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What is a tooth abscess?

Having bad oral health care habits can have many painful, detrimental effects. One issue that can arise is a tooth abscess. Read on for some more information about this very serious problem and how your dentist can help.

What causes a tooth abscess?

A “tooth abscess” is simply an infected tooth. It can start when a patient has bad dental habits and dental issues that aren’t treated. A crack, a hole, a chip, or a cavity that remains untreated for a long time gives bacteria an opportunity to accumulate in the tooth and cause infection.

The infection may be in between the gum and the tooth or at the root. Pus filled with bacteria starts to fill in the infected area, and if it isn’t treated the infection can damage the tooth and then move on to damage other teeth. It can even damage the jaw bone and spread to the rest of the body to cause further health issues.

You might have a tooth abscess if you have tender gums, teeth that are suddenly sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, a swollen area on the jaw, an open sore on the gums, a fever, swollen neck glands, and/or a sharp pain in your tooth.

How are abscesses treated?

If you think you might have an abscess, you should see your dentist as soon as possible – it won’t go away on its own. Your dentist will drain the abscess and destroy any remaining bacteria. You may have to have a root canal to get rid of any infected tissue. In the worst case scenario, you may have to have the tooth removed.

How can you prevent a tooth infection?

Of course, it is best not to get an infected tooth in the first place! You can help to prevent this problem by taking good care of your teeth. Eat a healthy diet, brush and floss thoroughly, and see your dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups.

If you are having tooth pain, don’t wait! A tooth infection should be treated as soon as possible. Contact Hampton Dental Associates in Milwaukee for an appointment right away. Call (414) 464-9021 today!

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