Having a tooth abscess can be a very uncomfortable, if not to say painful experience. An abscess consists of an infection that has either reached a tooth, or the gums around a tooth. People notice they have an abscess when they start feeling pain, even though an abscess can develop for weeks without really feeling anything. Therefore, the main symptom is intense pain in the mouth, that comes from the infected tooth, but that can also spread throughout the whole side of the face.
Other symptoms can also tell if a dental abscess is about to take place:
Gums might become red and puffy, with swelling around the tooth.
Chewing food can become painful as the abscessed tooth is in contact with food or with other teeth.
Infections can cause fever, which leads to general fatigue and even headaches.
After the swelling occurs, pus might come out by itself and flow into the mouth. The pus’ taste is very bad, and it’s recommended to spit out the pus instead of swallowing it, but pain does calm down after this happens.
What might happen if you leave a cavity in your mouth without treating it? Tooth decay is like an infection. It is made of harmful microscopic bugs that use sugar to attack teeth. With time this creates a little hole in a tooth, and if not repaired with a filling, the cavity continues to grow.
If a cavity is not treated it can destroy a good part of the tooth, making it hard to be rapaired with a conventional filling. If a lot of the tooth is gone, only a crown can fix it.
If the decay’s micro-organisms reach the pulp chamber, where the nerve and blood vessels are located, then the pulp becomes irritated and infected. This can eventually lead to an abscess which can be very painful. Only a root canal can fix a tooth when its pulp is infected, and a crown is then probably needed as a final restoration.
There are also situations where a tooth is so much destroyed by a cavity that nothing can be done to fix it, not even a root canal and a crown. In that case the tooth would sadly need to be extracted.
Can a tooth abscess really fracture a tooth? Of course, if it’s left there for a long time! A tooth abscess that has originated from a tooth is caused by a big cavity that has reached the pulp chamber. When the abscess is big and painful, there is a good chance that the cavity is also huge and compromises the integrity of the tooth. If it is not treated, the tooth might break apart to a point that no treatment can restore it, eventually needing to be extracted. If the fracture is not too big, the tooth might be restored by a root canal and a crown.
An abscess might also originate from the gums and not from a tooth itself. In that case, gum disease must be treated in order to eliminate the abscess. Daily oral hygiene care, including brushing and flossing, are very important to prevent gum disease.
An abscess is made of infection, and whether it originates from the gums or from a tooth, it is a bad thing to have in the mouth because the bacteria can enter your body and reach other organs. This can complicate diseases such as diabetes and caridiovascular disease.
Depending of how big the abscess is, usually prior to any treatments, antibiotic medication should be taken to control it. But put in mind that the antibiotic effect is only temporary and permanent treatment should be done.