If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of a dental abscess, tooth pain can be excruciating. Not only is it a painful and unsightly condition, as far as your dental health goes, it’s also a fairly serious one. That being the case, if you’re reading this because you suspect you might have an infection, it’s extremely important that you visit a dentist and undergo abscessed tooth treatment without delay.
Now we know many of you hate the thought of going to dentist, but by avoiding a quick emergency visit and leaving an abscess, tooth pain, swelling and pressure will only worsen and it could even eventually lead to other health problems.
Don’t worry, we’re not trying to scare you, but the point we’re trying to make is this – it’s only if you don’t visit your dentist for treatment that you’ll need to worry. In fact, abscesses are easily treated and in most cases won’t leave any lasting damage.
Without being too descriptive, a tooth abscess is a collection of pus that develops because of a bacterial infection in the mouth. It’s quite common and can grow either inside the tooth (periapical abscess) or on the surrounding gum (periodontal abscess). It causes pain and swelling that won’t go away unless properly treated.
Most commonly, a dental abscess is a result of an untreated cavity. When the decay travels down to the centre of the tooth, it kills off the nerve and then infection begins to accumulate and form into an abscess.
In addition, gum disease can also be a cause. This is because when plaque (which contains bacteria) isn’t removed from the teeth properly, it irritates the gums, causes them to pull away a little and leaves space for the bacteria to move in and form an abscess.
In the vast majority of cases the first thing you’ll know about a dental abscess is tooth pain. They’ll make themselves known, by causing obvious issues such as pain, pressure and swelling. On the other hand, sometimes they’re a bit sneakier and just hang around in the background for months or even years. But typically, symptoms of a dental abscess are:
• Swollen face or gums
• Severe toothache
• Pain when biting together
• An unpleasant taste
• A high temperature
• Bad breath
It’s really important to make an emergency appointment with your dentist as soon as possible if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms and suspect you might have an abscess. Tooth pain can be managed in the meantime by taking over-the-counter pain relief but is only a temporary fix until you receive proper abscessed tooth treatment.
NOTE – It’s also important to realise that sometimes when the nerves in the tooth die because of the infection that’s caused the abscess, tooth pain may suddenly then disappear. Although being out of pain is great, it doesn’t at all mean that the infection is magically healed. The infection will remain there even if the pain subsides and continue causing more destruction until it’s treated once and for all by your dentist.
Well there are a two main ways we might choose to treat an abscess, all really depending on the severity of the infection and state of the tooth affected. To drain the abscess we might:
• Perform root canal treatment – to remove the infected nerve, clean it out thoroughly and then repair the tooth with a crown to preserve it.
• Extract the tooth – if the abscess is severe and too much damage is done, the tooth will need to be removed in order to drain the abscess.
In either case, antibiotics will likely be prescribed alongside treatment, to help fight the infection and promote healing.
We’ve all heard that ‘prevention is better than cure’ and in this case prevention is better than pain as well. But taking into account how dangerous an abscess can be, it makes good sense to have a great oral hygiene routine in place that will help prevent an abscess from ever developing in the first place. As usual, we’re talking about the importance of brushing twice a day, flossing and using a fluoride toothpaste. Of course, let’s not forget the need to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and hygiene visits as well.
TOP TIP – We also suggest replacing your toothbrush every 3 months but also after any illness, whether bacterial or viral.
Remember too that eating a diet with a high intake of sugar increases your risk of tooth decay, which in turn leads to the risk of an abscess. So although you don’t like to hear it, avoiding too many sugary snacks is also a good preventative measure! Last but not least, if you play any contact sports, wearing a mouth guard during activity is always a good idea, as it helps to avoid any dental injuries, which can sometimes lead to abscesses as well.
So there you have it, hopefully everything you need to know about dental abscesses and how to prevent them. So if you have an abscess, tooth pain, swelling or any of the symptoms above and need abscessed tooth treatment, we know a team that can help. Don’t delay in visiting our emergency dental service, call us now on 0161 486 0743. We’re here ready and waiting to get you out of pain and get back to full dental health.
Tags: Abscess Tooth, Abscessed Tooth Treatment