Can an abscessed tooth pose a risk to my health?

by Dr. Zenon Farian, DDS

An abscessed tooth is a painful infection. It’s most commonly caused by severe tooth decay. Tooth decay creates an opening in the tooth, which allows bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (called the pulp). This infection may also spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth. These types of infections can vary in severity from mild to severe, and yes, they can actually be life threatening.
A toothache that is severe and continuous and results in gnawing, throbbing pain, sharp pain or shooting pain are common symptoms of an abscessed tooth. Other symptoms may include: fever, pain when chewing, sensitivity to hot or cold, bitter taste in the mouth, foul smelling breath, swollen neck glands, general discomfort, uneasiness or ill feeling, redness and swelling of the gums, swollen area of the jaw, or an open, draining sore on the side of the gum.
If the root of the tooth dies as a result of infection, the toothache may stop. However, this doesn’t mean the infection is gone. Similarly, many people will get a prescription for an antibiotic from their physician and assume that the infection is healed. Once the antibiotic leaves the blood stream, the infection will again start to increase in size. Therefore, with or without pain, it is important to see the dentist as soon as possible. Only a dentist can permanently resolve an abscessed tooth.
A simple dental X-ray will confirm a dental abscess. A dental abscess can be treated one of two ways. Depending on the extent of the decay, Dr. Farian may be able to perform a root canal in order to save the tooth. If the decay is too extensive, the tooth may need to be removed and an implant placed.
Following good oral hygiene practices and visiting your dentist every six months can reduce the risk of developing a tooth abscess. Also, if your teeth experience trauma, seek prompt dental attention. If an accident occurs and part of your tooth breaks off, it is important to see the dentist right away. Please call our office to schedule an appointment.
Keep Smiling. And make it a good one!

Dr. Zenon Farian, DDS

Sponsored by

Farian Dental Care
229 E. Wallings Rd., Suite 100
Broadview Hts., OH 44147

Opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.