How does a tooth abscess affect my oral health?

woman holding side of her mouth

If you have noticed a pimple-like swelling surrounding your tooth, you may have a tooth abscess. When an opening for bacteria to get into your tooth is created by an infection it can lead to a tooth abscess. If you believe you may have a tooth abscess, it is critical to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled general dentistry/dentists located in Basking Ridge & Morristown, NJ who can help you treat your condition to improve your overall oral health. An abscessed tooth can only be diagnosed by having a full tooth and tissue examination by a dentist to determine if there are signs of an infection. A dentist will typically recommend a dental X-ray, CT scan, or run thermal tests to determine whether you have any abscessed teeth. Keep reading to learn more about tooth abscesses. 

What is a tooth abscess?

Essentially, a tooth abscess occurs when a pocket of pus forms as a result of a bacterial infection in your gums. An abscess can form in different areas around a tooth causing the infection to spread to the surrounding bone and neighboring teeth. Typically, you can detect an abscess because it is pimple-like. It is usually red and causes swelling in the gums. Oftentimes, abscess form from various types of tooth infections. If you experience any of the following symptoms, they may be indicative of an abscessed tooth:

  • Sharp teeth pain
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Throbbing toothache
  • Bitter taste in your mouth
  • Gum inflammation
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Halitosis
  • Draining sores on the side of the gums
  • The swollen upper or lower jaw

Who is likely to get abscessed teeth?

As with any other tooth infection, some people are more likely to develop an abscessed tooth if they have poor oral hygiene. According to research, if you are a smoker you are more than twice as likely to get tooth abscesses than people who do not smoke. This is because smoking tends to weaken one’s immune system. Therefore, making it harder to fight off gum infections. Additionally, if you have xerostomia, a dry mouth, you are also more likely to develop this condition. Moreover, if you have a weakened immune system from disease or certain medications, it will be harder to fight off infections which can lead to developing an abscessed tooth.

Furthermore, to treat a tooth abscess, a dentist may perform a root canal. They may also make a small incision in the abscess to drain the pus which will ultimately drain out the infection. In some cases, a dentist may even have to extract the abscessed tooth. It is important to note that a tooth abscess will not go away by itself. You will have to have a dentist treat this dental issue or the infection could worsen and cause serious dental problems.

If you have abscessed teeth, please visit our determined and proficient dentists. Our team is prepared to help you treat your tooth abscess today to prevent further damage.

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