No one takes pleasure in going to the dentist, but it really is vital for you to keep those twice a year checkups, so as to ensure good dental health.

Failing to maintain a regular routine of check-ups, cleaning and other essentials can lead to tartar build-up, plaque, decay, gum disease and other infections in your mouth. In addition, if you also enjoy a diet that is high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, that can create a perfect environment for decay and an abscess of the tooth.

What is an Abscessed Tooth?

According to the American Association of Endodontists, a tooth abscess is an infection that has developed at or around the root of a tooth. The infection develops when tissue death or inflammation of the soft tissue, or pulp, within the root canal occurs. Pain may or may not be present at the site of the infection.

What are the Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth?

The main symptoms of an abscessed tooth are:

  • An unrelenting ache around the tooth
  • Pain while chewing
  • Red, inflamed and swollen gums
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold drinks or food
  • An unexplained bitter taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath that does not respond to brushing, flossing or the use of mouthwash

How is an Abscessed Tooth Treated?

Typically, the endodontist will perform a root canal treatment. During the endodontic procedure, which may require more than one office visit, he or she will:

  • Clean out the bacteria within the canals of the tooth
  • Shape, fill and seal the root canal filling

The Dangers of Ignoring an Abscessed Tooth

It is dangerous to ignore an abscessed tooth! Potential dangers and risks include:

Widespread infection that could spread to the rest of your face and negatively impact your jaw bones, soft facial tissues and your sinuses.

  • The longer treatment is delayed, the greater the risk that the tooth will be beyond saving, and it will have to be extracted.
  • An untreated infection could spread throughout your body and cause a very serious problem called septicemia.

If you have one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, seek immediate treatment from a dental specialist, also known as an endodontist. Endodontists undertake additional training and skills to perform endodontic treatments such as root canals. An endodontist will know exactly how to relieve the pain and discomfort of your abscessed tooth, and will work with you to restore your tooth to optimal health.