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Dental Abscess- Diagnosis And Treatment

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By Author: Dr. Gaurav Sharma
Total Articles: 23
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A pocket of pus that forms in or around the tooth as a result of a bacterial infection is called an Abscess Tooth or a dental abscess.

It can cause mild to excruciating pain. An untreated, abscessed tooth may sometimes lead to serious, life-threatening conditions.

The tooth abscesses can be of different types depending on the location and types of tooth infections like


Dental Abscess can cause a throbbing or shooting pain near a tooth, in the gums or a pain that radiates to the ear, jaw, or neck and usually comes on suddenly and worsens over time is the main symptom of an abscessed tooth.

It may also cause Redness and swelling of the face, difficulty in chewing food, foul breath and fever.

The is filled with a pulp made up of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels from the inside, and this pulp might sometimes get infected due to Tooth decay, broken, chipped or cracked teeth, gum disease or an injury to the tooth

Smoking, Dry mouth, weakened immune system, a diet rich in sugar ...
... and poor dental hygiene can increase the risk of Dental infection in the patients.

The risk of developing a tooth abscess can be considerably reduced by regular dental examinations and cleanings.

However if a tooth becomes loose or chipped, it becomes imperative to see a dentist.

When to See a Doctor?

Getting an abscessed tooth treated by a dentist is of utmost necessity. Even if the abscess is already ruptured, the area must be examined and cleaned by a dentist to make sure the infection doesn’t spread.

An infection, if left untreated can spread to the jaw and other parts of the head and neck, including the brain.

In very rare cases, It can even lead to sepsis, that can be. a life-threatening complication caused by an infection.

One must immediately go to an emergency room if an abscessed tooth is accompanied by:

high fever
facial swelling
difficulty swallowing
rapid heart rate

These all are signs of a serious infection that may need immediate attention.

How Is an Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed?

Besides examining the tooth and surrounding tissue for signs of infection, the dentist may:

Recommend an X-ray to help recognize the origin of the dental disease that might have led to the infection. X-rays can also be used to determine if the infection has spread to or is affecting other areas.

Suggest a CT scan to ascertain if the infection has spread to other areas within the neck and also to identify the extent of the infection.

Tap and press on the teeth as the tooth that has an abscess at its root is typically sensitive to touch or pressure.

Recommend Thermal tests to determine the health of the pulpal tissues.

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