What is a tooth abscess?
A tooth abscess, also known as a root abscess, is an enclosed pocket of puss at the base of an infected tooth root. Untreated decay, fractures, or severe gum disease can lead to an abscessed tooth, usually because these conditions allow bacteria to infiltrate the pulp and intensify an already bad infection.
How do I know if I have an abscessed tooth?
The typical indications of a tooth abscess are a continuous, throbbing ache, acute pain when pressure is applied, inflamed gums, and facial swelling. You may also experience strenuous discomfort on the side of the face where the abscessed tooth is located, or extreme pain in the facial nerves.
How is an abscessed tooth treated?
Generally, a patient suffering from a tooth abscess is given antibiotics to treat the infection. In addition, a root canal-in which the nerve and pulp of the tooth is removed and the pus drained-may need to be performed. It’s also possible that the abscessed tooth will benefit from an extraction. In severe cases, where the abscess has penetrated the jaw bone, surgery may be required.