Dental abscesses are one of the most common reasons people seek emergency dental care. Learning about the warning signs of a dental abscess can help you to catch the symptoms early and avoid further discomfort and infection. Let’s talk about what to do if you have an abscess so you can take prompt action if you notice one developing.
What is an Abscess?
A dental abscess is an infection that usually develops in the root of a tooth, although sometimes it can develop in the gums around a tooth. A dental abscess is a fluid producing infection and is considered a dental emergency because it can spread to the surrounding tissue and bones and affect the health of the rest of the body if not treated promptly and properly.
A dental abscess typically develops as a result of severe tooth decay due to an untreated cavity, chipped or broken tooth, or an advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis. Fortunately, when you’re wondering what to do if you have an abscess, urgent treatment may be able to save the tooth and prevent further infection and illness.
What are the Symptoms of an Abscess
Symptoms of an abscess include a severe or sudden toothache, discomfort with or without chewing, fever, redness or swelling in the gums or jaw, an open sore or discharge, bad breath or bitter taste in the mouth, and increased sensitivity to temperature. If you notice these symptoms developing, it’s important to seek help from a dentist immediately, even if the discomfort seems to go away on its own as that could be a sign of the root or nerves of the tooth dying.
How are Abscesses Treated?
Going to your dentist is an important first step, as your dentist will know what to do if you have an abscess. If your dentist examines your tooth and mouth and diagnoses a dental abscess, your dentist may drain the abscess and prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection. They may also recommend a root canal procedure to remove any infection at the source. In most cases, the tooth can be saved if the infection is treated quickly, so it’s important to never ignore the symptoms of a dental abscess.
When Should I Call My Dentist?
If you think you may have a dental abscess, call your dentist right away. Because of the seriousness of the condition, your dentist will likely try to get you in for a same day appointment or may recommend an after hours emergency appointment. Don’t wait to see if the pain goes away or symptoms resolve on their own, doing so could allow the infection to spread and there’s no need to experience additional discomfort. What to do if you have an abscess begins with calling your dentist to get the right treatment as quickly as possible. Your dentist and their staff are there to help you maximize your dental health, especially when you need urgent care.
Call our Omaha dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.