what to know about tooth abscessORANGE CITY AND DELTONA, FL

Do you know what a tooth abscess is? If not, you need to be aware, because this is a dangerous situation that can threaten not just your oral health but even your life! Terry Soule, DDS, wants to make sure you’re educated on this problem and how our Orange City dental office can help.

What is an abscess?

A tooth abscess develops from an infection that, if not identified and treated, continues to advance deep into the structure of your tooth. If the infection is allowed to progress, an abscess forms as a pocket of pus along your gums. This abscess may develop at the bottom tip of the tooth root, which is known as a periapical abscess. A periodontal abscess refers to any pocket that develops in the gums, on either side of the tooth root.

What causes an abscess?

An abscess and most other infections develop from the same cause—bacteria. In this case, the bacteria may form due to an untreated cavity, a problem with existing dental work, or some type of dental injury.

Know the signs of an abscess

If you’re experiencing significant pain or throbbing from a tooth, this is a warning sign that you may have an infection. As the infection worsens, your pain may intensify. Other symptoms of an abscess include swelling or redness in the gums, extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, or when chewing or biting down. You also may have swelling in your face, or lymph nodes or run a fever because of the abscess. If you’re experiencing fever and swelling, you should seek the care of a dentist as soon as possible—even if it requires seeing an emergency dentist in Orange City, like Terry Soule, DDS.  

Remember, however, that an abscess or infected tooth may not present noticeable symptoms at first. But, the absence of pain does not mean the tooth is healthy. So, ignoring the problem tooth could allow the infection to worsen or spread to other parts of your body, like your brain or your heart.  A seemingly simple tooth infection could lead to a life-threatening situation.

Seeking treatment for your tooth abscess

At Terry Soule, DDS, if we detect that your tooth is infected, Dr. Soule will prescribe an antibiotic to kill the bacteria and then treat the affected tooth. To save the tooth from needing an extraction, Dr. Soule can perform a root canal. This involves removing the infected pulp or the tooth’s nerve and blood supply. The root canals are then filled with permanent filling material, and a custom dental crown is placed over the tooth to strengthen it. Having a timely root canal to treat your abscess can prevent tooth loss, but sometimes, removing a tooth due to an infection or abscess is the best course of action for overall health. In these cases, Dr. Soule can perform an extraction. This includes surgical extractions, which refer to any tooth removal where incisions have to be made into the supporting bone structure.

An abscess is a serious condition. Just ignoring it or waiting for it to go away is a bad decision—and could lead to the development of sepsis, which could put your life in immediate danger. Don’t take that chance. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, seek treatment from Dr. Soule and his team of oral health professionals. And remember, your best defense against one of these potentially life-threatening infections is to be diligent about your dental health through daily brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist once each six months for a check-up and cleaning.

Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been to your dentist. No problem! Terry Soule, DDS, is now accepting new patients. Contact us today for our new patient special, which includes an initial exam, X-rays, and a follow-up consultation for just $89. Make your appointment by calling (386) 775-1552 if you’re in the areas of DeBary, Deltona, and Orange City, FL.