If you have an intense toothache, you may be suffering from a dental abscess. A bacterial infection causes an abscess in the tooth. This causes a pocket of pus to develop. A dental abscess can form in numerous locations around the tooth, including the root, pulp, and gum tissue.
A dental abscess is considered a dental emergency, and it is crucial to contact an emergency dentist immediately if you experience any intense tooth pain. If left untreated, the infection can spread, damaging the surrounding tissue in the mouth. It can also spread to other areas of the body, leading to sepsis, brain abscess, heart inflammation, or pneumonia, which are potentially life-threatening.
Understanding tooth abscess symptoms is critical for early detection and treatment.
Tooth Abscess Symptoms: Pain When Chewing
A dental abscess can cause an intense toothache that can radiate down your jaw and neck. The pain may be intermittent, continuous, or only occur when biting or chewing.
The bacteria causing the dental abscess leads to inflammation and causes pus and fluid to fill the abscess. This increases the pressure within the tooth, compressing the dental nerves, leading to pain when you bite down. If you have an intense toothache, it is a dental emergency that requires prompt treatment from a dentist.
Tooth Abscess Symptoms: Swollen Cheek and Jaw
Numerous lymph glands around the jaw and neck are a critical part of your immune system, producing antibodies and cytotoxic immune cells to combat infection. These glands become swollen when overactive, causing your cheek, neck, and jaw to appear puffy.
Tooth Abscess Symptoms: Bad Breath or a Bitter Taste in the Mouth
Bacteria from a dental abscess produce sulphur compounds as a waste product of metabolism. These sulphur gases can cause bad breath. While bad breath is not considered a dental emergency, if you also taste a bitter flavour in your mouth, it could suggest the dental abscess has ruptured, which requires immediate treatment.
Tooth Abscess Symptoms: Respiratory Distress
If you have trouble breathing and fever, go immediately to the emergency room. These symptoms indicate that the infection has spread to other body parts and requires intensive antibiotic treatment. Following treatment, visit an emergency dentist to treat your tooth.
Treatment for a Dental Abscess
Depending on how early you visit your dentist and the extent and location of the infection, there are several treatment options available:
- Your dentist may surgically drain the abscess to remove the pus and reduce pressure to alleviate tooth abscess symptoms. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to eliminate bacteria.
- A root canal is used for an abscess inside the tooth pulp. The infected tissue is removed, and the pulp chamber is sterilised and filled with gutta-percha and composite resin. Your dentist may also top the tooth with a crown.
- You may need a tooth extraction if the tooth is severely damaged and the blood vessels and nerve endings are compromised. Discuss dental implants with your dentist to replace your missing tooth.
Treat Your Dental Emergency at Dapto Dentist
If you experience any of the symptoms of a tooth abscess, it is a dental emergency, and you need fast, effective treatment from an experienced emergency dentist. At Dapto Dentists, we reserve time in our standard business hours for emergency dental procedures. Visiting your emergency dentist as soon as you experience symptoms can mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth.
Contact Dapto Dentists at (02) 4210 9058 or use our online form to schedule your dental emergency.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.