Learning to Take Better Care of Your Family's Teeth

How Do You Know You Have A Tooth Abscess?

A tooth abscess is a type of bacterial infection that causes pain and various other side effects. It often shows itself as a collection of pus on your gums, but you might not notice this obvious sign. Here are some other signs that you have a tooth abscess to be addressed by your dentist.

Moderate to Severe Pain

One of the first things you will probably notice when you have a tooth abscess is that you have pain. The pain is often moderate to severe, and might be worse when you chew with that tooth, especially if it is something hard or crunchy. Other people don't have sharp pain, but instead experience a dull, throbbing pain. This is often more annoying, because it happens at random times throughout the day and can be hard to relieve.

Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

Extra sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures is also very common when you have a tooth abscess. If you drink a cup of hot coffee or have ice cream and the tooth starts throbbing or you experience a sharp pain, then you probably have an infection or tooth abscess. You could also have more tooth sensitivity in other ways, such as the pressure from biting down. If it hurts even when chewing something soft, it is a sign that there is something wrong with that tooth.

Facial Swelling

One of the more visible signs of a tooth infection like an abscess is if your face starts to swell up. If you have swelling in your cheeks, you probably have an infection on the top row of teeth. Abscesses frequently cause this swelling when the infection isn't taken care of. If it is on the lower teeth, the swelling is a little less obvious. Instead of causing your cheeks to swell up, you might experience swelling or tenderness of the lymph nodes.

Ruptured Abscess

If you taste something foul and it seems like pus is coming from the tooth causing you pain, the abscess might have ruptured. It can taste and even smell very bad. This is a big sign that you have an infection that needs to be treated. Just because it has ruptured on its own doesn't mean the infection is gone. You still need to see your dentist right away. Treatment might be getting a root canal and crown for the tooth, or having it removed. Antibiotics will also be given for the infection.

If you have had more than one tooth abscess, you might have periodontal disease. In this case, you need to treat the disease in addition to the abscesses. Visit a periodontist at Periodontal Specialists for more information.