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The Dangers of an Abscessed Tooth

It is no secret that an abscessed tooth causes pain, but are you aware of the importance of taking care of it right away? With many toothaches, patients tend to ignore the pain until it is unbearable, hoping that it will go away on its own. Unfortunately, with an abscess, the pain will not go away and the side effects only become worse.

What is an Abscessed Tooth?

An abscessed tooth is an infection in the mouth that typically occurs in the tooth’s roots or in the gums where the tooth meets the gum line. There are a variety of reasons why  these infections occur, with the most common reason being severe tooth decay that was ignored. Other reasons include trauma to one or more teeth and gum disease that is left untreated. Any type of trauma or ailment that occurs to a tooth allows it to be affected by bacteria, which enters the tooth’s pulp and spreads into the roots.

What can Happen?

When an abscessed tooth is left on its own, the infection spreads beyond the pulp of the tooth, spreading into the jaw and could even go into further issues in the mouth. If the infection spreads into the bone of the tooth, it could eventually result in loss of the tooth either naturally or through tooth extraction. Aside from dental issues, if the abscess is near the sinuses the pus that is created from the infection can make its way into the sinuses causing an infection. In more serious cases, the infection could spread to the brain or heart, resulting in serious, if not fatal ailments.

Treatment

If you do have an abscessed tooth, treatment can be minimal if caught right away. The most important thing is to drain the pus, which is typically done through a root canal. If the root canal will not solve the issue, the tooth might be extracted altogether or an incision might need to be made in the gums to allow the pus to drain that way. To prevent the infection from spreading any further or becoming worse, an antibiotic is usually prescribed to ensure your well being.

If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, it is essential that you receive professional dental care right away. Allowing the pain to subside on its own can result in serious, if not permanent damage to your mouth as well as your overall health.

 

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