The pain is throbbing and gets worse when you chew. Your gums are red and swollen. You have a horrible taste in your mouth. You notice your jaw is swollen, you are running fever – and is that a pimple on your gum? You, my friend, have an abscessed tooth, and you are in need of some dental services as soon as possible.
If you suspect an abscessed tooth, do not put off seeing your dentist – even if the pain goes away … especially if the pain goes away. You see, when the pain goes away, it is an indication that the infection has spread, and the bone in your jaw is starting to dissolve, which leads to the loss of one or more teeth. Furthermore, the infection is like any other infection – if it is not enriched, it can make its way to your blood stream.
An abscessed tooth is essentially an infection that is occurring in either a tooth or in the gum. This is usually caused by a cavity that has not been taken care of, but it can also be caused by gum disease.
Treatment for an abscessed tooth is administered by a dental care provider. He or she will do an exam to properly diagnose the situation, and then will prescribe you a course of antibiotics. Sometimes, depending on how long the abscess has been ignored, you may require two or even three courses of antibiotics to clear up the abscess, however, this does not clear up the source of the infection.
Once the abscess is taken care of, your dental care provider will find out what caused it in the first place. This may require drilling into the tooth, which will then need to be filled. Once he drills into the tooth, to the source of the infection, he will drain the infection, which will take care of the pain that you've been feeling. A root canal may also be necessary, depending on where the infection is. The worst case scenario will be that the tooth must be removed.
The best way to avoid an abscessed tooth is to practice exceptional dental care, and to have a professional cleaning twice a year with your dental health care provider.