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Abscessed Tooth

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Have you been told you have an abscessed tooth?

An abscessed tooth is a localized collection of pus that can form in different parts of a tooth as a result of infection. An abscessed tooth is usually accompanied by some pain that can sometimes radiate to the ear or neck. Unfortunately, anyone can get an abscessed tooth.

There are different types of an abscessed tooth, depending on the location. The main types are the periapical abscess which is located at the tip of a tooth’s root. This is the most common type of abscessed tooth. A periodontal abscess is located in the gum next to a tooth root.This type of abscess may also spread to the surrounding tissue and bone it is the second most common type.A gingival abscess is located on the gum without affecting either the tooth or the periodontalligaments

An abscessed tooth is formed when bacteria enter the teeth or gums. Bacteria can enter a deep dental cavity or tooth decay or a crack in the tooth and spread all the way to the root. This can result in swelling and inflammation at the tip of the root.

Certain factors that may increase your risk of a tooth abscess include poor dental hygiene and/or a diet high in sugar.

Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include:

  • Severe sharp or shooting painnear a tooth or in the gum.
  • Pain whenchewing or biting on the side of theaffected tooth.
  • Severe pain that canradiate to the jawbone ear or neck when touching theaffected tooth.
  • Fever
  • Swelling on the face or cheek tenderswollen lymph nodes under the jaw or inthe neck.
  • Bad breath and/or a foul taste in themouth.
  • Swollen red gums in some casesdifficulty opening the mouth theaffected tooth may change color orbecome loose.

The doctor will examine the tooth and the surrounding area. A tooth that has an abscess at its root is generally sensitive to touch or pressure. The doctor may tap on the tooth the doctor may recommend an x-ray and aCT scan. The x-ray can help to identify an abscess and determine whether the infection has spread and is causing abscess in other areas if the abscess has spread to areas within the neck. A CT scan may be used to assess the extent of the infection treatment.

Treatment options aim to relieve the symptoms and reduce the risk of further spread of the infection. The dentist may open up and drain the abscess and perform a root canal treatment. Then they will prescribe antibiotics or painkillers. If the tooth cannot be restored, or a root canal treatment is not possible, the doctor may ask you to rinse your mouth with warm water or to take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen as needed.

To keep your teeth and gums healthy, get regular dental check-ups and brush teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Also, don’t forget to floss daily to clean hard-to-reach spots between the teeth and gums limit sugary foods and drinks.

Dr. Brandon Schmidt | 01-November-2020

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