Important Things To Know About A Dental Abscess

Has one of your molars been extra sensitive when biting down on food lately? Although tooth sensitivity is associated with cavities, it might also mean that you have an abscess that should be treated in a timely manner. This article explains some of the important things that you should know about having a dental abscess.

The Development of a Dental Abscess

A dental abscess develops when you have not practiced good oral hygiene habits. Basically, an abscess forms when the pulp chamber in a tooth becomes infected from being exposed to bacteria.  Plaque makes it into the pulp chamber of a tooth when a deep cavity develops and is left untreated.  When a cavity gets too deep, it allows plaque to get into the pulp chamber, which is where the bacteria come from. It is not wise to leave a dental abscess untreated because it can lead to numerous health problems.

The Problems a Dental Abscess Can Cause

You must understand that a dental abscess is full of toxic pus that can harm your overall health by infecting your body. For instance, if the toxic pus enters your bloodstream, you can end up with it causing a brain abscess to develop. You can also experience sinus problems if the infection spreads upwards in your head. A dental abscess can cause your airways to become blocked due to a condition that is known as Ludwig's angina, which is an infection of your jaws and face. One of the worst problems that a dental abscess can cause is bacterial endocarditis, which is infection of the lining of the heart that can cause symptoms that include:

  • Paleness
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in your urine
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Swelling in your limbs

Treating a Dental Abscess

A dental abscess must be treated by a dentist because a root canal is necessary. You should not expect the infection to go away without professional treatment, as the pulp chamber will have to be treated to remove dead nerves and blood vessels. During a root canal, a dentist can also drain the toxic pus out of the abscess after drilling a hole in the infected tooth. However, a deep cavity might not require that drilling to be done because the dentist will already have access to the pulp chamber. Speak to a dentist about your heightened sensitivity to food so he or she can inspect your mouth for a dental abscess and treat it.