A dental abscess is no laughing matter. Not only is an infected tooth extremely painful, but it can also become life threatening if left untreated. In fact, the number of hospitalizations from abscessed teeth has increased by 40% in recent years. Many of the hospitalizations are due to delaying dental care at the first sign of infection. While an abscessed tooth is a fairly common occurrence, it is easily preventable. As a dentist in Tyler, we will help you avoid an infected tooth with the right preventive care.
What is a Dental Abscess?
An abscessed tooth occurs when the gum near the tooth becomes infected, such as due to advanced gum disease or significant tooth decay. After an infection develops, the gum tissue becomes red, swollen, and very painful. Often, a pimple-like bump will appear that is filled with pus. If not treated promptly, the pain will continue to intensify while the infection can spread to other areas of the body, such as the brain.
An infected tooth must be treated immediately. If the tooth is treated quickly, it can often be saved from extraction with certain procedures, like root canal therapy, and the infection will be treated. However, if the infection progresses for too long, the tooth may require extraction.
With the risks of an infected tooth potentially deadly, it is important to prevent a dental abscess in the first place.
How Can I Prevent a Dental Abscess?
Preventing an infected tooth relies heavily on your home oral hygiene habits. You must brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. When your toothbrush becomes worn or frayed, replace the toothbrush right away or after about 3 months of use. To help reduce bacteria in the mouth, an antiseptic mouth rinse can be used.
Many dental abscesses originate from tooth decay. Therefore, minimize your risk factors for cavities by limiting your consumption of sugary foods and drinks. Drink fluoride water and use a fluoride mouth rinse to help strengthen tooth enamel.
In addition to your home care, you need to maintain regular appointments with your dentist for preventive care. Twice a year, you need to have your teeth cleaned professionally to remove plaque and tarter. The preventive appointment also includes a comprehensive examination to evaluate the health of your teeth and gums. Through a regular exam, we can detect concerning areas that may result in a dental abscess sooner for prompt intervention.
Where is a Dentist Near Me for Treatment?
If you are experiencing throbbing pain, pain when biting, or pain when touching a specific area, your tooth may be infected. Other commons symptoms include tooth sensitivity, fever, and difficulty opening the mouth or swallowing. If you experience any of these symptoms, you need to see your dentist right away.
Gentle Dental Care provides prevention and treatment for an abscessed tooth. If you have a toothache, contact our office right away for an appointment. We will find the underlying cause of your pain for prompt and effective treatment.