symptoms associated with a dental abscess such as difficulty breathing, fever, nausea, vomiting, or headache, you should seek emergency medical care. Even if your symptoms are mild, you must never ignore any dental issue, particularly an abscess. You should have it evaluated by a dentist.  

In short, if you have pain or tenderness in your mouth, throat or face associated with a toothache or you have a pus-filled lesion inside your mouth, you should see your dentist immediately. Book an appointment with us if you are looking for a highly qualified team of dentists. We have a wide range of dental services and the latest technology to care for your dental needs.