An abscessed tooth is an infection that has worked its way deep into the tooth, the root, and even the bone. This causes pus to fill up the area, and it can be very painful. If left untreated, an abscess can cause serious problems or even require an extraction. That’s why our dental office in Hagerstown wants our neighbors to know the signs and symptoms of an abscess so they can get treatment fast and protect themselves from complications.
Signs of an Abscess
Many times an abscess will cause pretty severe pain. That’s typically the first warning sign that there may be a problem. However, there are several other symptoms of an abscess besides pain alone. Some signs include:
- A dark, discolored tooth
- Increased pain when pressure is applied
- Swelling on the gums that resembles a pimple
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Swelling of the jaw or face
Occasionally, an abscess shows no symptoms and may not even cause any pain. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. When this happens, your dentist in Hagerstown will catch it during a routine appointment through the use of dental x-rays. This is one reason why your regular dental appointments are so important.
What Causes an Abscess?
We already know that an abscess is typically caused by an infection. But how does that infection get there in the first place? Many times the infection is caused by untreated tooth decay that hasn’t been treated and has started to seep deep into the tooth. However, decay doesn’t necessarily need to be the culprit. Abscesses can be caused by dental trauma, prior dental treatment such as root canals or fillings, or constant grinding and clenching.
Things That Increase Your Risk of an Abscess
- Poor dental hygiene
- Eating too much sugar
- Dry mouth
Reduce Your Risk of an Abscess
Many abscesses are caused by decay, and the best way to reduce your risk of both decay and an abscess is to brush and floss daily. It’s also crucial to schedule an appointment at our Hagerstown dental office twice a year. These appointments allow us to monitor your oral health and take dental x-rays to see what’s happening below the surface so we can catch any problems early. After all, early diagnosis is key to successful treatment.
If you’re overdue for a visit or are experiencing pain, give us a call today.