If your face is swollen, and a tooth that has had bene filled or root canaled seems to be the culprit, you may be dealing with a dental abscess. Usually, these nasty accumulations of bacteria are quiet noticeable, as they are basically an open wound on, around or underneath a rotten tooth. But an abscess can be all but invisible, except for the pain it causes, and the tenderness or swelling that it produces. Here is everything you need to know about the dental abscess, and what you can do with it.
What is a dental abscess?
A dental abscess is an accumulation of pus (white blood cells) on a tooth, in the jawbone holding a tooth, in the gums surrounding the tooth, or at the tooth roots themselves. It is always caused by an untreated bacterial infection, and can be the cause of tooth loss, severe periodontitis, blood poisoning, and can aggravate the immune system and be the cause of many related illnesses. It simply cannot go untreated, or it can kill you. A dental abscess is a very far gone condition, and requires immediate medical attention. These problems are almost always solved by oral surgery and a course of antibiotics. There are two kinds of dental abscesses: a periapical abscess, that is at the root of a tooth that is infected, and periodontal abscess that resides in the gums and jawbones surrounding the tooth. A dental abscess almost always requires the tooth to be extracted. Although most of the time it is extremely easy to spot an abscess, it can start out small, and look like a cold sore, but be really sensitive, or it can be on the inside on the bone itself, and cause severe swelling. If you experience tooth sensitivity and swelling on a tooth that has been filled or root canaled, contact your dentist immediately.
What can be done?
If you have a dental abscess, you are going to need serious dental treatment to correct the situation. If you are lucky, then just a tooth extraction and antibiotics are going to be enough to remedy the case. If the infection is very severe, then you will need oral surgery, and some of your soft tissues, and possibly even a chunk of your jawbone will have to be removed.