The discomfort associated with an abscessed tooth can be severe. When teeth are abscessed, they may be beyond repair and might require extraction by an oral surgeon to prevent the spread of the infection throughout the mouth. An oral examination is required to diagnose an abscessed tooth. In addition to documenting a patient’s symptoms and visually examining the oral cavity, X-rays and sometimes CT scans are necessary to provide an accurate diagnosis and determine if and where the infection has spread.
What is an abscessed tooth exactly?
Unlike a toothache, where the infection is contained to the internal structure of a tooth, an abscess forms in the pulp chamber and spreads beyond the root of a tooth. An abscess can develop around the root of a tooth or at the tip of a tooth’s root. Essentially, infected material forms a pocket of pus that contains necrotized tissue like dead white blood cells, bacteria, and debris.
What are symptoms of a tooth abscess?
A common symptom related to an abscessed tooth is discomfort during eating. The tooth itself may be extremely sensitive to the touch. Patients may experience a pain that pulsates or throbs. Other common symptoms include the formation of what looks like a pimple on the gum tissue where pus has formed under the surface of gingival tissue, a swollen face, bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
How is an abscessed treated?
After the severity of the abscess has been determined, the infected tooth and surrounding tissue will be professionally drained. Patients will be given a prescription for antibiotics to help kill the infection. If the tooth can be restored, root canal therapy will be scheduled for a later date. When it cannot be saved, the tooth will be extracted as soon as possible to ensure that all infected material is removed.
Our practice provides thorough and gentle tooth extractions – especially those that require removal in complex circumstances.
If your dentist has referred you to an oral surgeon for treatment, call our office at Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates today to reserve a consultation.