If you’ve noticed advanced swelling in one specific area of your gums, you may be experiencing an abscess. An abscess is a bump that is a sign of a serious dental infection, which can impact your oral health and should be treated as soon as possible.

What Causes a Dental Abscess?

When bacteria spread through pulp inside a tooth, moving past tooth roots and into the gums, an abscess forms. This can occur if your tooth is severely fractured, down to the roots, allowing bacteria to enter inner tooth systems.

How Can I Prevent Infection?

Dental infections can be avoided through regular preventive dental visits and at-home hygiene, including flossing, which helps rid your smile of hard-to-reach plaque. If you have a painful toothache or have a tooth that was damaged by decay or injury, seeking dental care as soon as possible prevents infection and the formation of abscesses.

What are the Signs of Infection and Abscesses?

Typical symptoms of a dental infection include:

  • Toothache
  • A lingering unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold drinks

If you experience these issues and notice swelling in one particular area of gum tissue, you may have a dental abscess.

How Do I Treat an Oral Abscess?

Visit your dentist immediately for effective treatment. Over-the-counter products will not alleviate the issue. The abscess must first be drained and a root canal performed after. With this endodontic procedure, bacteria is completely eliminated to prevent re-infection, save your tooth, and avoid extraction and replacement.

What Happens if I Don’t See a Dentist?

If dental infection is not treated in time, there is a risk of losing your tooth altogether. While it may be tempting to leave the absence unaddressed if it’s not visible in your smile, it’s important to know that your teeth and jaw tissue can be compromised. There are reliable tooth replacement options, such as dental implants if your tooth cannot be saved with a root canal or treatment is not obtained immediately.

At the office of John Cho, DDS we have extensive experience treating advanced dental infection and helping patients protect the health of their smiles. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our office today!

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