What is an Abscessed Tooth?

Posted on: December 16, 2018

An abscessed tooth describes a tiny opening full of pus on the tooth brought about by a bacterial infection. Dentists at times also refer to it as da ental abscess. An abscess can occur in different parts of the tooth for varying reasons.

A periapical abscess occurs at the tip of the root of the teeth, while a periodontal abscess occurs on the gums that are right next to the tooth. An abscessed tooth is not a condition that someone should try to nurse for too long especially if there is pain involved, which is typically common. The amount of pain varies with the severity of the condition. If the infection is that bad, then the pus will be increased and the pain will be considerably more pronounced than when the condition is in its infancy.

An abscessed tooth can also lead to severe complications and ultimately death if left untreated. This is why it is of utmost importance to see a specialist immediately when you spot the signs, without hesitation.

How to know when you have an abscessed tooth


When a person has a nagging pain that spreads from the jaw all the way up to the ear, there is a major cause to be worried. 

Varying degrees of pain

When there is a pain in the jaw that is exacerbated by one lying down, then the person should book an appointment with a specialist fast. There are different degrees of pain but any sort of pain might be a warning sign that the tooth is damaged. 

Facial swelling

An abscessed tooth causes inflammation in the jaw that eventually leads to swelling. The swelling spreads from the jaw area to the cheek area, leaving part of the face all ballooned up. This swelling may be uncomfortable or unpleasant to look at. Use ice to calm the swelling.

Difficulty chewing

When chewing becomes a problem due to pain or discomfort, then there is a big chance that the person might be suffering from an abscessed tooth.

Bad breath

Bad breath is brought about by harmful bacteria that fester inside of the mouth. An abscessed tooth is caused by harmful bacteria, which makes bad breath a clue that a person may have contracted the condition.

What leads to the contraction of this condition?

The teeth may look like impenetrable solid masterpieces on the outside, but they are nothing but nerves and tissue on the inside, which makes them vulnerable to infections. An abscessed tooth caused by bacteria infection may, therefore, occur due to the following:

Cracked tooth

A cracked tooth exposes the soft insides of a tooth, allowing the penetration of harmful bacteria which brings about the infection.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay exposes the soft insides of the tooth as well. This is because all of the strong enamel has been eroded. This leaves room for bacterial infections to fester. 

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease and it may lead to the formation of an abscess in the tooth.

How can the condition be treated?

The dentist may first have an X-ray done to the tooth while also tapping on the tooth to see if it hurts. He or she will also drain the tooth and get rid of the infection. In severe cases though, the whole tooth may need to be extracted.

If you have further questions about an abscessed tooth then give us a call today. We're happy to help you in any way that we can! Our trained office staff will wait for your call! 

Request an appointment here: https://senderodental.com or call Sendero Dental Studio at (949) 204-3761 for an appointment in our Rancho Mission Viejo office.

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