Many people have a toothache and choose to ignore it or do home remedies such as swishing with peroxide or putting clove oil on the affected area. However, if the toothaches because of an infection or an abscess, then they need to get to the dentist instead of trying to deal with things on their own. If you have questions about infections and abscesses, read here to find some of the information you seek.
Are abscesses and infections different?
There are some differences and similarities between tooth abscesses and infections. An abscess is a pocket of puss that forms due to a tooth infection. The abscess will start around the tooth's root and work its way to the gum. An infection is caused by bacteria in the root of the tooth, and the main difference is the infection hasn't formed the pocket of pus, but it can end up doing so at any point.
What are the symptoms of an abscess and an infection?
An infection can cause all of the same symptoms as an abscess, but the abscess can be visible at the gumline. Some of the symptoms of an infection/abscess can include pain at the location of the affected tooth, pain in your face, worsening pain when you eat or drink, a swollen face, red and inflamed gums, a bad taste and bad breath, and a red bump or pocket of pus on the gum (abscess). An abscess can pop and although this can lead to instant pain relief it doesn't mean that you still don't need treatment to get rid of the infection that's still there.
It's important to understand that an infection that isn't treated through a course of treatment overseen by your dentist can lead to other, more serious symptoms. These symptoms can include a loose tooth, an infection throughout the body that can lead to a high fever, body aches and pains, fatigue, nausea, and even extreme illness and possibly death.
How are infections and abscesses treated?
Antibiotics are an important part of the treatment plan for infections and abscesses. The antibiotics are what gets rid of the infection. If the tooth wasn't damaged too much by the infection, it may be able to be saved by way of a root canal that will clean the pulp. If the infection has caused extensive tooth damage, then tooth extraction may also need to happen if the tooth isn't salvageable.
For more information, reach out to a company such as Ramtown Dental Associates.