What Is a Dental Abscess?

Senior woman cringes in pain and cradles her cheek due to a dental abscess that requires an emergency dentist

Do you know what a dental abscess is? Or how it feels? A dental abscess forms when a tooth gets infected. Without treatment, this infection is very dangerous for your body.

We want to take care of an abscess as soon as we can. Recognizing the warning signs early is important so you can get to our office as quickly as possible. The sooner you’re able to get treatment, the more likely our team can save your tooth.

What Causes a Dental Abscess?

A dental abscess is a pocket of pus caused by an infection. Infections occur when bacteria gets inside your tooth. Poor dental hygiene is a common cause. It increases your risk of tooth decay and eventually infection. Bacteria can also enter your tooth through an untreated crack or chip from injury or trauma.

Warning Signs of a Dental Abscess

There are several red flags that indicate you may be suffering from a dental abscess:

  • A throbbing, severe toothache
  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages
  • Swollen lymph nodes around your neck and/or under your jaw
  • Pain that radiates through your jawbone, neck, and ears
  • Pain or sensitivity when you chew and bite down
  • A foul taste in your mouth
  • Fever

If you’re experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, contact us right away. Dental abscesses don’t get better on their own. Delaying treatment can result in tooth loss and other serious health consequences if the infection spreads through the body.

Gentle Dental Care in Charlotte & Harrisburg, NC

If you have a dental abscess, you will likely need root canal therapy. To protect your oral and overall health, we’ll clean out your tooth’s damaged pulp and treat the infection. Many people think root canals are painful, but with modern dentistry, this restorative procedure is virtually painless. And you’ll feel so much better once your tooth infection is resolved! If you have any questions about dental abscesses or our comprehensive dental services, please contact us today.

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McNeely Family Dentistry