A tooth abscess refers to an infection caused by a pocket of pus that is present in the tissue around the tooth. An abscess is a very serious condition and can cause serious problems if not treated immediately.
When dental pulp dies from tooth decay, bacteria begin to grow from the remaining dead tissue. These bacteria will grow from the origins of the dead tooth to the underlying tissue and form a pocket of pus – an abscess.
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Symptoms of an abscess are easy to recognize because they involve severe pain in the injured area, red or swollen gums, a bad taste in the mouth, swelling in the area or jaw, and possibly fever. The excruciating pain with an abscess usually affects the area heavily. Whatever you do, the pain seems to be increasing.
Abscesses usually appear on back teeth, but can also appear on front teeth. Once your tooth has an abscess, your dentist will not remove it right away. If the abscess is removed after the infection is still there, it can spread quickly. Instead, your dentist will prescribe several antibiotics that can help kill these bacteria.
Dentists can also perform root canal treatments to remove dead or decayed tissue. Finally, it can make a hole in the tooth so that the infection can escape and an attempt is made to remove the dead pulp. The most common treatment for abscesses is to use antibiotics to kill the infection, then get the tooth removed.