A dental abscess, or tooth infection, is a build-up of pus that can form inside the teeth (periapical abscess), gums (periodontal abscess), or jaw bone. It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection from a dental cavity or injury.
Getting help right away is essential since an untreated abscess could lead to a larger and more painful infection. You can avoid further damage by calling Pine Desert Dental for emergency dentistry services.
A dental abscess is not going to resolve itself with at-home care. You may need antibiotics to help clear the infection. Your dentist will also need to clear the infection.
Dental abscess symptoms may include:
- Intense pain in the infected tooth and surrounding teeth
- Intense pain in the jaw bone that extends into the ear
- Redness and swelling of the mouth and face
- Redness, swelling, and sensitivity in gums
- Teeth sensitivity to temperature, air, and drinking or eating food
- Tooth sensitivity to any pressure or touch
- Bad breath or unpleasant taste in the mouth
If you have any previously mentioned symptoms or suspect an abscess in your teeth or gums, contact us for an emergency dental consultation. Our team has extensive experience treating urgent dental emergencies and will make every effort to offer a prompt solution.
In the meantime, we recommend rinsing your mouth regularly to eliminate food debris. You may clean that area of your mouth as you normally would with a toothbrush and dental floss if the pain is not significant. If possible minimize the pressure applied on the problem area by chewing with the other side of your mouth.
A dental abscess or tooth infection is caused by an invasion of bacteria in the dental pulp (teeth nerves and blood vessels). Bacteria can enter the tooth through dental decay caused by cavities or cracks.
The bacteria then expands into the root. Your teeth, gums, or jaw may develop a pus build-up (abscess) due to any of the following reasons:
- Not having proper oral hygiene
- Extensive dental decay (caries)
- Fractured teeth and other tooth trauma
- Foreign object
The pain caused by a dental abscess might go away if the infection ruptures, making you think the problem is solved. However, a tooth or gum infection will not go away on its own. It needs to be medically treated.
If the pus build-up is not drained, the infection may spread into other areas of your mouth and throat. It's essential to get help right away since an untreated abscess could lead to more significant health concerns and issues.
During your emergency treatment for a dental abscess or tooth infection, Dr. Sunitsch will first review the area and ask questions about your symptoms. X-rays may be taken to identify the abscess.
To get rid of the dental infection, your dentist may perform one or more of the following:
- Open up the abscess and drain it.
An incision will be performed to drain the pus build-up. Anesthesia may be applied if desired.
- Perform a root canal.
Your dentist will drill out your tooth, remove the infected dental pulp and proceed to seal it. Depending on the severity of the case, a dental crown could be cemented to make your tooth stronger and more durable.
- Extract the tooth.
If the dental infection is too large and your tooth can’t be saved, your dentist may opt for an extraction.
- Prescribe antibiotics.
In case your dental abscess has expanded into other areas of your mouth, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection and stop it from spreading to other teeth, gums, or jaw bones.
After your dentist has treated the dental abscess, try the following tips:
- If your dentist prescribes antibiotics, take the full course of antibiotics to clear your infection. Follow your dentist’s recommendation.
- Maintain optimal oral hygiene by flossing and brushing your teeth twice per day.
- Visit your dentist twice a year for a dental cleaning and check-up.
Pine Desert Dental offers emergency dental care for dental abscesses and other urgent concerns. Dr. Zach Sunitsch and the Pine Desert Dental team can handle all your dental needs even after hours.
Zach is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Oregon Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry.
At Pine Desert Dental, we offer comprehensive emergency services for emergency dental problems.
For urgent treatment or more information, call us at (541) 549-0109 or request an appointment online. You can also visit us at our clinic in Sisters, Oregon.