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What is a Dental Abcess and How Do They Develop?
Posted on 1/25/2021 by Gwinnett Dental Implant & Periodontal Center
According to an article on the Mayo Clinic website, a dental abscess is a pocket of pus resulting from severe decay or a bacterial infection.
Types of Dental Abscesses
A dental abscess typically will appear at the end of a tooth's root, or at the side of a tooth's root within the gum. When it forms at the end of the root, it is known as a periapical abscess. On the other hand, an abscess inside the gum is known as a periodontal abscess. When we treat an abscess, we remove the infection and drain the pus, and may perform a root canal to save the tooth. An abscess may form from deep decay, trauma, or as the result of dental work. In some cases, we may have to remove the affected tooth.
Symptoms of An Abscess
While some abscesses do not have symptoms, other abscesses may come with a toothache or fever. In teeth treated with a root canal, you may not experience pain, but will have swelling. The abscess will not hurt in root canaled teeth, as the nerve has been removed because it really serves no purpose in adult teeth. Otherwise, abscess symptoms may emerge as sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, pain while chewing or biting, a throbbing pain that radiates to the ear, neck, or jawbone, or tender and swollen lymph nodes. The face of the cheek may swell, or you may taste a rush of foul-smelling and salty fluid in your mouth. This fluid results when the abscess bursts. You may also have difficulties with swallowing.
If you have swelling or a fever, you need to contact us immediately, as an abscess can lead to a life-threatening medical condition. Any problems with the gums should not be overlooked. Give us a call to book an appointment now.
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