What is an abscess?

woman hand on cheek face as suffering from facial pain, or toothache A tooth abscess is a serious problem, one that affects your dental health, your overall health, and even how your smile looks. Read on for some information about what an abscess is, how you can avoid it, and how to know if you have one.

What is an abscessed tooth?

An abscessed tooth is simply one that has an infection. This can be located at the root or between the gum and the tooth. A pocket of pus will develop, which is filled with bacteria. If you have a tooth abscess you may have sharp tooth pain, fever, swollen neck glands, tender gums, a part of the jaw that is swollen, an open sore on the gums, or sensitivity to hot or cold.

The pain from an abscessed tooth will probably convince you to go to the dentist right away, which is a good thing! If it is left untreated, the abscess will only get worse. It can damage the surrounding teeth and the jaw bone. It may cause a cyst in the jaw bone, or the infection may even spread to other parts of the body and cause problems.

How is a tooth abscess treated?

The best way to save yourself from an abscess, of course, is to not get one at all! Abscesses can result from poor dental hygiene and untreated cavities. Holes, cracks, and chips in teeth should be treated right away so that bacteria don’t accumulate in the tooth and start an infection. If you do have an abscess, you should see your dentist right away. He or she will work to kill the bacteria and save the tooth. Your dentist may drain the abscess and perform a root canal to remove any infected tissue. If the abscess is very serious, the tooth may have to be taken out completely.

Chances are that a tooth abscess is something you’d rather do without! Prevent tooth problems by eating a healthy diet, brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist twice a year. If you notice tooth pain, call the Konig Center for Cosmetic and Comprehensive Dentistry in Houston, Texas, right away, at (713) 668-2289.

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