Most of us have experienced tooth pain on occasion. We might notice it when we drink something hot or cold; or when we bite down on something hard. In most cases, a visit to the dentist will reveal the source of the problem. Sometimes it’s a crack in the tooth or a cavity, and when discovered early, it’s an easy fix.
The basics of tooth abscess
If you have a tooth that has become seriously decayed or damaged, an abscess can form. An abscess is a tooth infection at the root of the tooth or between the gums.
An abscess is a painful infection that can cause an opening in your tooth enamel. This opening allows bacteria to infect the center of the tooth, and the pulp begins to decay. As the infection progresses, pockets of pus form at the root.
The causes of tooth abscess
Besides severe decay, you could end up with an abscess due to:
- Trauma to the tooth
- A broken tooth
- A chipped tooth
- Gum disease
Any one of these problems could cause an opening to occur in your tooth enamel, allowing bacteria to infect the center of the tooth. The infection often spreads from the root of the tooth to the supporting bones.
The symptoms of tooth abscess
A tooth abscess can be excruciatingly painful and swollen, but some people aren’t even aware it exists until a dental exam finds the problem. If you do have symptoms, they could include:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Bitter taste in the month
- Bad breath
- Swollen neck glands
- Pain when chewing
- Jaw swelling
The results of untreated tooth abscess
If an abscessed tooth is left untreated, infection can spread to other areas of the mouth, causing everything from tooth to other overall health problems. Untreated tooth abscess can:
- Compromise the immune system
- Cause facial disfigurement if infection affects facial bones
- Cause teeth to fall if the abscess destroys the jaw
Avoiding tooth abscess
Taking good care of your teeth and seeing your dentist regularly can help you avoid a tooth abscess. And if you have tooth pain, call us immediately: (304) 754-8803.