One of the most common reasons people visit their dentist is due to a tooth abscess. If untreated they can cause damage to your teeth and health. It is important to see your dentist as soon as possible to treat the bacterial infection and to reduce potential spread to the surrounding jaw bone, teeth and tissue.
What is a tooth abscess?
A tooth abscess is a build up of pus around a tooth. If left untreated it can damage the involved tooth, spread to the adjacent teeth and decay the neighbouring jaw bone. If the tooth is located near the maxillary sinus, an opening can potentially develop between the tooth abscess and the sinus.
What are the symptoms of a tooth abscess?
The symptoms of a tooth abscess can include:
- Redness and swelling of the face or gums
- Severe toothache
- Pain that radiates to your neck, jaw or ear
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Loose or discoloured tooth
- A bad taste in your mouth or bad breath
- Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Swollen upper or lower jaw (could indicate severe infection)
- Difficulty swallowing or opening mouth
- Nausea, vomiting
What causes a tooth abscess?
A tooth abscess may be caused by:
- Tooth decay
- Dental injury
- Severe gum disease