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What is an Abscessed Tooth?


Posted on 4/11/2022 by Dr. Shaun Rai
What is an Abscessed Tooth?A tooth is said to be abscessed when a pocket of pus forms in the gums, at the tip of the tooth's root, or around the tooth as a result of an infection. The pus-producing bacterial infection causes pain and swelling, meaning immediate treatment is needed. A tooth abscess is considered a severe dental emergency; therefore, if you have pain and swollen areas around or in the root of your tooth, you should treat it seriously and seek the attention of a dentist. Often, the infection attacks the parts of the tooth that contain nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, and if not checked, it can contribute to serious dental problems.

Causes of a Tooth Abscess


The most common cause of a tooth abscess is advanced tooth decay or damage originating from a broken or chipped tooth that gets infected. When your tooth chips or breaks, bacteria can enter inside through the worn enamel. Also, when you have a dental cavity that remains untreated, it can allow a bacterial infection to attack the inside of the tooth, leading to pus formation. Additionally, long-term, untreated periodontal disease is also likely to cause an abscess, particularly periodontitis, the advanced form of the disease. In severe cases, you may have the infection spread out to reach the jawbone that supports teeth. As a result, you may lose your tooth or even risk the infection spreading throughout the body.

Signs and Symptoms


Some signs that could indicate a tooth abscess include a severe toothache or pain that presents with dull pressure, throbbing or sharp pain, or aching. A patient with an abscessed tooth may also experience fever, redness, and swelling of gingival tissue or gums, pain while chewing, pain without chewing, and tooth sensitivity due to temperature changes. An open draining sore within the gums is another warning sign of this infection. The sore may cause a bitter taste in your mouth. If you experience any or more of these signs, come to our dental office for an examination. Our oral & maxillofacial specialists will assess your gums, tooth, and jawbone to find out if it's a case of an abscessed tooth.







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