How to Care for an Abscessed Tooth

Posted on Posted in Endodontist, Teeth Care

Many people don’t know what an abscess is, or why it’s important, until they are suffering from the pain of an abscessed tooth. It’s vital to understand how an abscess forms and which treatment is most appropriate in order to avoid additional health traumas as a result.

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What is an Abscessed Tooth?

An abscess is a form of infection that begins in the tooth’s inner pulp chamber, which houses blood vessels and nerves. When the tooth can no longer fight off invading bacteria, the infection begins to multiply and spread. Eventually it spreads to the tooth’s root and forms the abscess, a collection of dead white blood cells, tissue debris, and bacteria that generates pus. This is when you should schedule an appointment with your local Tampa endodontist clinic.

What Causes an Abscessed Tooth?

The main cause of an abscessed tooth is a cavity so deep and large that it actually reaches the pulp chamber. Eventually inflammation kills the pulp, at which point an abscess forms. As the matter of fact, wisdom teeth are so commonly removed because they develop decay easier than other teeth.

What are the Signs of an Abscessed Tooth?

The spread of infection that occurs with an abscess will create pain and pressure on the effected tooth, often so severe that pain medication cannot resolve it. The gum above the tooth is also bound to swell and form a pimple of pus. Furthermore, the infected tooth might turn dark in color as a result of the dying pulp inside of it.

How Is an Abscessed Tooth Treated?

Before anything else, the infection that caused the abscess must be treated and cleared using an oral antibiotic. Some abscesses also need to be drained if they are advanced and severe. In the case of fever and facial or jaw swelling, it’s best to head to the emergency room for immediate treatment.

After the infection is cleared away, the tooth will either be restored with a root canal or removed with an extraction. The root canal essentially cleans out the inner pulp of the tooth and fills it with a rubber material, which saves the tooth from future decay. Extraction, on the other hand, removes the tooth permanently.