Life-Threatening Dangers of an Abscessed Tooth

dangers of abscessed tooth

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Nothing can ruin your day like a toothache. Maybe it feels like a stabbing pain, a persistent throb, or a dull ache. No matter what form the pain takes, once a toothache develops, it can feel impossible to find relief. All toothaches have one thing in common; they need to be evaluated by your dentist as soon as possible. One of the biggest risks associated with a toothache is an abscess, which can lead to severe complications and even threaten your life. Your emergency dentist in Orange City, Terry Soule, DDS, wants to make sure you understand the possible dangers associated with an abscessed tooth.

Get the Facts on Abscesses

An abscess refers to any infection in your tooth that has advanced or developed to the point a pocket of pus forms along your gums. An abscess develops near the tooth root. In addition to being extremely painful, it could lead to sepsis, which can be deadly.

Here are a few things you should know about abscesses:

  • They usually develop because of an injury to the mouth or due to a cavity that has gone untreated.
  • There are two kinds of abscesses: a periodontal abscess, which usually develops between the gum and the tooth; and a periapical abscess, which is located at the tip of the tooth root.
  • Untreated abscesses could cause death if the infection spreads to the heart, brain, or another vital organ.

Know the Signs of an Abscess

The scary thing about a dental abscess is it may go unnoticed for quite some time before it gets detected. This is why regular checkups with your general dentist in Orange City are so important; your dentist can detect signs of an abscess that you never would notice on your own. 

Pain is the most frequently reported symptom of an abscess. This pain may be a constant pulse, perhaps accompanied by sharp, shooting pains.

Other symptoms include the following:

  • Enhanced tooth sensitivity, especially with regard to hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Feeling pain when chewing
  • Swelling that develops along the jaw or gum line
  • Red and tender gums
  • A consistent bitter or sour taste in the mouth, often in combination with bad breath
  • Fever
  • Swollen glands in the neck

If the pain in your tooth goes away, that doesn’t mean the infection resolved itself. Instead, the infection could have destroyed the pulp of your tooth, which includes the dental nerve. Meanwhile, the infection also may be filtering through your bloodstream, affecting other areas of your body and possibly leading to sepsis—a life-threatening condition that can shut down vital organs.

How We Treat an Abscess

You need to be seen by an experienced and trained dentist. Emergency room doctors are not equipped to treat dental pain and will refer you to a dentist. Dr. Soule can evaluate your toot to detect if there is an infection, and then recommend treatment options. While we will save your tooth if possible (usually by performing a root canal), you may need to have the tooth extracted depending on the severity of the infection.

Relief for your Dental Abscess in Orange City

No matter when it develops, an infected tooth is serious. Don’t wait until it’s convenient to have a potential abscess treated. Terry Soule, DDS, offers his services on a 24-hour emergency basis when needed. If you’re located in the areas of DeBary, Deltona, and Orange City, FL, and you ever need emergency dental care, call our office at (386) 775-1552.

Interested to know more?

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