An abscessed tooth refers to a pocket of pus that is brought on by an infection. An abscess can form at various parts of a tooth for a variety of reasons. A periapical abscess forms on the edge of the root, and a periodontal abscess forms in the gums adjacent to the root of a tooth.
If you have an abscessed tooth, this is not a condition that improves on its own. Hence, you need to visit a dentist or an endodontist immediately to salvage the tooth. Without proper treatment, the infection may also potentially spread to the mandible, neck, head, and even other parts of the body.
If your tooth pain is accompanied by facial swelling and a fever and you cannot get a hold of your dentist, visit an emergency room as soon as possible. You should also go to an emergency room if your abscess causes breathing and swallowing difficulties.
Tooth Abscess Treatment
After your dentist determines that you have an abscessed tooth upon a thorough examination and possibly ordering an X-ray or a CT scan, they will determine the best possible way to eliminate the infection. The treatment options include:
An incision: your dentist may need to cut into the abscessed tooth to drain the pus out and then sterilize the region.
A root canal: your dentist may carry out a root canal to both rid your tooth of the infection and save it. This procedure involves penetrating the tooth for the removal of the infected tissue which is followed by draining the pus out. Your dentist then proceeds to add a filling and encloses the tooth’s root canals. With proper care, a root canal can be a permanent solution.
Extraction: If your dentist determines that your tooth cannot be salvaged, they may opt to perform an extraction after which they drain out the pus to eliminate the infection.
Antibiotics: While antibiotics are not necessary in cases where the infection is confined to the abscessed tooth if the infection has extended into the surrounding teeth, your dentist may put you on antibiotics to prevent it from spreading more. The use of antibiotics may especially be necessary for those with an impaired immune system.
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