What is a Dental Abscess?

A dental abscess is a buildup of pus that forms inside a tooth or gums. An abscess is characterized by a facial swelling in the region of the infected tooth.  Bacteria exist in plaque, saliva, and the mouth in general which sticks to the teeth and damages them and the gums.  If the plaque is not removed by proper brushing and flossing, the bacteria can weaken the enamel and cause a cavity to form and if the cavity goes untreated, it will eventually turn into a painful abscess.

Symptoms of a 

Dental Abscess

• Pain in the affected area.

• A bad taste in the mouth.

• Swelling of the face with fever.

• Extreme sensitivity to cold or hot food and liquids.

• A small bump that comes on your gums that drains and then reappears in a few days.

Treatments

If you have any of these symptoms see your dentist immediately. Dental abscesses are easily diagnosed by a dentist. The first step in treatment is with antibiotics but this is not a way of substituting treatment with a dentist. The second form of treatment is dealing with the tooth itself by cleaning the bacteria out of the tooth better known as a Root Canal.

If you cannot get to a dentist immediately, visit a family doctor.  A medical doctor cannot treat an abscess, but they may prescribe an antibiotic and advise on self-care and pain management until you can be seen by a dentist.

I hope this Tooth Talk has helped and call Integrity Dental Care, PLLC (615) 445-8700 or email dr.jmitchell@integritydentalcares.com with any questions you may have.

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