Having an abscessed tooth is no fun, as it can be pretty painful and is definitely something that will require urgent treatment with one of our dentist at Leeds City Dentalcare. An abscess can be due to tooth decay, or it may be due to trauma to the tooth that has resulted in it becoming broken or chipped.
If the tooth enamel has been damaged in some way then this will enable bacteria to enter the tooth and to penetrate the pulp area of the tooth, causing infection. The pulp contains all the nerves of the tooth, and if it becomes infected it can be very uncomfortable. The bacteria causepus to develop in the pulp as the body tries to fight the infection. Eventually the pulp may die, and this can result in the toothache subsiding although the abscess may continue to develop in the root of the tooth. Without treatment at our Leeds surgery this abscess can spread and can even destroy the tissues surrounding the infected tooth.
The main symptom that indicates you could be developing an abscess is having a severe toothache that can manifest itself as a throbbing or shooting pain. Additional symptoms of an abscess include:
- Having bad breath
- Having an unpleasant or bitter taste in the mouth
- Feeling generally unwell or noticing the lymph glands and neck are swollen
- Noticing your jaw is swollen in the area nearest to the infected tooth
- Experiencing pain when biting or chewing
- Experiencing increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- Developing a fever
If you think you may have an abscess then it’s worth booking an appointment at Leeds City Dentalcare, even if your toothache subsides as there has to be some underlying reason as to why it occurred and this will require investigation.
Diagnosis of a Dental Abscess
Diagnosis of a dental abscess is relatively straightforward. Dr David Brown or another of our dentists will examine your mouth and will test your tooth by tapping it gently to see if it is infected. You may be asked to bite your teeth together to see if this is painful. The condition of your gums is also a good indication as to whether or not you have a dental abscess. It might be necessary to take dental x-rays to see how far the infection has spread.
Treating a Dental Abscess
The main aim of treating a dental abscess is to remove the infection and to try to save the tooth. It might be necessary to drain the abscess through making a small incision in the gum tissue, or the infection may be able to be cleared through having root canal therapy. You may need to have a root canal treatment even if the infection has subsided as it will be necessary to remove the dead tissue from the pulp. If the infection is severe you might require antibiotics to help fight it, and over-the-counter painkillers can help to relieve any discomfort and pain. Unfortunately some teeth may be too infected to save, and it is sometimes necessary to extract the tooth to drain the abscess. This is one reason why it’s essential to seek treatment sooner rather than later, as prompt action can usually save the tooth.
Avoiding Tooth Abscesses
You can lessen your risk of developing a tooth abscess by making sure you visit Leeds City Dentalcare at regular intervals for check-ups and professional cleanings. This will ensure any signs of trauma or decay in your teeth can be picked up quickly and treated before bacteria can penetrate the tooth, causing infection. It also helps immensely if you follow a good daily oral hygiene routine which should include thoroughly brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day.