Treatment for an Abscessed Tooth

abscess2If you experience any of the following symptoms, you could have an abscessed tooth:

A severe and ongoing toothache with gnawing or throbbing pain or sharp or shooting pain

  • A fever
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Foul smell to the breath
  • Swollen neck glands
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
  • Redness and swelling of the gums
  • Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw
  • An open, draining sore on the side of the gum

An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. Common causes of an abscessed tooth include severe tooth decay, gingivitis or gum disease or trauma to the tooth such as when a tooth is chipped or broken.

If the abscess is not treated, it can lead to a serious infection in the jaw bone, teeth and surrounding tissues. It’s important that you schedule an appointment with dentist, even if the pain subsides. Sometimes the toothache stops but the infection remains active and continues to spread and destroy tissue.

Your dentist will determine if you have an abscess, possibly taking X-rays to look for erosion of the bone around the area. If you do, the abscess may need to be drained. Options for draining the abscess include doing a root canal, which would also remove any diseased root tissue after the infection has subsided; making an incision into the swollen gum tissue; or extracting the tooth and allowing the abscess to drain through the socket.

If necessary, you will be prescribed antibiotics to help fight the infection. Warm salt-water rinses and over-the-counter pain medication such as Advil or Motrin may also help relieve any pain and discomfort.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area who utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Give our office a call at (248) 362-4330 and be sure to visit our website at:

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