Hey, my name is Shelly Katalgo. My love for sedation dentistry started in high school. My best friend had a severe fear of going to the dentist and I wanted to help her feel better about it. Although I always enjoyed my dental visits, I felt bad that she struggled so much with going to hers. My parents taught me about sedation dentistry and I instantly dreamed of becoming a dental professional. I wanted to help kids like my friend stay fear free throughout their appointments by using gentle techniques and professional medications. Although I opted to follow a different career path, my passion for dentistry remained throughout the years. I will update my site with developments in this industry as soon as they are reported. I will also discuss the benefits of sedation dentistry in detail. Thanks for visiting. I hope you come back soon.
A dental abscess is an infection that has the potential to be quite serious. The infection usually affects a tooth's living tissues—which is its pulp (also called its nerve). This pulp is located in the center of the tooth, but the infection is likely to have spread beyond these confines. Many types of abscesses start as a bacterial contamination, entering the tooth's pulp via untreated decay. It's also possible for an abscess to begin in the gum tissues that surround the tooth. One of the key signs of an abscess is extreme discomfort, but this might not always be the case.
Difficult to Miss
It's quite unlikely for a dental abscess to go undetected for too long. Even if you're in the lucky minority whose abscess isn't painful, there will be physical symptoms that are difficult to miss. In any event, a painless (or low-intensity) dental abscess won't stay that way for long, so it's important to be mindful of all potential symptoms, allowing you to take quick action.
Quick action is crucial since an abscess requires emergency dental care. The infection can spread throughout your oral tissues (possibly affecting other teeth), and can also spread throughout your head and neck. The consequences of an untreated dental abscess may be quite severe. As mentioned, the discomfort associated with the infection is often the first warning sign—but not for everyone.
In the absence of pain or discomfort, a gum boil is perhaps the most obvious sign of a dental abscess. Also called a pustule, a gum boil looks a lot like a pimple—complete with a white head. It's filled with pus, can develop quite quickly, and is likely to be noticed while eating or brushing your teeth. Please refrain from touching your gum boil. It might rupture of its own accord, but this shouldn't be encouraged.
One way or another, the gum boil caused by your abscess must be ruptured. A dentist should do this in sterile conditions, and those affected by pain will experience immediate relief once the gum boil is drained. This drainage removes a huge amount of localized pressure. Even a painless boil must be drained, but you cannot do this yourself, despite the apparent simplicity of the task. It's very easy to damage the soft tissues inside your mouth, and you risk a secondary infection.
Once the boil has been drained, an emergency dentist can determine if you need further assistance to control the infection (such as antibiotics). Remember that an abscess must be treated, even when painless. When the abscess is causing noticeable pain, you must treat the situation as a dental emergency.