What Is A Tooth Abscess And Is It A Dental Emergency?

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A tooth abscess is caused by a bacterial infection near the root of a tooth. If left untreated, it can turn into a life-threatening condition. These condition is more common in people with poor dental health. For this reason, it is important to treat an abscess as a dental emergency at Newmarket.

Symptoms of an Abscess

An abscess causes persistent toothache, which may also lead to pain in your jawbone, neck, or ear. This is accompanied by sensitivity to hot and cold and to pressure when chewing. You may also notice swelling in your face and tenderness around the lymph nodes. If the abscess ruptures, you will suddenly experience an unpleasant, salty taste and the pain will cease.

When to See Your Dentist

You should see your dentist as soon as possible. If it occurs after office hours, you can wait until the following day to ask for an emergency appointment. However, you must seek an after-hours emergency appointment if you have a fever, severe swelling, or trouble breathing or swallowing. All these signs suggest that the infection is impacting your jaw, other tissues in the mouth, or possibly even other parts of your body.

Treatment for Abscesses

To remove the tooth abscess, your dentist will need to drain it. This involves making a small incision and washing the area with saline solution. If it is possible to save the tooth, you will receive root canal therapy. Your dentist will drill down through the tooth, remove the diseased tissue in the pulp, and then seal the pulp chamber and channel. If the infection is too severe, your dentist will need to pull out your tooth.

Your dentist will then assess whether the infection has spread beyond the part of your mouth where the abscess is formed. If it has, you will receive antibiotics to cure the rest of the infection.