Anyone with swollen gum or tooth pain may not sit still, sleep, take hot drinks, eat or even talk properly. Could a tooth abscess be the cause? Yes! An abscessed tooth can leave you writhing in pain even after taking some painkillers, and it gets worse if left untreated. An abscessed tooth isn't just painful but also agonising, and the pain is mostly sudden. Here are questions that help you understand the tooth abscess in different aspects:
What Indicates You Have Developed an Abscessed Tooth?
If you have a tooth abscess or pus pocket in your tooth, the pain is sometimes unbearable. Though the pain starts slow–like a dull throb–it's amplified so fast within a short period, which is an indisputable sign of a tooth abscess. The pain could be annoying but tolerable at the early stages, but it could aggravate to throbbing pain within a few hours. If you don't see an emergency dentist in good time, you could experience a shooting pain that could cause a serious headache and bring you to your knees. Other symptoms of an abscessed tooth include painful chewing, fever, bitter taste, swollen jaws, swollen neck lymph nodes, general malaise and increased sensitivity to hot or cold beverages or air.
How Does a Tooth Abscess Develop?
Tooth decay and physical trauma are the two major causes of this agonising tooth infection. Tooth decay could easily develop if you always consume refined carbohydrates, processed foods and sugary beverages. Physical trauma causes an abscessed tooth when the tooth is hit by a hard object, leaving it broken or chipped. Broken or chipped teeth are susceptible to infections because the bacteria could easily find their way into the dental pulp.
When the bacteria get into the nerves and blood vessels of the dental pulp, they cause inflammation, swelling and pus formation. Due to pressure build-up, sharp or throbbing pain develops. Even though the pain is relieved within a short time, the infection could still be there. People living with diabetes or those under chemotherapy or steroid medication are likely to develop a tooth abscess due to weakened immunity.
What Treatment Is Appropriate for an Abscessed Tooth?
An emergency dentist first examines the abscessed tooth to know the treatment it requires. The gums around an abscessed tooth aren't only swollen but also appear red. The dentist takes an X-ray to identify the cause of the intense pain and know if the bone around the abscess is affected. When treating an abscessed tooth, the dentist doesn't just clear the infection, but also minimises the chances of tooth extraction. If the infection doesn't clear after taking the prescribed antibiotics, the dentist may use other treatments such as root canal to treat it. If it's hard to restore the tooth after a root canal treatment, the emergency dentist may decide to extract the infected tooth. The dentist could also drain the abscess through the incisions or small cuts made in the gum.
To learn more, contact your local emergency dental clinic today.