Signs and Treatments of an Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is one that has an infection deep inside the gum or tooth caused by tooth decay or gum disease.  Abscessed teeth are very serious and can cause massive amounts of pain.  The infection can advance until the tooth is lost.  It is important to recognize the signs of an abscess so you can get it treated by a dentist early on.  Catching the symptoms early can help you avoid some of the more extreme effects of this painful malady.
Some of the signs of an abscessed tooth are in what you feel and others have to do with the visible appearance of the tooth and surrounding gums.  Infections are often accompanied by fevers, so you may feel feverish.  Abscessed teeth can cause a throbbing pain that intensifies when you are chewing.  The infected tooth can also be very sore or tender when touched.  Some patients describe the sensation of the tooth being lifted out of the socket and not being able to close their teeth properly.  Some people have a bad taste of salt in their mouths.  The pain symptoms involved with an abscessed tooth may decrease as the infection kills off the nerves of the tooth, so lessening pain is actually a bad sign.
The signs that you can see include swollen and red gums around the tooth.  The tooth itself can turn pink or gray.  With an abscessed tooth, there can be a raised bump in your mouth that oozes pus (creamy or yellow in color) or bleeds.  Your lower or upper jaw, face, mouth, or neck can swell.  The infection that causes abscessed teeth may also lead to bone loss in the jaw or loosening of the tooth to the point of falling out.  You should see your dentist as quickly as possible if you have a toothache with any of these symptoms to catch and treat abscess infections as soon as you can.
Dr. Hazim can do a lot for you in the event of an abscessed tooth.  The treatment depends upon the extent of the infection.  A prescribed antibiotic will help rid your body of the infection.  Next, the dentist will drain the infected area, either the gum or area inside the tooth.  This step usually relieves the pain associated with an abscess.  If the infection is largely inside the tooth, you may have to have a root canal.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

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