If left untreated, a dental abscess becomes a very serious concern especially if it spreads to other parts, including the brain. There have already been cases when an untreated dental abscess resulted to fatal consequences. The importance of having a dental abscess treated immediately cannot be stressed enough. If regular dental visits are maintained, your dentist may be able to discover this problem and treatment may be undertaken. To learn more, an overview of dental abscess is presented here.

What is a Dental Abscess?

A dental abscess is a painful infection that occurs at the root of a tooth or between the tooth and the gum. When the infection gets worse, this may cause openings in the tooth enamel, allowing the bacteria to infect the pulp which is situated in the center of the tooth. This infection may also spread from the tooth’s roots to the bones found underneath the tooth. In severe cases, this infection may affect other parts such as the jaw, face, throat, and even the brain.

What are Symptoms of Dental Abscess?

The most common indication of a dental abscess is a toothache that can be very severe and continuous and may cause a gnawing or sharp pain in the affected tooth. Other symptoms may include fever, pain when chewing, sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold food and drinks, bitter taste in the mouth, and a foul smelling breath. There may also be swelling in the neck glands, redness and swelling in the gums, swelling of the upper and lower jaws, a draining sore on the side of the gum, and a general feeling of discomfort and uneasiness.

What are the Causes of Dental Abscess?

The infection in a dental abscess is the result of the growth of bacteria from a tooth cavity to the soft tissues and bones of the neck and face. In other cases, dental abscess may result from trauma to the tooth such as the onset of gum disease or when the tooth becomes broken or chipped.

How is Dental Abscess Treated?

In treating the condition, the dentist will aim to get rid of the infection and at the same time preserve the tooth and avoid any complications. There may be a need to drain the abscess in order to eliminate the infection. This is done through a procedure called a root canal. In very severe cases, the tooth may have to be pulled out. Another way to address the problem is to make an incision in the gum area that has become swollen.

Right after the procedure, the patient may have to take antibiotics to fight any infections. Pain and discomfort as a result of the abscessed tooth may be relieved through pain medications or salt-water rinses.