An abscessed tooth is an infection affecting the root of the tooth, or sometimes the area between a tooth and the gum. It happens when bacteria is given the opportunity to penetrate the dental enamel, the hard outer covering of a tooth, and infect the dental pulp which is composed of living tissues and cells.
There are a couple of things that make it possible for an abscessed tooth to happen:
Severe tooth decay
This is characterized by the destruction of the dental enamel by bacteria present in plaque, which is a sticky film that constantly forms on the teeth as well as the gums.
Trauma to the tooth
Accidents such as those that involve being in moving vehicles and engaging in contact sports and can chip or break the tooth, allowing bacteria to go past the outer layer of the tooth.
Having an abscessed tooth is something that should not be taken lightly. That’s because it is very much possible for the infection going on at the root of the tooth to spread to the bones that support the teeth, which can be really serious!
The following are some of the signs and symptoms of an abscessed tooth:
Having an abscessed tooth can definitely cause a lot of pain. Sometimes the pain felt may radiate to the jawbone, ear and neck. The pain that an abscessed tooth brings is the persistent kind. Many of those who have experienced such dental problem say that the pain is throbbing.
You may experience a lot of discomfort each time you eat or drink, no matter if what you are consuming is hot or cold. Breathing through your mouth, especially when the weather or room is cold, can bring discomfort. In severe cases, even taking and laughing can be quite uncomfortable.
It’s a normal phenomenon for redness and swelling to be observed when an infection is going on. Needless to say, you may notice that the gums adjacent to an abscessed tooth appear inflamed and red. Touching the area can definitely cause you to feel pain or discomfort.
Having an abscessed tooth can make your breath smell terrible. You may brush and gargle with mouthwash as often as you like, but the unpleasant odor in your mouth won’t go away. For as long as the infection in the affected tooth is present, your breath will remain disagreeable to the nose.
Aside from bad breath, you may also notice a persistent bitter taste in your mouth. No amount of brushing and using of mouthwash can make the taste go away. Again, the only solution to the problem is by having the ongoing infection put to an end with the help of a dental expert.
Swollen lymph nodes
It can be expected for lymph nodes near an infection to become swollen because they are simply doing their share in controlling an infection. When you have an abscessed tooth, it’s very much possible for the lymph nodes in your neck to become enlarged and tender.
In some instances, an abscessed tooth can be regarded as an emergency case. This happens when the infection no longer affects the root of the tooth only, but also the bones that support the affected tooth. Below are some indicators that you need to rush to the dentist (or ER if that’s not possible) right away:
During a bout of infection, your body attempts to increase its temperature in an attempt to put the problem under control.
Swelling of the face
This may indicate that the infection is no longer exclusive to the affected teeth, but also the surrounding areas.
Since your breathing is compromised, it’s of utmost importance to step foot in the ER.