Our mouth is essentially the gateway for our nutrition. The foods and beverages we consume get converted to nutrients and energy that our body needs to function. However, if we are not carefully choosing the right food to eat while maintaining our dental health, consuming them will lead to injuries and infection. In fact, one of the common dental conditions that are considered a dental emergency is a tooth abscess, which is somehow caused by how and what we eat. Let us discover what tooth abscess is and why it is regarded as a dental emergency.
What is an abscessed tooth?
A dental abscess is an infection of the mouth, face, jaw, or throat that begins as gum infection, tooth infection, or cavity. An abscessed tooth is simply a dental infection directed to your pearly whites. Pus, a whitish or yellowish sticky substance, forms into a pocket in the gums or inside the tooth, causing redness, sensitivity, and swelling.
How does tooth abscess form?
There are two kinds of tooth abscess, depending on the part affected by the infection.
Periodontal abscess is when the space between the teeth and gums get infected. The infection may happen when food gets stuck between the gum and tooth. In people with severe periodontal disease, the bacteria can spread from the gums to the bone.
Periapical abscess happens when the infection takes place inside the tooth. This occurs when the tooth’s nerve is dead or dying. This type of tooth abscess shows up initially at the tip of the tooth root. Then it can spread to the surrounding bone if left untreated.
Signs and symptoms of tooth abscess
In theory, a periodontal abscess is a bit easier to diagnose since the pus formation is visible to the eye. Any of these tooth abscesses can still present the same signs and symptoms. An abscessed tooth can be accompanied by other discomforts that would prompt you to visit your dentist, worse, require a dental emergency.
- Pain described as throbbing, persistent, and radiating to the jaws, neck, or ear.
- Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Swelling of the cheek that may affect the entire face
- Tender lymph nodes, indicating the presence of infection
Treatment of tooth abscess
A tooth abscess may happen a day or two after the onset of infection. Once you feel mild effects f the infection, call your dentist and schedule a consultation right away. However, if your dentist is unavailable, find out if an emergency dentist is within your reach. Emergency Dentist Perth, for instance, knows how to handle such dental condition with prompt care and treatment.
What can an emergency dentist do to treat an abscessed tooth?
Once you are in a dental emergency clinic, your emergency dentist would perform a physical assessment of your mouth, jaw, and neck to see the extent of the infection and symptoms. He may also order an x-ray to see which area of the teeth and gums are affected by the infection.
It is important to remove the pus from the gum or tooth so that swelling and redness will reduce and the infection can be treated. For periodontal abscesses, the dentist can cut the abscess open to drain the pus. For periapical abscess, on the other hand, since the pus formation as under the tooth’s root, there is no other way but to perform root canal treatment to drain the pus from inside the tooth.
Pain relievers and antibiotics are surely going to be prescribed. They are intended to fight the symptoms of the infection and eradicate the infection all in all. Though it is generally safe to just buy over-the-counter pain medicines, it is still best for your emergency dentist to prescribe them to make sure that their potency and effect are suitable for your condition.
How to prevent tooth abscess
The good thing about getting the services of an emergency dentist when your dentist is away or unavailable is that they also are knowledgeable and experienced to give you tips and advice on how to prevent certain dental emergencies, like tooth abscess.
You can prevent tooth abscess by maintaining your proper dental hygiene routine. This common practice addresses most of the causes of tooth abscess. Brushing and flossing make sure that the spaces in between your teeth are clean and free from food debris, and they also prevent the formation of plaque and tartar that may lead to cavities.