Sometimes a toothache fades as quickly as it arrived. It's a mystery, but in the absence of any ongoing symptoms, it's something that should be reported to your dentist at your next appointment. Not all toothaches are quite so short-lived. The cause of an abscessed tooth will have been developing for weeks (or months), but the onset of pain might be the first warning you get. The trouble is that this toothache won't be short-lived, and your discomfort will escalate considerably, and rather quickly too. This is not a scenario where you should wait and see how it turns out, and quick action is needed.
The default reaction to a toothache often involves taking some over-the-counter pain medication, sometimes in addition to a cold compress. Ibuprofen (which has anti-inflammatory properties) and a cold compress (to manage the swelling) can bring some relief, however, your pain will probably outpace the capabilities of any at-home relief.
Inspect the Tooth
You should always try to inspect a sore tooth in the mirror. An abscessed tooth may show signs of decay and deterioration (which caused the infection), although the key telltale sign of a dental abscess is swelling and inflammation on the gums at the base of the tooth. A small white pustule may be visible, looking similar to a pimple.
A Potential Emergency
Abscessed teeth can be inconsiderate; they will likely cause you pain at all hours of the day or night. Given the potential seriousness of this infection, you shouldn't wait until your regular dentist has an available appointment. It may be necessary to contact an emergency dentistry clinic.
A Serious Problem
Untreated dental abscesses can spread, with the infection encompassing surrounding tissues, as well as entering your bloodstream. Although rare, there are instances when a dental abscess has overwhelmed a patient's immune system, becoming a medical emergency. To put it simply—treatment should not be delayed.
Pain Relief and Drainage
At the dentist, you will be given appropriate pain relief. The swelling in your gums is due to an accumulation of pus. The dentist will make a small incision in the pustule to drain it. This drainage will relieve pressure on the roots of the affected tooth, as well as the surrounding soft tissues. This relief will be immediate, but the infection itself must still be treated.
Infection and Subsequent Treatment
You will be provided with antibiotics to control the infection. This might be the extent of any emergency treatment you need, but further treatment will be needed. Once the antibiotics have begun to take effect, your inflammation will subside. Your regular dentist may take over your treatment for the next stage, which can generally only take place once the infection is under control. You can expect that some type of dental restoration will be needed. Since the infection has affected the tooth's root and nerve, a root canal can be necessary, followed by a dental crown. In some cases, a mere cavity will have been the culprit, and this can be remedied with a filling.
The pain of an abscessed tooth is something you won't be keen to repeat. Speedy treatment is paramount for an abscessed tooth, so don't hesitate to seek emergency treatment if you suspect that one of your teeth has become abscessed.
You may have heard that cavities and oral decay are linked to things like heart disease, and, in fact, your oral health affects your entire body. Hi! My name is Brenda, and I like to look at things holistically. Because of that, I created this blog. I plan for its posts to look at the link between dental issues and other health issues. I hope that the people who visit this blog learn a few tips about oral care as well as gaining a deeper understanding of why it's so important. Healthy smiles indicate a healthy body, and I hope this blog helps you achieve both!