Abscessed Teeth


An abscessed tooth is also referred to as a periapical abscess. This is a painful dental condition that is the result of an infection inside of a severely decayed or badly damaged tooth. It is a pocket of pus that is caused by an infection.

After the nerve within the tooth dies, an infection can cause fluid buildup in the area of the soft pulp tissue in the tooth’s center. Once the pressure and swelling escalates, a person may experience significant pain.

? How do you know if you have an abscessed tooth?

To start with, the tooth will not be sensitive to cold or hot since the nerve is dead (or almost dead). In fact, you may find some relief from cold since it may help to decrease the swelling.

You may, however, have tooth sensitivity when it comes to touching the area or the tooth itself. When the dentist examines the tooth, you may feel discomfort when he or she gently taps on the tooth.

Additionally, you may experience pain when chewing and biting. The gums may also become swollen or red.

Other symptoms of an abscessed tooth include:

  • fever
  • bitter taste in the mouth
  • foul-smelling breath
  • swollen neck glands
  • swollen upper or lower jaw
  • an open, draining sore near the infected area

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or signs of abscessed teeth, call Washington Smiles today for proper treatment. The abscessed tooth should be treated right away to avoid further dental problems and infection.

? What causes an abscessed tooth?

It may be the result of:

  • an untreated severe cavity
  • a deep filling
  • trauma to a tooth

? How does Washington Smiles treat abscessed teeth?

We take a conservative approach, which means that we will preserve as much of the original tooth structure as possible while eliminating the infection.

There are times when a root canal procedure is necessary in order to properly treat the abscessed tooth. Root canal procedures are typically performed when the infection hasn’t spread too far. During this procedure, the nerve and the pulp at the tooth’s center will be removed. We will then fill the tooth and place a custom dental crown on top.

Other times, the abscessed tooth may need to be extracted (or removed). A tooth extraction is typically the treatment for an untreated abscessed tooth (when a patient does not get treatment early on and the infection progresses). This situation can lead to a higher chance of the infection spreading to other teeth, gums, jaw, and additional areas of the body.

An antibiotic may also be prescribed in order to fight the infection.

Get your abscessed tooth treatment at Washington Smiles

As you can see, it is very important to treat an abscessed tooth right away. We are conveniently located in Washington, Missouri for all of your family’s dental needs. Call us today to schedule your appointment!