Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth?

About two weeks ago, I was eating my breakfast while sitting at the car dealership getting the oil changed in the car. I bit down on my breakfast sandwich and all of a sudden I felt horrible, jolting pain in my mouth. I knew that I had some issues with my teeth but I was putting it off. This wasn't a good idea because I could have totally prevented the mess that I was in.

When I went to the dentist, he told me that my tooth was infected which is why it hurt so bad to bite down on my food. An abscessed tooth is a super painful infection that usually happens at the base of the root or between the root and your gums. Most abscesses are caused by severe tooth decay, trauma to a tooth, gingivitis, or gum disease.

The infection usually starts with bacteria getting trapped under an old filling, a deep cavity that hasn't been filled, or through a crack in your tooth. The bacteria starts multiplying and slowly infecting the pulp (the middle portion) of your tooth. As the infection continues to grow, it then spreads to the root and to the bones in your jaw. 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth?

  • fever
  • pain when chewing food or putting pressure on your tooth
  • sensitive teeth to cold or hot foods when your teeth aren't usually sensitive
  • bitter or weird taste in your mouth
  • foul smelling breath
  • swollen glands in your neck
  • overall ill feeling
  • redness or swelling along your gums or around your tooth
  • swollen or painful jaw
  • open sore that is draining in your mouth
It is very important that you don't ignore an abscessed tooth. Over time the root will eventually die and your pain may go away; however, the infection can remain present. The dentists at New Teeth New Smile recommend getting treatment right away if you suspect an abscessed tooth so that you can get proper treatment and prevent the infection from spreading to multiple teeth or jaw. Your dentist will need to take x-rays of your tooth to determine how severe the infection is. 

Your dentist will do what they can to try to save the tooth by performing a root canal to drain the tooth. If your tooth can't be saved due to infection, the dentist might have to extract your tooth so that they can drain the infection using the socket. 

If you suffer from chronic pain, I highly suggest that you take care of any dental problems immediately before they become a huge problem. Don't forget to see the dentist at least every 6 months for a check up.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Have you ever had an abscessed tooth?