An abscessed tooth is a dental condition that requires immediate intervention. It involves a pocket of pus forming on the tooth due to a bacterial infection. Abscesses can occur at different locations on the teeth and gums and for varying reasons. Here’s what you need to know about this painful dental condition including what should be done about it.
Symptoms of a tooth abscess
The main symptom of an abscessed tooth is acute pain near the affected area. Sometimes this pain can radiate to your ear or down your neck. Other symptoms to look out for include:
Pain that gets worse when lying down
Inflammation near the affected tooth or gum
Swollen and red gums
Tender or swollen lymph nodes
How is a tooth abscess treated?
Treatment for an abscessed tooth involves both clearing the infection and consequently relieving the pain it’s causing. Depending on the type and severity of the abscess, treatment may include the following:
Draining the abscess. The dentist will make a small incision in the abscess, drain the pus and clean the area with a saline solution.
Root canal treatment. If the infection has spread to the whole tooth, a root canal treatment may be required.
Tooth extraction. If the tooth is damaged beyond repair, the dentist may recommend extracting the tooth and replacing it with a dental implant.
Antibiotics. In some cases, tooth abscess treatment requires oral antibiotics to clear the body of infection.
What happens if an abscessed tooth is left untreated? The infection of an abscessed tooth could spread to your jaw, neck, heart or brain if left untreated. In rare cases, it may even lead to sepsis, a life-threatening condition. Is a tooth abscess considered a dental emergency? Because of the risk of the infection spreading to the rest of your body, an abscessed tooth should be considered urgent. Call your dentist at the first sign of an abscess so you can be treated right away. Furthermore, if the abscess feels larger than one centimetre in diameter, your face is swollen or you have a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or more, seek emergency dental or medical care.
Call us for Dental Emergencies In Calgary
If you have an abscessed tooth, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Forest Lawn Dental Centre reserves space every day for dental emergency appointments in Calgary, so we’re always available when you need us most. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or find out more about the dental services we offer.