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The Truth on Dental Abscesses

Posted September 8, 2015

Your teeth have three layers: the enamel, dentin, and pulp. If your pulp—the soft center layer of your tooth—becomes infected, an abscess could form. This pocket of pus can appear at the root tip and on the gums. Typically, abscesses are caused by an untreated dental cavity or by inadequate dental care. If an abscess is not treated, serious complications could follow.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to recognize an abscess, and there are several treatments your dentist can do for you.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, we recommend visiting your dentist soon:

  • Sensitivity to temperature and when chewing
  • Redness in your mouth and face
  • Persistent, throbbing toothache
  • A fever
  • Afoul-smelling, foul-tasting fluid followed by pain relief
  • Swelling

Your dentist will need to remove the infection in order to treat your abscess. At times, this may mean a root canal—which is relatively painless and can preserve your natural tooth—or having your tooth extracted. If an extraction is necessary, a dentist may recommend one of several restorations to restore your smile to its optimal comfort and function.

If you are worried about abscesses or are interested in scheduling an appointment with our dentist, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We are excited to hear from you.