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What Is an Abscessed Tooth?

Don’t ignore the symptoms if you believe you may have an abscessed tooth. This is a condition that will not go away on its own and requires prompt treatment. A tooth abscess (or dental abscess) is a pocket of pus in your mouth caused by a bacterial infection. Abscesses can occur a the tip of the tooth root, in the gum next to the tooth root, or elsewhere on the gums. Left untreated, the infection can spread through your mouth and even through your body, where it can threaten your life.

At Davenport Dental Group, we will remove the infection and bring your mouth back to health. If you are experiencing pain that may indicate a dental abscess, call either of our Laredo, TX locations. Call 956-242-6745 for our Junction Drive office or 956-517-2695 for our Winfield office. For less urgent matters, you may also get in touch with us online.

What Are the Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth?

The pain of a dental abscess is something that’s impossible to ignore. It generally comes on quickly and worsens over time. If you experience the following, you may have a tooth abscess:

  • Severe and throbbing tooth pain that may radiate to your ear or neck
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Sensitivity when eating
  • Fever
  • Facial swelling
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Halitosis, or bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Lymph nodes in the neck that are swollen or tender
  • If you have a rush of bad-tasting liquid in your mouth, followed by immediate pain relief, your abscess may have ruptured.

What Causes a Tooth Abscess

Like so many dental problems, abscessed teeth are caused by a bacterial infection. Abscesses at the tip of the tooth root (periapical abscesses) are usually caused by bacteria entering the pulp through a cavity. Abscesses in the gum next to the tooth (periodontal abscesses) are typically caused by gum disease. No matter the cause, every abscess requires prompt attention.

How Is a Dental Abscess Treated?

Treatment for a dental abscess generally requires the following:

  • Draining of the abscess. We will remove all the pus and clean the area of any remaining infection.
  • A root canal. In this procedure, we drill a small hole in the tooth enamel and remove all the infected pulp in the chamber. The chamber is thoroughly cleaned and dried, and filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Finally, the tooth is covered with a gorgeous custom crown. A root canal is not to be feared —  it will end your tooth pain and save your tooth.
  • In cases of very severe infection, we may have to remove your tooth entirely. Don’t worry, we have fantastic tooth-replacement options for when you’re ready.
  • If our doctors determine it to be necessary, they will prescribe antibiotics.
  • In some cases, an abscess can be caused by a foreign object stuck in the gums. We will remove it and clean the area.

A tooth abscess is a dental emergency and should never be put off or ignored. At Davenport Dental Group, we will pinpoint the location of your abscess and initiate appropriate treatment. To schedule an appointment, call either Laredo location at 956-242-6745 (Junction Drive) or 956-517-2695 (Winfield).

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