What is an Abscessed Tooth?

A dental abscess or abscessed tooth results from a bacterial infection that causes pockets of pus to form in different regions of your tooth. Occurring at the tip of the root is the periapical abscess, while the abscess occurring on the sides of a tooth root—within the gums—is called periodontal abscess.

What are the Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth?

Under both conditions, an abscessed tooth can cause swelling in the cheek or face, swollen lymph nodes in the neck or under the jaw, difficulty swallowing or breaking, sensitivity to temperature changes as well as to the pressure of biting or chewing, and persistent toothache radiating to other parts of the body. If the abscess ruptures, you’re likely to experience a salty, foul-tasting fluid in your mouth followed by a foul smell.

What Increases the Risk of a Dental Abscess?

A periapical abscess results from bacteria invading the innermost part of the tooth, i.e., the dental pulp containing nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. On the other hand, bacteria making their way through a chip, crack, or cavity results in inflammation and swelling at the tip of the roots, resulting in a periodontal tooth abscess.

Poor dental hygiene, such as failing to brush and floss your teeth after meals, increases the result of tooth abscess as well as other dental complications. Moreover, a high sugar diet may contribute to cavities, which in turn promote the inhibition of tooth abscess. Likewise, a dry mouth caused by medication can increase the risks of tooth decay, which in turn promotes tooth abscess.

How to Prevent Tooth Abscess

Apart from the obvious, brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, it’s recommended that patients use fluoridated drinking water or antiseptic mouth rinse for the added layer of protection. Using a piece of dental floss and replacing the toothbrush when the bristles are frayed also contribute to good dental health.

How to Treat a Tooth Abscess

Unfortunately, if you’ve already been infected with an abscessed tooth, it will not go away without treatment. Even if the abscess ruptures on its own, you’ll need dental treatment to drain out the abscess and to prevent the bacteria infection from spreading through to your jaw, head, or neck. In more severe cases, the abscess might develop into sepsis, which is a life-threatening infection.

Ralph Dental LLC offers treatment for the abscessed tooth on an urgent basis in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.