You’re sitting down to relax after a long day when you feel a sharp pain in your mouth. It might just be an abscessed tooth.
There are two kinds of dental abscesses. A periodontal abscess affects the gums whereas a periapical abscess affects the root of your tooth. Both of these types of abscesses comprise small pockets filled with bacterial pus.
How To Tell If You Have An Abscessed Tooth
While periodontal infections and tooth decay can be difficult to detect, it’s typically easy to tell when you have an abscessed tooth. The number one sign is intense pain. The pain from an abscessed tooth is typically continuous, sharp, and usually severe enough to disrupt your daily life. You’re also likely to have trouble chewing, swollen lymph nodes and extreme sensitivity to cold and hot foods. What’s more, you may even feel the abscess in your mouth. While it sounds scary, you can recover from an abscessed tooth and gain control of your oral health when you visit a Sydney dentist covering Lane Cove and Chatswood.
What To Do If You Have An Abscess
If you think you have an abscessed tooth, visit your dentist immediately. Up until your appointment, keep swishing with salt water to try and ease the pain. Sometimes, over the counter medication can also help.
The first step to treating an abscessed tooth is to drain the bacteria from that pocket and thoroughly clean the area. You may be prescribed antibiotics to kill off any left-over bacteria. For best results, remember to take the medication as directed.
The next step depends on where the abscess is. Treatment for a periodontal abscess means having to see a periodontist who will drain the infection and provide a deep clean of the abscessed area with root planning and scaling. This process removes plaque and tartar from the tooth’s surface and also from the below your gumline. It’s also designed to smooth the surface of the root and tooth, making it harder for bacteria to cling on. You may be given an antibiotic to stave off infection. If your bones or gums are damaged as a result of periodontal disease, you may require surgery to clean the infection and keep the abscess from coming back.
In the case of a tooth abscess, you’ll likely need a root canal. During a root canal, the dentist removes the pulp from the centre of your tooth, cleans out the area and fills up the canal. A crown is then added to support your tooth, making it look natural and healthy.
How To Keep Abscesses From Coming Back
Once your abscess has been treated and fixed, it’s important to practice good oral care and keep the abscess from coming back. Try to use a toothpaste that offers protection from germs and helps to prevent the build-up of tartar. Remember to book regular visits to your dentist, too. If you have a history of gum infections, you may need to visit more frequently to help keep your gums healthy.
Seeking treatment for an abscessed tooth is the best thing you can do for your health. Left untreated, in can lead to further infection. But with consistent care, you can keep abscesses from returning.