Is An Abscess A Dental Emergency?

All dental problems must be addressed as quickly as possible. But, while some can wait until your next appointment, others require urgent care. That's because some dental issues can create more damage (both to your oral and overall health) if they are not addressed right away. 

What if you have an abscess? Is that a dental emergency or can you wait until regular office hours to get it treated? 

What Is a Tooth Abscess?

A tooth abscess occurs when the tooth gets infected with bacteria. This infection can collect under the gums, inside the tooth, or even attack the bone that is supporting the tooth. As bacteria collect, pus will also start forming.  

Tooth decay or damage is usually the culprit for tooth abscess. A broken or damaged tooth that is not treated in time, for example, will get infected. The same stays true for tooth decay. As more bacteria accumulate, they will damage the enamel, access the inside of the tooth, and cause an infection. 

Gum disease can also be a cause of abscess. As bacteria accumulate under the gum line, it will make your gums red and swollen. A pocket of pus can also develop under your gum line. 

Signs & Symptoms

The sooner you get treatment for tooth abscess, the better. This way, you can avoid complications and the necessity of more complex treatments. 

Visit your dentist immediately if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Severe tooth pain 
  • Pressure
  • Throbbing and sharp pain 
  • Pain with or without chewing 
  • Fever
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Jaw swelling if the infection is more severe 
  • Tooth sensitivity to temperature changes (hot and cold foods and beverages)
  • Bad breath 

Why Is a Tooth Abscess a Dental Emergency?

A tooth abscess is a dental emergency because if left untreated the bacteria can spread to other tissues and organs in your body. As the infection spreads, it can cause more health issues and even pose a threat to your life as it reaches vital organs. 

Do not ignore the symptoms of a tooth abscess and seek immediate dental care. As we said, the sooner you treat it, the better. 

Treatment Options for Tooth Abscess

The treatment will depend on your condition and the severity of the infection. In most cases, treatment options include:

  • Abscess Drain 

The dentist will drain the infection out of your tooth through a small incision. This will allow them to extract the pus and clear the infected site. 

  • Antibiotics

If draining is not possible due to the severity of the infection, then your dentist will recommend antibiotics first. The medicine will reduce the infection so that the dentist can move forward with draining the pus. 

The dentist will drill a hole through your tooth and remove the infected pulp. This procedure is often used to save the tooth from extraction. 

If no treatment is effective and the tooth cannot be saved, an extraction might be the best way to restore your oral health. 

If you have a dental emergency, get in touch with the Emergency Dentist of Austin immediately. 

Contact us anytime and we will schedule your appointment right away.