Do I Have an Abscessed Tooth?

woman with tooth abscess pain

An abscessed tooth occurs because of bacterial infection in the mouth, particularly in a damaged tooth or gum tissue around it. The damage that leads to an abscess generally occurs because of poor oral hygiene, a high-sugar or high-carbohydrate diet or infrequent dental care. If you visit your Carolina Dental Arts dentist in Goldsboro or Raleigh, NC regularly and take good care of your teeth, you are at low risk for an infection such as this.

But what if you think you have an abscessed tooth now? What signs point to this type of infection and what do you need to do to resolve it?

What Is an Abscessed Tooth?

An abscess in the body is a pocket of pus that builds up because of an infection in the area where the pustule forms. This infection and the resulting pus cause swelling, inflammation and tenderness. An abscessed tooth is an abscess that forms around a damaged tooth and its nearby gum and jaw tissues.

Signs and Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

When an abscess starts to develop, you may first notice some pain or tenderness in your affected tooth, gums, jaw, cheeks, neck or face.

Signs You Have an Abscess in Your Mouth Include:

  • Tenderness in the tooth area
  • Looseness of the tooth in the jaw
  • Tooth sensitivity to heat or cold in your mouth
  • Sensitivity of the tooth to pressure
  • Slight raising of the tooth from its position in the gums

Other Signs of an Oral Abscess Include:

  • Swelling in the face or gums
  • Skin redness over the affected area of the gums
  • Bleeding of the gums
  • Swollen lymph glands in your neck
  • A feeling of being generally unwell, called malaise
  • Lost appetite or unable to eat
  • Fever
  • Swelling and redness around the tooth
  • Presence of a mass, sometimes a gum boil

More Extreme Symptoms Caused by a Severe Abscess Include:

  • Cellulitis, a bacterial infection in your skin
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Speaking problems
  • Lockjaw
  • Dehydration

The severe symptoms above require emergency dental care at Carolina Dental Arts. If you feel you have an abscessed tooth, call us for prompt scheduling or emergency dental treatment. Although doctors cannot provide dental treatment, if your condition worsens and you need immediate attention, visit your hospital’s emergency department. Doctors can prescribe antibiotic medication and painkillers to control your infection and discomfort until you can see your dentist.

Treatment for an Tooth With an Abscess

If you have an abscessed tooth, your dentist must drain the pus. This is an oral surgery that involves making an incision into your gum or drilling into the tooth to enable draining of the fluid. Then, the area is cleaned and dead tissue removed if the abscess occurred within the tooth. If it occurred within your gum tissue, your dentist will deep clean the teeth, gums and roots. Sometimes an abscessed tooth requires a root canal or tooth extraction.

Do I Have an Abscessed Tooth?

If you think you possibly have a tooth with an abscess or if you are suffering any other discomfort in your mouth, teeth, gums or jaw, call your dentist’s office for immediate scheduling. You can ask the dental staff whether you need an emergency dental appointment or if your problem can wait until the next business day.

Carolina Dental Arts has three locations in Goldsboro and Raleigh, NC for your convenience. Find the location nearest you for scheduling today.