Do I Have an Abscess Tooth? These are the Symptoms to Look for

August 11, 2019

woman holding jaw in pain

If there is one trait that is synonymous with an abscess tooth, it’s intense pain, which is one of the signs of a severe infection. If you notice any symptoms of a problem developing, it’s important to take action immediately. But first, you need to know what symptoms to be aware of. As you continue reading, you’ll learn about some of the typical warning signs of an abscess, how your dentist diagnoses the problem and what the possible treatment options are for restoring your oral health to normal.

What is an Abscess Tooth?

The human body has several innate protective mechanisms to prevent a current problem from becoming more complex. One of these actions is the formation of an abscess when there is a severe infection. Whether it’s in regard to your teeth, gums or some other part of the body, it involves the entrapment of bacteria to prevent them from spreading. This results in localized pus buildup that can be extremely painful.

Here are some of the warning signs to be on the lookout for:

  • Fever
  • Facial swelling
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Severe and persistent throbbing pain
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Sensitivity to the pressure of chewing food
  • Tenderness along the jaw or around the neck
  • Foul tasting or unpleasant smelling fluid in your mouth

How Your Dentist Can Help

There is a cardinal rule among dentists: that the first priority is always to preserve a tooth. That’s because they know how important each tooth is to the maintenance of equilibrium, given they all rely on a system of shared tension.

Therefore, your dentist will carefully assess your condition before making a diagnosis. This may include tapping on the tooth to see how sensitive it is, taking X-Ray photos and, in some cases, recommending a CT scan.

If the tooth is salvageable, he or she may recommend a root canal procedure, which involves making an incision into the tooth to remove the damaged tissue, cleaning the area, filling and sealing it, and then placing a new dental crown to leave the tooth fully restored. If this isn’t possible, though, there is another option available.

When It’s Time to Extract a Tooth

If there isn’t enough material remaining to restore a tooth, the only available option may be an extraction. Thankfully, if this is necessary, patients don’t have to worry about enduring a painful procedure. Your dentist will apply local anesthesia to numb the treatment site and then extract the tooth. In some cases, it’s necessary to take antibiotics to prevent the spread of bacteria. However, your dentist can make this determination after performing a thorough examination.

The last thing you want to endure is extreme tooth pain related to an infection. If it happens, though, it’s good to know that your local dentist can help to restore your oral health!

About the Author

A graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Dr. Marc Dandois has been serving the Carrollton area for the past 15 years. Still, he remains eager to expand his knowledge, which is why he has taken continuing education courses in intravenous (IV) and conscious sedation, restoration dentistry and several other forms of treatment. Dr. Dandois can help you recover from an abscess tooth at his private practice, and he can be reached for more information through his website.