There are many good reasons to take care of your teeth – you want to keep them healthy, functioning, and beautiful. Another reason to take good care of them is to avoid serious problems down the road, such as a tooth abscess.
What is a tooth abscess?
An abscessed tooth is one that has an infection, either at the root or between the gum and the tooth. A pocket of pus results from this infection, which is filled with bacteria. An abscess can result from poor dental hygiene and untreated cavities and other problems – holes, cracks, and chips in teeth give bacteria the chance to get into a tooth and start an infection.
Some signs you might have an abscess include tenderness in the gums, a sharp pain in the tooth, fever, a swollen area on the jaw, swollen neck glands, sensitivity to hot or cold, and an open sore on the gums. If it is left untreated, the abscess will only get worse. It can damage the surrounding teeth and even the jaw bone, result in a cyst in the jaw bone, or the infection can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious problems.
How is a tooth abscess treated?
Dental abscesses don’t go away on their own – if you think you might have an abscess you should see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will try to save the tooth and kill any bacteria. He or she may drain the abscess, perform a root canal, and remove any diseased root tissue. If the abscess is very serious, the tooth may have to be extracted. You may be prescribed antibiotics after the procedure to destroy any infection that may have spread.
Preventing a serious issue such as a tooth abscess begins with the basics – brush, floss, and visit your dentist twice a year or if you have a problem or pain. Eating a healthy diet can also help your teeth to stay healthy. If you have any dental concerns, or if it’s just time for a good cleaning, contact the Cabot, Arkansas, office of Dr. Samuel Jirik. Call (501) 843-9561 to make an appointment today!