How To Recognize a Tooth Abscess

Analyzing the Abscess

Most people may have experienced a tooth absence. It’s something that’s not forgettable, because most times it can be very painful. An abscess is a pocket of pus, a localized area of dead tissue accumulated after a bacterial infection there. Abscesses can form in many other parts of the body. They are a natural defense mechanism, they block the infection from reaching other sites. It can start like a little pimple.

When you understand tooth abscess symptoms, causes, and seeking professional treatment as soon as possible, there’s a great chance to reduce further infection and complications.

Three Types of Dental Abscess

There are 3 main types of dental abscess. They can be gingival in location, forming on the gum tissue, There’s periodontal abscess, occurring deeper into the gum pockets and if it doesn’t get drained, can spread into the surrounding tissue and jaw bone. Periapical abscess begins as decay in the tooth pulp that goes into the roots and out the root tips. Again unable to drain, it collects at the apices causing encroaching into nearby nerves, vessels and bone.

What causes tooth abscess? Because the mouth naturally harbors bacteria and if oral hygiene is poor or deficient, plaque starts to decay the teeth or gums. Abscess can start with rough toothbrushing, a cracked tooth, food debris stuck between teeth and gums, gingivitis, trauma, and complications from implants, root canal treatment and extractions. Poor oral hygiene is a risk factor, and so is a weakened immune system.

How would you know you’ve got a dental abscess? Pain is a usual initial sign – continuous or throbbing pain, when tooth is tapped, if loose or discolored, when biting or chewing, when there’s hot or cold stimuli. There can be swelling and reddening of the face or gum or bleeding from the gums. Another sign is a foul, bitter taste in the mouth (from draining pus) or a bad smell in the mouth from the infection. Sometimes a dental abscess can already have complications – there can be fever, nausea, headache, diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes, inability to open mouth or to speak, and general fatigue.

Even if the pain is bearable, visit a dentist as soon as possible to avoid further damage and complications, otherwise, seek emergency treatment.

Accessible to Abscess Treatment

Visit us immediately at our downtown Seattle location and talk to Dr. Jaime Lee if you recognize these signs and symptoms of a dental abscess. The condition is quite common and accessible to treatment.