January 7, 2023

The most common causes of a dental abscess are dental caries, long-term periodontal disease, dental trauma, and poor dental hygiene. A dental abscess requires a call to an emergency dentist in Atlanta, IL. When your enamel's structure and integrity are compromised, bacteria can enter the pulp cavity, causing an infection.

As the infection spreads within the tooth, it compresses the dentin walls resulting in excruciating pain. In the United States, there is 1 out of every 2600 hospital admissions for dental infections. Without treatment, a tooth abscess can lead to serious health repercussions. Knowing the warning signs of dental infection is critical to avoid severe long-term consequences.  

An emergency dentist in Atlanta, IL treating a patient

Understanding Dental Abscess

What Is a Tooth Abscess?

A tooth abscess is a condition that requires immediate attention. It’s a bacterial infection that results in pus formation, swelling, and pain.  

The infection occurs within or around the tooth root containing connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. It can also happen between the tooth and gums. If left untreated, the infection can spread from the tooth to the jawbone or throughout the body.  

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Tooth Abscess?

Some of the warning signs indicating a tooth abscess include the following:

  • Fever
  • Pain when chewing
  • Severe tooth pain (dull, aching, sharp, or throbbing)
  • Gum redness and swelling
  • Jaw swelling (advanced infection)
  • Tooth sensitivity

How Is a Tooth Abscess Treated?

Your emergency dentist will visually inspect the abscess before deciding on a treatment plan. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment, so yours will be tailored to your specific needs. Some dentists use a single approach or a combination of treatments:

#1 Draining  

The most efficient method of dealing with a tooth abscess is by draining it. Your dentist will make a tiny incision into the abscess to let the pus out. It may be followed by debridement and irrigation. Debridement is the process of removing necrotic tissues that do not heal. Meanwhile, rinsing the area with saline helps clear the area of pus.  

#2 Antibiotics

Antibiotic therapy is a proven method of dealing with all types of infections, including tooth abscesses. Unfortunately, local anesthesia doesn’t work for severe infections, making it challenging to numb the area, especially if they are the lower molars.  

In such a case, your dentist will order antibiotics to minimize the infection for the local anesthetic to be effective. Otherwise, the treatment would have been too uncomfortable for you.  

#3 Root Canal Therapy

An option to preserve the tooth is through root canal therapy. When the infection has reached the tooth's center, your dentist can remove the infected pulp and drain the abscess. Once the infection has resolved, the tooth is strengthened with a crown. This will also preserve the structure and integrity of the tooth.  

#4 Tooth Extraction

When a tooth is so damaged that it cannot be repaired, your dentist will have no other option but to extract it to remove the pus, stop the infection from spreading, and promote healing.  

Close up of an emergency dentist in Atlanta, IL

Need to See an Emergency Dentist in Atlanta, IL?

If you show tooth abscess symptoms, don’t wait for another day to get treated. A tooth infection is considered a dental emergency. Without treatment, the infection could spread throughout your body, causing life-threatening consequences.  

At Smalltown Dental, we strive to preserve oral health with our wide range of dental treatments tailored to your needs. Contact us today for an appointment.  

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