Cupertino Dental Emergency – Abscess

Throbbing aching tooth pain may be symptoms of a dental abscess. A dental abscess is an infection within the mouth normally near a tooth.  It can be very unpleasant.  Another common abscess symptom is swelling.  A large area of tooth decay is often to blame.  The decay causes the nerve to become irritated and inflamed. The inflammation will eventually travel down the root of the tooth and cause an infection or abscess.

Other factors that may contribute to infection are trauma and periodontal disease. If the abscess is related to the gum tissue and not the tooth, this is called a periodontal abscess. Treatment for a periodontal abscess may include deep dental cleaning called scaling and root planning or a gum surgery. An abscessed tooth dental emergency may affect adults and children.  Patients who do not have access to dental care or who have poor oral hygiene are at a higher risk for a dental abscess. A tooth or gum abscess may affect your overall health, so it is important to have regular dental examinations and professional cleanings.

Symptoms may include:

  • Tooth Pain
  • Swelling
  • Foul Breath
  • Fever
  • Jaw Pain
  • Difficulty Swallowing

At times, a lump filled with pus may form near the damaged tooth.  This lump may drain relieving excess pressure and reducing the throbbing pain, but the source of the infection must be identified and treated.  Frequently, a dental abscess may be seen on a dental radiograph.

A dental emergency visit for an abscessed tooth should not be delayed but should be scheduled right away.  It is important to seek immediate dental care from a Cupertino area dentist.  Dr. Antonious sees patients from the city of Cupertino for preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, as well as for dental emergencies including tooth and periodontal abscesses.

Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat this type of dental emergency.  Unlike other infections, a dental infection may not be cured by an antibiotic. A patient with an abscess may feel better after a few days on an antibiotic, but the underlying cause must be treated or the infection will eventually return.  An extraction may be necessary if the decay is extensive and the tooth becomes non-restorable, or if there is a significant amount of bone loss around the tooth.  A dentist near the city of Cupertino can remove the non-restorable tooth.

If your tooth is restorable, a dentist near Cupertino can treat it with a root canal.  A root canal is normally a very effective treatment for an abscessed tooth.  Once anesthetic is administered, the decay is removed, the area within the tooth is cleaned, and the nerve and blood vessels are removed from the roots of the tooth.  The roots can then be sealed and the tooth can be filled.  A build up and crown are frequently recommended as final restorations following a root canal.

It is easier, and more economical to prevent a dental abscess than to treat it. Good habits to develop that may aid in the prevention of decay and infection include:

  • Daily brushing at least 3 times for a minimum of 2 minutes
  • Daily flossing
  • Bi-annual professional dental cleanings and examinations
  • Reduced consumption of sugary foods and drinks
  • Limiting between meal snacking.