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Abscessed Tooth? Don't Panic!

What To Do About A Dental Abscess

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What Is A Tooth Abscess?

A tooth abscess forms when bacteria grow in the inner portion of your tooth where the nerves, tissue, and blood vessels are located, causing a pool of pus to form. Abscesses typically form when cavities are left untreated for an extended period of time, however, a chipped, cracked, broken or fractured tooth can provide a gateway for bacteria to enter the inner tooth. If you notice pus around your tooth or gum line, call Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry immediately for emergency dental care in Gainesville, FL. Under no circumstances should you leave an abscessed tooth untreated. This can cause serious complications for your oral health that can turn life-threatening.

Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include:

  • Fever
  • Swelling in the face or cheek
  • Extreme, throbbing pain
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes
  • An eruption of pus in the area of the pain

How Do I Prevent A Tooth Abscess?

The best defense against a tooth abscess is basic dental care. If an abscessed tooth occurs, however, it must be treated quickly before the infection has time to spread to other areas of your mouth and jaw. If you are in pain, a cold compress can be applied to the area, and you may take over-the-counter pain medication. However, be advised that pain medication will do nothing to treat the infection, so even if the pain goes away or lessens, it will return. Immediately call our office and schedule an emergency dental appointment.

1. Practice Proper Oral Care

Brush and floss your teeth twice a day.

2. Use Fluoride

Use fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwash, or drink fluoridated water.

3. Replace Your Brush

Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.

4. Eat Right

Eat a balanced diet that isn’t too acidic and is low in sugar.

5. Seek Dental Care

See your Gainesville dentist twice a year for cleanings and oral exams or if you have a chipped, cracked or broken tooth.

Gainesville Dental Care

During your visit, the abscessed tooth will need to be drained and the area will need to be disinfected. Depending on the severity of tooth decay, the tooth may be able to be saved through root canal therapy. However, advanced stages of decay may require that the tooth be extracted. X-rays and diagnostics may be needed to identify the area and extent of the abscess, and dentist in Gainesville, FL, may use lab testing to determine the type of bacteria that caused the infection.

Treating an abscessed tooth will likely require more than one office visit. In some cases, we are unable to perform a needed root canal on the same day as the initial visit. If your tooth must be extracted, it is best to allow the gums to heal before placing a dental implant. Antibiotics will likely be prescribed to treat the infection and prevent it from spreading.