A dental abscess is a dental condition which requires professional treatment. While it is relatively common, it’s also very serious and should be treated with urgency.
When the root of a tooth becomes infected, a pocket of pus begins to form in the pulp, the soft tissue surrounding the root. Dental abscesses usually develop as a result of bacteria seeping down into the tissue via untreated cavities or untreated gum disease. As bacteria accumulates in the pulp, the body sends white blood cells to help fight off the infection. The cells begin to build up beneath the surface of the tooth, resulting in the pus pocket. This infection can be incredibly painful as increased pressure in the pulp begins pressing on the nerve endings surrounding the teeth.
Abscessed tooth treatment is one of the many services offered at Monarch Dental to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Our caring and compassionate staff works hard to make sure you’re treated with the quality care you deserve so you can smile with confidence again.
What are the causes of an abscessed tooth?
An abscessed tooth can develop as a result of several factors, such as:
- Untreated tooth decay. You have neglected good oral hygiene or routine dental cleanings or checkups, what was once a small cavity can easily become an infection below the surface of the tooth.
- Cracks in the teeth. Cracks often go undetected, especially without routine exams, giving bacteria places to settle into the tooth and cause a painful infection.
- Gum disease. When plaque and tartar build up along the gum, the resulting inflammation and small separations between the teeth and gums allow bacteria to accumulate below the surface of the tooth and gums, causing an infection.
What are the symptoms of an abscessed tooth?
Only a dentist can determine if you have an abscessed tooth, but there are indications one may be developing, including:
- Sharp and quick pain
- Dull and persistent pain
- Pain in an isolated tooth
- Pain in an entire section of the mouth
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks
- Mild fever
- Swelling of the jaw
- Pimple-like lesions
- Gum soreness
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to contact a dentist as soon as possible to have the problem identified and treated.
What are the treatments for an abscessed tooth?
The treatment for an abscessed tooth will largely depend on the severity of the infection and the type and number of teeth affected.
Some of the most common treatments for an abscessed tooth are:
- Antibiotics. Antibiotics are typically the first defense against fighting the infection and reducing the pain of an abscessed tooth. They also help prevent the infection from spreading to the surrounding soft tissues.
- Root Canal. A root canal is a routine procedure that cleans out the decay and surrounding pulp from within the infected tooth. Your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to completely numb the tooth and gum. Once the area is numb, the dentist will drill into the surface of the tooth to reach the infected tissue and pulp inside of it, removing it with suctions, lasers, cleaning solution and other specialized tools. The newly formed hole is cleaned and filled in with a resin-like material, then a crown is put in place to ensure that no more bacteria can enter the tooth.
- Draining. If the infected tooth needs immediate treatment, but a root canal cannot be performed at the time, draining the tooth will provide temporary relief. However, draining will not completely heal the tooth; it will simply buy more time before a root canal can be performed. During the draining procedure, your mouth will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Your dentist will make a small incision in the gum line, allowing the pus to be suctioned out. This treatment combined with antibiotics will greatly reduce the discomfort and further damage caused by the infection.
- Extraction. Preserving the natural tooth is always the goal in the case of an abscessed tooth, but if the tooth cannot be saved, it will need to be extracted. Extraction is the last resort in most situations, but if the damage is too extensive or the infection has persisted for too long, removal may be the only option. As with other procedures, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic, then the tooth will be removed. All the surrounding tissue is cleaned and you will be left with an empty socket. Once the socket has healed, you and your dentist can explore options to replace the missing tooth with a prosthetic.
What is the cost of treating an abscessed tooth?
Most dental insurance plans will pay for some or all of the cost of treating an abscessed tooth, but this can vary depending on the patient’s unique situation. Without insurance, abscessed tooth treatment can be costly.
However, an abscessed tooth will not heal on its own; you must receive dental care. Without the appropriate treatments, the dental issues associated with an abscessed tooth can escalate into overall health issues.
At Monarch Dental, we offer multiple options to help relieve the burden of expensive treatments like abscessed tooth treatment. In addition to accepting most major dental insurances, Monarch Dental accepts CareCredit, and we provide flexible financing and payment services to help make your treatment easier to afford. You may also be able to take advantage of our OneSmile Dental Plan, a service that provides members with discounts on dental care for a low annual fee.
Find Affordable Treatment for Your Dental Abscess at Monarch Dental
Don’t let the pain of a dental abscess keep you from your busy life. At Monarch Dental, we do everything we can to get you scheduled, seen, and on your way, with extended and weekend hours–as well as emergency and same-day appointments–at many of our locations.
If you’re worried you may have a dental abscess, schedule an appointment today at the Monarch Dental nearest you and start smiling brighter tomorrow.