You’ve probably heard the term “abscessed tooth” before, but surprisingly few people understand what it means. Some equate it to a simple toothache, while others are familiar with the term only because it’s a condition that usually requires root canal therapy to treat. Your dentist in Slidell is here to explain what an abscessed tooth really is and why it is so important to get this problem treated as soon as possible.
An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms around the root of an infected tooth; sometimes the abscess even forms in the bone next to the tooth. The pulp inside the tooth dies and becomes inflamed. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include:
An abscessed tooth can have various causes. Decay is a common culprit; when a cavity goes untreated for too long, it can become deep enough that it exposes the innermost layers of the tooth to the outside world. The pulp can also become vulnerable if your tooth becomes cracked due to trauma.
It’s important that you don’t ignore an abscessed tooth and hope that the problem goes away on its own — it won’t. In fact, if it is left untreated, the infection can spread away from the tooth and eat away at your jawbone. However, that isn’t the worst-case scenario. In extreme situations, the harmful bacteria can lead to a brain abscess, sinus infection, or other serious conditions. Complications from abscessed teeth aren’t as rare as you might imagine; in recent years, dental problems, including abscessed teeth, were responsible for over 800,000 emergency room visits.
If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, you should contact your emergency “dentist near me” and ask for a same-day appointment. Once the dentist confirms that an abscess is a problem, they can prescribe a treatment. Root canal therapy, combined with antibiotics, may be able to clear the infection and relieve your pain.
There’s no reason to be afraid of root canal therapy; thanks to advances in modern dentistry, you shouldn’t feel a thing during the procedure. You may experience some tenderness afterward, but by and large, you should feel better than you did before you visited the dentist.
An abscessed tooth is nothing to take lightly! We hope this post has helped you understand what this condition is and why it is so important to see a dentist right away if you suspect you are suffering from it.