How a Family Dentist Treats an Abscessed Tooth
A family dentist is a professional who offers various general dentistry procedures to patients of all ages. Those who practice family dentistry can treat many serious dental concerns, including an abscessed tooth. In addition to being painful, an abscess can lead to further health concerns. Patients experiencing this issue should seek treatment right away.
Treatment options for an abscessed tooth
An abscess occurs when pus forms a pocket around an infected tooth root. While teeth have hard enamel and dentin on their outer layers, they house connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. The tissue, known as the pulp, can become infected because of a deep cavity, cracked tooth, or gum disease. When a tooth becomes infected, it can kill the pulp and cause an abscess to develop.
A family dentist can diagnose and treat tooth abscesses in patients of any age.
Signs of an abscessed tooth
Abscessed teeth cannot heal themselves. One of the first signs of infection is pain. Patients may present with throbbing and gnawing pain or sharp and shooting pain. Some people may experience severe pain when biting down, while others may have continuous pain. Generally, a tooth infection causes temperature sensitivity that lingers long after removing the culprit.
Other symptoms individuals may face include:
- Pain radiating through the neck, face, jawbone, and ear
- Swelling of the jaw
- Open sores on the gum
- A bitter taste or foul-smelling breath from the abscess
- Gum swelling and redness
- Loose teeth
A stop to the pain does not indicate a healing infection. Sometimes, toothaches stop because the pulp in the tooth dies, killing the nerves. Even if a patient cannot feel the infection, it can continue spreading, destroying other tissues.
Treatments for an abscessed tooth
To diagnose an abscessed tooth, the family dentist will take an X-ray to determine the cause of the infection and the damage caused by the abscess. When it comes to treatment, dentists have various options available.
One option involves draining the abscess. The professional makes a small incision to release the pus. The dentist may place a small rubber drain to keep the area open if necessary.
One of the most common treatments for patients with an abscess is a root canal. The professional remove the inner pulp during this procedure and fills the space with material to seal it against further infection. Following the process, a patient should be able to return to normal. Some dentists will fit the patient with a crown to protect the root canal.
If dentists cannot save abscessed teeth, they may extract them instead. Sometimes, an extraction provides dentists with a way to drain the abscess. Many patients also take antibiotics to treat the infection, especially if it has spread to other areas of the mouth.
A family dentist can diagnose and treat a dental abscess for patients of all ages. When diagnosed with an abscess, most patients need either a root canal or tooth extraction.
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