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Tooth Abscess Treatment In Gainesville, FL

Tooth Abscess Symptoms & Treatments

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What Is An Abscessed Tooth?

When patients suffer from toothache, it can make them miserable. Toothache pain is usually among the first signs of an infection in the tooth. If you have toothache pain, it’s best to see our Gainesville, FL, dentists with Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry right away. The longer you wait to get treatment, the more time the infection has to spread to other teeth and tissue. A tooth abscess comprises a pocket of pus in your tooth that forms when bacteria grow in the inner portion of your tooth where the nerves, tissue, and blood vessels are located.

An abscessed tooth forms when dental cavities are left untreated for an extended period of time. In addition to tooth decay, however, a dental abscess may also occur when bacteria enter the inner tooth due to openings in chipped, cracked, broken, or fractured teeth, as well. If you notice pus around your tooth or gum line, call Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry immediately for treatment from an emergency dentist. Under no circumstances should you leave an abscessed tooth untreated. This can cause serious complications for your oral health that can become life-threatening.

Periapical Abscess

A periapical abscess is an infection that occurs at the tip of the tooth root. This infection happens when bacteria spread from the inside areas of the tooth to the pulp, whether through a fracture or as a result of a cavity. The pulp comprises the innermost part of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels. When bacteria invade the pulp, they may reach the tooth’s root tip, resulting in the infection spreading to the jaw bone and causing an abscess to form.

Periodontal Abscess

A periodontal abscess occurs when bacteria enter the teeth and cause an infection starting in the jaw bone and tissues that support the tooth in question. A periodontal tooth abscess usually happens as a result of gum disease or periodontitis, which causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. This leaves deep pockets in the gums where bacteria can form and spread. A periodontal abscess appears as a small red ball that pushes out of the swollen gum.

Gingival Abscess

A gingival abscess, also commonly referred to as a gum abscess, develops when bacteria in the mouth cause an infection in the spaces between the teeth and the gums. While some gingival abscesses occur as a result of periodontal disease, or gum disease, which is often a result of poor oral hygiene, a gum abscess can occur for other reasons as well. This type of abscess does not usually affect the tooth or supporting structures.

Tooth Abscess Stages

Teeth abscesses don’t always start causing pain, but they can gradually become worse over time and result in severe pain. If you have a tooth abscess, then the infection will generally progress in three stages: tooth decay, abscess formation, and sepsis. Contact Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry for more information about tooth abscess stages and to schedule tooth abscess treatment.

Tooth Decay

In the first stage of a tooth abscess, the tooth will experience decay in the enamel, dentin, and pulp. First, the enamel will begin to erode through damage to the protective outermost layer of the tooth. Enamel erosion or decay does not always present with symptoms, though it can cause tooth sensitivity or white spots to form on the surfaces of the teeth. If erosion persists, damage can occur to the dentin, which is the layer beneath the enamel.

Decay of the dentin can cause tooth pain or sensitivity, and it may even result in a hole forming in the tooth. When bacteria enter the innermost layer of the tooth, which is where the main nerve is located, it causes pulp decay. In this stage, the bacteria attack the tooth’s nerve, resulting in significant pain, though this pain may or may not persist. Your dentist can provide you with more information about the dangers of tooth decay and how to best avoid it.

Abscess Formation

Once the bacteria enter the tooth pulp, the tooth’s nerve is compromised and it may even die, at which point the abscess will start to form. At this point, you may notice gum inflammation and swelling. This is often seen as a bump on the gums, as well as pain coming from the area located near the afflicted tooth. To help soothe abscess pain at home and until treatment can be performed, you should avoid consuming hot and cold food and beverages, avoid chewing on the side of the mouth with the infected tooth, apply a cold pack over the jaw, and use over-the-counter pain relief medication (unless contraindicated), for pain relief.


