Is a Tooth Abscess an Emergency?

A tooth abscess is 100% a dental emergency, and you should get it treated right away. Left unchecked, an abscess can cause serious damage to your oral health and even lead to a life-threatening condition known as sepsis.

Keep reading to find out how to spot a tooth abscess in time and what the treatment looks like.

What Is an Abscess, and How Can You Tell You’re Dealing with One? 

A tooth abscess is a pocket filled with bacteria that can form inside the tooth, in the gums, or even in your jawbone.

It’s usually a sign that your tooth is infected, though it can also form as a result of gum disease.

Sometimes, the abscess can be visible and form on the gum just below or above a tooth. It will look like a pimple filled with pus. But there are other signs of an abscess:

  • Severe dental pain
  • Heightened sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Pain when putting pressure on the tooth (such as while eating)
  • Gum inflammation
  • Bad breath or a bitter taste in the mouth, etc.

In severe cases, the abscess can also cause you to spike a fever and even deal with a rapid pulse or disorientation.

If this happens, you should call 911 right away since these are signs you might be dealing with sepsis, a life-threatening complication that requires immediate attention.

How Is a Tooth Abscess Treated?

When seeing an emergency dentist, they will first inspect your oral health to determine the best treatment plan for your specific conditions.

Possible ways to treat an abscess include:

  • Draining the abscess: The pus may be drained by making a small incision into the abscess and removing all the bacteria that accumulate;
  • Antibiotics: You may need antibiotic therapy for a few days to help fight the bacteria and reduce your symptoms.
  • Root canal: The tooth can be cleaned of all infected tissue through a root canal, which also disinfects the tooth. Then, the dentist will restore it with a filling or dental crown.
  • Tooth extraction: If the tooth infection is severe, then a dentist in Marysville could recommend an extraction. A badly infected tooth cannot be saved even through a root canal since it may require too much tooth tissue to be removed, making any restoration effort unlikely.
  • Deep cleaning: If the abscess is caused by gum disease, you may need a deep cleaning to remove all the tartar buildup from your teeth, as well as antibiotic therapy to fight the infection. 

Don’t Wait. Contact Montgomery Family Dental Right Away

If you’re dealing with a tooth abscess or any other type of dental emergency, our services are available to help you restore your oral health. 

Call Dr. Katie Montgomery at (937) 642-1151 for immediate care. 

Need a regular visit? Schedule a consultation at Montgomery Family Dental online and stop by to access compassionate and expert oral care.

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