Emergency Dentist: Knowing When to Call

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Emergency Dentistry — All You Need to Know About Dental Abscesses

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While not many people are familiar with dental abscesses, this oral condition is quite common in kids and adults alike. The abscess occurs when bacteria makes its way into the pulp of the tooth causing pus to collect inside it. It can also come about when bacteria infect the root of the tooth, which is referred to as a periapical abscess.

Although anyone can get a dental abscess, certain groups of people are at a higher risk of this condition such as individuals that routinely contend with gum disease, those who have experienced trauma to their mouth causing physical damage to one or more of their teeth and people that have left cavities to go untreated.

At the onset, one may think that a dental abscess does not mandate a visit to an emergency dentist but this is grossly incorrect. Since this condition cannot heal on its own, it is crucial to know the signs of a dental abscess so you can seek immediate medical intervention.

What are the symptoms of an undiagnosed dental abscess?

Although pain is a common symptom associated with dental abscesses, it should be noted that since people have varying levels of pain tolerance, it is essential that you familiarise yourself with the other accompanying symptoms. Some of the signs that should prompt you to seek emergency dental services include, but are not limited to:

  • Swollen gums
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Rancid breath
  • Difficulty chewing

If you do not see an emergency dentist once you begin experiencing these symptoms, you are at risk of the infection spreading to surrounding teeth and your jawbone. In the worst-case scenario, the infection can make its way to your blood tissue or even your brain, which can prove fatal. Hence, it is best to seek treatment for this dental abscess the moment you suspect that this is the oral condition that you are battling with.

How is a dental abscess treated?

There are several treatment solutions that the emergency dentist can discuss with you when dealing with a dental abscess. Some of the more common steps taken are:

  • Draining: The emergency dentist will make an incision at the affected area to allow pus to drain from the abscess but this measure is only viable if the abscess is small and is visibly located on the gum line.
  • Medication: If the abscess cannot be drained thoroughly, the emergency dentist will likely prescribe a course of antibiotic treatment to combat the underlying infection.
  • Root canal: This therapy is one of the most effective ways of eliminating the infection since it entails the removal of the pulp, veins, nerves and arteries in the affected tooth ensuring complete drainage of pus and extraction of infected parts.

To learn more, contact a local emergency dentist.