If the abscessed teeth are allowed to persist and you do not receive proper treatment for them, the bacteria can spread to your bloodstream and result in sepsis, which is a life-threatening infection of the blood. Symptoms of sepsis include fever or chills, dizziness, fast heartbeat, confusion, diarrhea, speech issues, cold or clammy skin, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulties, and loss of consciousness. If you experience any of these symptoms of sepsis, it is crucial to seek help immediately from a medical professional.

Who Gets Tooth Infections?

Any person can get a tooth infection and tooth abscess. However, some individuals may have a higher risk of developing tooth abscesses than others. You may be more likely to develop a tooth infection if you:

  • Smoke or use tobacco products. Smokers are almost twice as likely to develop tooth infections than nonsmokers.
  • Have a dry mouth. Bacteria live and thrive in mouths with a low amount of saliva.
  • Have poor dental hygiene. Regular brushing, flossing, and getting frequent dental cleanings and check-ups are crucial for reducing oral bacteria.
  • Have a weakened immune system. Certain medical conditions and medications can lower your immune system, which makes it harder for your body to fight off invaders.

What Are The Complications Of A Tooth Infection?

For individuals with a tooth infection, seeking and getting professional treatment from a trusted Gainesville dentist is crucial to avoid potentially life-threatening complications of this condition. If left unteated, the infection can spread rom the tooth to the jawbone as well as the soft tissues of the face and the neck, and throughout other areas of the body. In rare cases, the infection can travel to the heart, a condition known as endocarditis, and the brain, a condition known as bacterial meningitis, both of which are life-threanening, serious medical conditions. Contact Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry now to schedule your general dentistry appointment.

What Causes A Tooth Abscess?

Anything that results in an opening for bacteria to penetrate the tooth or the surrounding tissues can result in the development of a tooth abscess and tooth infection. There is an encompassing range of potential causes of tooth infections. Causes of dental abscesses include the following. For additional information contact our Gainesville dental office.

  • Severe tooth decay. Teeth that decay do so due to the destruction of the hard surfaces of the teeth. This happens when bacteria break down sugary components in foods and drinks, creating an acid that compromises and penetrates the tooth’s enamel.
  • Broken, cracked, or chipped teeth. Whether a tooth is broken, fractured, chipped, or cracked, bacteria can make its way into any type and size of opening int he tooth, spreading the bacteria to the tooth’s pulp and causing an infection.
  • Gum disease. Gum disease, also called periodontitis, is an infection of the gums that causes inflammation to occur in the tissues around the teeth. As gum disease becomes more severe, bacteria can gain access to deeper oral tissues, resulting in an abscess.
  • Tooth trauma or injury. Another cause of dental abscesses is injury to the teeth. Trauma that occurs to a tooth can injure the tooth’s inner pulp, even if there is no visible crack on the tooth’s external surface.

Tooth Abscess Symptoms

If your tooth is infected, you may experience a number of different tooth abscess symptoms, including the following. The most effective method for finding tooth abscess pain relief is with treatment from your dentist at Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry. Get relief from tooth pain today; contact our Gainesville dental office.

  • Tooth abscess pain
  • Gnawing or throbbing pain
  • Sharp or shooting pain
  • Continuous pain
  • Pain that occurs only while chewing
  • Pain that radiates to the jawbone, neck, and ear
  • Tooth sensitivity to heat and cold
  • A bitter taste in the mouth
  • Foul breath odor
  • Redness and swelling in the gums
  • Tooth looseness
  • Swelling in the upper or lower jaw
  • An open, oozing sore on the side of the gums
  • Fever and uneasiness
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Overall discomfort or ill feeling
  • An eruption of pus in the affected area

How Is An Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed?

