Toothaches are never a laughing, or even smiling, matter. On the contrary, toothache can be one of the most painful forms of ache there is. And while there are different ways for your teeth to become damaged, having an abscessed tooth may be one of the most terrible forms of dental pain.
What is an abscessed tooth?
This dental condition develops when the inner layer of the tooth, the pulp, becomes irritated and infected. This infection is caused by bacteria which have successfully made their way to the heart of the tooth. The entrance can either be a cavity or a worn out enamel layer, but whatever that is, when bacteria is allowed to gain entry into the tooth, they can irritate the nerve endings and cause an infection within the tooth.
What causes this condition?
This condition is caused when there is a weakness anywhere in your tooth that allows bacteria to infiltrate the pulp layer of the tooth. Cavities are one route by which those bacteria can reach the pulp, resulting in the development of an abscessed tooth. However, if the cavity is filled early enough, damage in the form of an abscessed tooth may not materialize. Dental injuries can also cause the development of this condition, especially if the enamel layer is damaged in the process-in other words, a broken, cracked, or deeply chipped tooth. Gingivitis can also lead to an abscessed tooth due to the exposure of the fragile dental roots.
How do you know that you have an abscessed tooth?
The signs and symptoms of an abscessed tooth are very distinct. First, the pain will be chronic, unlike more transient teeth sensitivity. At the same time, the pain will be accompanied with swelling and you may notice that your face looks a bit bloated, especially where the affected tooth is situated. You may also feel that the lymph nodes on your jaw and neck have become prominent. The pus which is formed can also lead to changes in the way that you taste things and can also give you bad breath.
How can an abscessed tooth be treated?
Granted that the swelling and infection are resolved with the help of antibiotics, your dentist can then begin treatments that can range anywhere from dental filling treatments to root canal treatment to the final extraction of the tooth. The treatment chosen will depend according to the severity of the condition, while the timing of the treatment will depend on how quickly the swelling is controlled.
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