What happens when we neglect proper brushing and flossing of our teeth? Plaque buildup! Plaque, a combination of food particles and saliva, is a perfect host for bacteria. If plaque is not removed on a regular basis, it can lead to one of the most painful dental problems we experience: an abscess. An abscess occurs from a bacterial infection that produces a buildup of pus in the soft tissue of the teeth or gums. We’re Lifetime Family Dental, a Gilbert AZ dentist office, and we see far too many abscesses that could have been avoided by regular personal dental hygiene.
One of the possible symptoms of an abscess is if the tooth is sensitive to pressure or temperature. If you tap an abscessed tooth, it can produce a pain that is strong enough to cause your eyes to water. If the tooth is sensitive to temperature, hot or cold food and liquid can trigger the pain. This pain can be a sharp, very intense sensation, or it can be a pain that comes on gradually and grows in intensity. In extreme cases, the pain can spread to the jaw, neck, or ear.
To confirm an abscess, your dentist will want to take x-rays of the affected area to determine the extent and location of the abscess. Some abscesses begin in the gum tissue, some in the supporting bone structure, and some in the root of the tooth. Treatment will vary according to location and severity. Sometimes an abscess can be treated with antibiotics if the infection is not too severe. Some gum abscesses are treated by an incision to drain the abscess, followed by a course of antibiotics. More often, the treatment will call for a root canal.
See Your Dentist
If you are experiencing pain, see your dentist immediately. An abscess is not a condition you can afford to ignore. They can lead to potentially fatal complications. At Lifetime Family Dental, we can diagnose, identify, and treat your abscess. We’ll help you with pain management and recommend a proper dental hygiene program for you to follow so your risk of a recurrence is reduced. It may be true in weightlifting that no pain means no gain, but when it comes to your teeth, no pain is a top priority! So if you’re looking for a Gilbert AZ dentist for your reconstructive or cosmetic dental needs, give us a call. We’ll do our best to make your teeth strong and beautiful.