During your visit with us, your dentist will examine your tooth and the surrounding tissue for signs of infection. Your dentist may recommend dental X-rays, which can help our team identify potential sources of the dental disease that could have caused the abscess. Your dentist can also use your X-ray results to determine whether or not the infection has spread to other areas of your mouth or body. Additionally, if the infection has spread to other areas in your neck, your dentist may recommend a CT scan, which will help us to identify the overall extent of your infection. Your dentist may tap and press on your teeth and conduct a thermal test in order to help determine the health of your pulpal tissues and whether or not your tooth is abscessed. If it is determined that you have a tooth infection, your dentist will then recommend you receive prompt tooth abscess treatment.

How Is An Abscessed Tooth Treated?

The primary goals of tooth abscess treatment are to completely eliminate the infection and to prevent complications from the infection. There are multiple potential treatment options available for treating an abscessed tooth. Your dentist will select the appropriate form of treatment for you based on a number of factors, such as the severity of the infection, the extent of the damage, whether or not the infection has spread, and your overall oral health, among other considerations. 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. Treatment for dental abscesss may include the following.

  • Abscess incision and drainage. During an incision and drainage procedure, your dentist will make a small incision or cut in the abscess in order to drain out the pus. In some cases, a small rubber drain is placed in the area to allow for proper drainage.
  • Root canal therapy. A root canal may be used to eliminate the infection and, if possible, save the tooth. During the procedure, the tooth’s inner pulp is removed and replaced in order to prevent another infection. You may need a crown to protect your root canal.
  • Tooth extraction.  You may require abscessed tooth extraction if your tooth cannot be saved. Your dentist may recommend abscessed tooth removal in order to allow pus to drain from the tooth’s socket.
  • Antibiotics. If the tooth infection is limited to the abscessed area, then you may not need antibiotics, though your dentist may prescribe you tooth abscess antibiotics in order to help facilitate optimal results from your dental treatment.

What To Do If You Have An Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth, swollen face and/or tooth pain are all signs that you must see your dentist as soon as possible. While you wait for your appointment day to arrive, you should rinse your mouth with warm, saltwater rinses and (if applicable) use over-the-counter pain medication to help ease your discomfort. To help you prepare for your appointment, we recommend that you make a list of your symptoms, including any symptoms that are related as well as symptoms that may seem unrelated to your tooth or mouth pain. Additionally, you should make a list of any and all medications, vitamins, and supplements you may be taking, as well as the dosages and frequency of each. For additional tooth abscess home remedy information and for information regarding how to best prepare for your appointment, please contact our office.

How To 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. 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. The following tips can help you avoid tooth infections. During your appointment, your dentist can provide you with additional information.

Practice Proper Oral Care

One of the best ways to prevent a tooth infection is to practice proper oral hygiene each day. You should brush and floss your teeth and gums twice each day using dentist-recommended products and proper techniques for each.

Use Oral Products With Fluoride

Use fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwash, or drink fluoridated water. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral used in many different oral health products to help strengthen teeth enamel and prevent tooth decay, cavities, and tooth abscesses.

Replace Your Toothbrush

Even if you brush your teeth and floss twice each day, if your toothbrush is worn, it can no longer provide you with sufficient cleaning and plaque removal. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Ask your dentist about which toothbrush is best for your needs.

Consume A Healthy Diet

In addition to practicing proper dental hygiene and visiting your dentist at least twice each year for regular dental checkups and teeth cleaning appointments, your diet plays an important role in helping you stay healthy and avoiding a tooth abscess. Eat a balanced diet that isn’t too acidic and is low in sugar, including natural sugars and processed sugars.

Get Regular Dental Care

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

Can A Tooth Infection Heal On Its Own?

Unfortunately, no. A dental abscess or tooth infection will not go away or heal on its own without proper treatment. Your toothache pain may stop if the infection persists and causes the pulp within your tooth to die. The cessation of pain occurs due to the lack of function in the tooth’s nerve, which prevents you from feeling the infection. However, despite a lack of pain, the bacteria will continue to spread and destroy the surrounding tissues in your mouth. If you experience tooth infection symptoms, you must see your dentist, even if you no longer experience tooth pain. Contact Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry.