While an abscess can occur anywhere in your body, it is most likely to happen in one of your teeth. An abscess can form in a tooth's root, right between the gums and the tooth. Having an abscess feels very painful, and can even create severe complications if left untreated. Here is what you should know about having an abscess in a tooth, including the symptoms, treatment, and complications.
There are many symptoms associated with an abscess inside a tooth. It will start with a painful sensation when eating, or a tooth that feels very sensitive to cold and hot temperatures. If you do not have the abscess treated, it can even cause an odd taste to form inside your mouth. Other symptoms include developing a fever, glands in your neck that are swollen, a swollen jaw or gums, and open sores.
You'll have to visit your dentist to treat the symptoms of an abscess. They'll start by examining your mouth to locate the area that is causing you pain. X-rays may be taken if there is a concern that the damage is extensive since they'll want to see what is happening under your gums. It is common to be given a prescription for antibiotics to treat the infection in the early stages, which should help it go away after several days. However, an ignored abscess will require more extensive treatment. You may need a root canal to remove the root of the tooth that is infected.
A dental abscess is a bacterial infection, and it will only get worse if you do not treat the problem. Swelling located in the jaw or glands will start to increase in size, eventually causing pain in the area.
An abscess can also cause you to get a life-threatening complication known as sepsis. If the infection continues to spread, wounds will open up and increase the chance of bacteria finding a way into your bloodstream. This can cause a major illness that can potentially be fatal. Early symptoms include higher or lower than normal body temperature, an increased heart rate, as well as an increased respiratory rate. If septic shock occurs, you can even have issues with your mental state, heart function, breathing, and extreme pain.
Dental problems can be more threatening than you think. Always visit a dentist, like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA, to investigate a problem that could be related to an abscess, since catching the problem earlier is the best way to prevent it from getting worse.