A dental abscess can be excruciatingly painful. Usually found in infected gum tissue or in the roots of infected teeth, an abscess is formed when pus cannot drain from the jaw or oral cavity. Without proper care and treatment from one of our Placerville dentists, this infected pocket has the potential to rupture. If this happens, you have waited too long to receive help for an oral abscess.
Oral Abscess Symptoms
Patients with an abscess usually report a constant throbbing pain in a specific area of their mouth. At the beginning it may be easy to ignore the warning signs, such as a tooth becoming sensitive to hot or cold temperatures or discomfort when chewing. Do not ignore these signs! If you have a sudden oral sensitivity and it hurts to chew, contact our office for an immediate examination. Patients may even have a fever and swollen lymph nodes, as the body tries to fight off the bacterial infection.
What the Dentist Does for an Abscess
If you suspect you have a dental abscess, an oral exam investigates the affected area. The dentist pushes gently on the swollen spot to see if the infected gum tissue is still alive. X-rays are usually made to check for erosion around the tooth root. At this point, draining the abscess may save the tooth. This can immediately relieve the pain and helps your body in the fight to recover. If you have a weakened immune system or the severity of the abscess requires it, the dentist prescribes a course of antibiotics to prevent reinfection.
If the abscess has undermined tooth stability, a root canal procedure is typically recommended to save the tooth from extraction or loss. This potential outcome illustrates why ignoring an abscess is never the right course of action! Immediate treatment significantly increases the chance of avoiding permanent tooth loss or more serious procedures. If you suspect that your mouth is harboring a painful oral abscess, call the Placerville Dental Group at 530-295-8000 and arrange a visit today!