What Are the Dangers of Ignoring an Abscessed Tooth?
If you have painful chewing, swollen gums, or an aching mouth or jaw, you may have an abscessed tooth, usually resulting from untreated tooth pulp damage. A tooth abscess is a serious dental infection. Not only does it pose a threat to your oral health, but it can also threaten the rest of your body.
What Are the Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth?
Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include the following:
- Severe, throbbing pain around the affected tooth
- Pain that spreads to the ear, jaw, and neck
- Pain that gets worse when biting and chewing
- Red, swollen, and tender gums
- Sensitivity and lingering pain in response to heat
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A bitter taste in the mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- Facial swelling or redness
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your trusted team at Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs Endodontics. We will evaluate your needs and may recommend a root canal treatment to save the damaged tooth, alleviate your discomfort, and prevent a host of complications.
If you have facial swelling or fever accompanied by trouble breathing or swallowing, head to your nearest emergency room.
What Are the Possible Dangers of Untreated Tooth Abscesses?
Left untreated, a dental abscess won’t heal on its own. Delaying treatment can result in the infection progressing, eventually requiring extraction. Worse yet, the infection can spread to the surrounding bones, which in severe cases, may need to be removed, altering the shape of your face. Moreover, damage to the bone structure can affect the neighboring teeth, leading to additional tooth loss.
The dangers of untreated tooth abscesses are not limited to your smile. The infection can spread to the sinuses and the entire body, causing excruciating pain and making it difficult to breathe. The infection can affect the airway creating a potentially dangerous situation, especially during sleep. The bacteria can also enter the bloodstream, causing a serious and life-threatening bacterial infection called septicemia, which often requires hospitalization and aggressive antibiotic treatment.
How Is a Tooth Abscess Treated?
Treating tooth abscesses may require root canal therapy. We understand that many of our patients are under the impression that root canals are painful and complex. The good news is that the procedure is simple, comparable to getting a cavity filled. The treatment involves removing the damaged tooth pulp, draining the abscess, cleaning the pulp chamber and root canals, then shaping, filling, and sealing the space. The last step is capping the tooth with a dental crown to protect it from further damage.
If the infection is limited to the abscessed area, we may not prescribe antibiotics. If, however, the infection has spread to the neighboring teeth, the bone, or other areas, you may need antibiotics to restore your oral and overall health. We may also recommend antibiotics if you have a weakened immune system.
In some cases, an abscessed tooth cannot be saved. We may need to extract it and drain the abscess to eliminate the infection. Depending on the location of the affected tooth, we may recommend a tooth replacement option, such as a dental implant or bridge.
Quality Endodontic Care Near Me
If you suspect you have an infected tooth, contact your trusted team at Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs Endodontics right away. We may recommend a root canal treatment to alleviate your pain, save your tooth, and restore your healthy smile. With our cutting-edge technology, gentle techniques, and sedation dentistry options, you can count on us for a positive and stress-free experience. Call us to schedule your appointment today!