Is your toothache an abscess?

I hope you never have this in your lifetime. However, you should know the symptoms, if not for yourself, for your loved ones. It is not unusual for an abscessed tooth to fail to present any symptoms. However, routine X-ray exams may reveal an abscess before you even experience pain. An abscessed tooth is an infection brought on by tooth decay, periodontal disease or a cracked tooth says the ADA. These problems can let bacteria enter the pulp and can lead to pulp death.

Infection Spreads

Even without obvious signs, an abscessed tooth’s infection can still spread, leading to severe and even life-threatening complications without proper treatment. If you have never experienced one before, a tooth abscess can be a harrowing experience which can be dangerous. You should see your dentist immediately if you believe that it is happening to you.

The Start of an Abscess

Throbbing is not unusual with an abscess

A chronic abscess begins with a little bit of throbbing around the tooth. Sometimes there is a bubble in the gum tissue, which allows the abscess to drain.

Pain may intensify due to swelling

If the bump keeps draining, this type of pain could last a long time before escalating to something else. It may seem like the toothache comes and goes. This type can be dangerous because the abscess may lead to bone damage. Without draining, the pain may intensify, causing swelling. An acute abscess starts with immediate pain with seemingly no cause. The gums may swell up, and everything around may feel painful and tender. The pain is very intense. It can be difficult even to have your lip over your teeth.

Further indications of an Abscess

Biting into cold or hot foods may cause pain

Other symptoms of an abscessed tooth are pain while chewing, random pain when biting into something, painful sensations from hot or cold foods that seem to linger, a constant bad smell or taste in the mouth, or persistent throbbing pain.

It will NOT go away

When an infection spreads from an abscessed tooth, the results may be life-threatening. We can help you get a tooth abscess under control before it becomes a critical situation. We can also help you manage the pain and prevent avoidable problems like this. But, if the swelling gets out of control, you may not be able to breathe or swallow at all. If your eyes are closing due to swelling from a tooth abscess, you should go to the hospital IMMEDIATELY. It could be a life-threatening event.

Avoiding an Abscess

If you feel you have any of the above symptoms see your dentist immediately
  1. See me twice a year, and any time you feel your teeth aren’t feeling right.
  2. Routine x-rays will show us if there is an infection starting. That way, we can take care of it before it can cause you discomfort.
  3. Another way to avoid having an abscess is to have all the recommended treatment. We can’t stop any infection if we are not allowed to restore a cavity.