Teeth complications can be tricky and stressful but regular dentist visits will solve your oral health obstacles. If you think you are experiencing a dental emergency, a dentist visit is necessary to alleviate the issue. If you cannot make an appointment with a dentist, an emergency room visit will help doctors treat the infection with the appropriate medicine until you see a specialist.
The following steps will be addressed below:
- Determining if you have an abscessed tooth
- Seeking dental help
- Root canal
- Possible tooth removal
1. What is an abscessed tooth?
If you are experiencing severe pain within your tooth, gums, and jaw, you might have an abscessed tooth. Treating the problem right away is necessary because the infection is able to develop into other organs throughout the body. The infection cannot be treated without a specialist. The following symptoms are listed below:
- Swelling of the face
- Pain in the neck and ear
- Inflammation in the root canal
- Difficulty chewing or biting down into food
- Sensitivity to hot and cold beverages
An abscessed tooth is caused by inept dental hygiene and a diet high in sugar. The abscess is the infection inside of the tooth caused by bad bacteria that resides in the mouth from lack of proper care. Tooth decay or infections around the tooth such as gums, tissue, and bone directly contribute to how an abscess if formed. Cavities and trauma to the tooth lead to further complications if left untreated and can potentially create an abscess.
According to the American Dental Association, “An abscessed tooth is an infection caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease or a cracked tooth. These problems can let bacteria enter the pulp (the soft tissue of a tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue) and can lead to pulp death.”
The pulp chamber is located in the center of the tooth. When the tooth is infected by decay, bacteria then forms a pus pocket in the pulp that is referred to as the abscess. According to Colgate, “pus is a mixture of live and dead white blood cells, enzymes, and parts of destroyed cells and tissues.” The body forms pus when the immune system fights off unwanted infection.
An abscessed tooth is able to spread to the jaw and other areas of the face so immediate treatment from a dentist is crucial. The infection can be very painful and is categorized as a dental emergency. A mild saltwater rinse can subside the pain and keep inflammation at bay. Oral surgery is necessary to care for an abscessed tooth.
2. Seek a dentist to drain the abscess.
A dentist will cut an incision in the gum and drain the pus out of the infected area. This procedure eliminates the infection and pain. An abscess is very painful due to inflammation and pressure. The infection is then cleaned by a mild saltwater solution. Antibiotics are then prescribed to remove the infection within the tooth. Most antibiotics that are prescribed for an abscess include penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin.
3. Root canal surgery to restore tooth.
If the tooth is worth salvaging, a root canal is necessary to kill the infection and restore the tooth. An endodontist is a specialist that focuses on the dental pulp and root canal surgery. According to the American Association of Endodontists, “This involves removing the bacteria from the empty canals within your tooth, cleaning, shaping and filling the root canals, and sealing the empty space.”
A root canal removes infected tissue. The endodontist will make in incision to enter the pulp chamber. The dead pulp is removed and a filling known as gutta-percha is placed into the tooth’s root canal. Gutta-percha is a rubber like material that is flexible and forms easily into the empty space left after the dead infected area is removed. The tooth is then sealed and capped. The restoration of the tooth will make the tooth stronger and presume to normal function.
4. Tooth removal at dentist office.
Expect an X-ray to determine if the pulp is still alive and if the infection has spread to other areas in the mouth. The dentist will remove dead tissue and perform a procedure that extracts the tooth. The abscess is drained and the procedure ensures removal of the bacterial infection. The dentist will give a local anesthesia to numb the area and the patient will be asleep during the procedure.
5. Preventing future abscessed tooth emergencies
A dentist visit is required every six months for a healthy adult. Professionals suggest more visits to stay healthy if you are having complications with your teeth. After oral surgery, soft foods full of nutrition will relieve inflammation and help you recover faster.
Preventive measures include eating a healthy diet low in sugar, brushing twice daily, flossing properly, and drinking plenty of water.
Choosing foods wisely and cleaning your teeth properly is a solid strategy to keep your smile healthy in the future.
An abscessed tooth is a serious dental condition and only a dental professional can treat the infection. If you have an abscessed tooth, you can alleviate some of the pain by rinsing with a mild salt water mixture until you see the dentist. You can prevent an abscessed tooth in the future by brushing, flossing, eating nutritious food, and drinking an abundance of water. Your smile needs protection and keeping your teeth healthy is a top priority.