WebMD defines an abscess as “a localized collection of pus in tissues, organs, or confined spaces usually because of an infection.” Abscesses can occur anywhere in the body, including the mouth. Yikes! Fortunately, oral surgeons have several treatment options for this oral health problem. And there’s even better news: tooth abscesses are extremely preventable!

Continue reading this blog to determine if you have a dental abscess, what treatment options are available, and how to prevent an abscess from ever developing.

Symptoms of a Tooth Abscess

If an abscess is left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the face and mouth or lead to the loss of a tooth or bone. Because of this, patients with the following symptoms should visit an oral surgeon immediately:

  1. Dental and facial pain: An abscess pushes on the surrounding tissues and can lead to various levels of discomfort. Some patients report throbbing pain while others describe mild discomfort or tenderness. This pain often spreads to parts of the face or neck.
  2. Pimple-like lesion: This is one of the most telling physical indicators of an abscess. The small, white dot will be next to a tooth that hurts. Though you may be tempted, do not try to remove the pus on your own.
  3. Swelling: The soft tissues or gingiva surrounding the infected tooth or gums will likely be swollen. This may make the gums feel warm and appear redder than usual.

These symptoms could also be accompanied by painful chewing and fever. Be sure to contact an oral surgeon if you experience any combination of these symptoms.

Dental Abscess Treatments

Before treatment, your oral surgeon must confirm you have an abscess with tooth tapping, x-rays, and/or lab tests. He will then determine what has caused the abscess—it could be linked to deep cavities, gum disease, or cracked teeth.

The tooth abscess must be drained to remove any infection from the area. In some cases, the oral surgeon will recommend a root canal and in other cases, he may suggest a dental extraction. Once the procedure is complete, you will need to take antibiotics to slow or diminish the infection.

Tooth Abscess Prevention

Most oral health problems are completely preventable by establishing and maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, eating properly, and attending regular dental cleaning and exam appointments. The following general guidelines can help you avoid tooth abscesses, cavities, and gum disease:

  • Brush with a soft-bristled and fluoride toothpaste in the morning and evening
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
  • Floss daily
  • Us an antimicrobial mouthwash after meals
  • Avoid sugary drinks
  • Eat lots of green, leafy vegetables and dairy
  • Visit the dentist every six months

Choose the Right Oral Surgeon

A tooth abscess is a serious oral health problem and should be treated accordingly. Oral surgeons are specially trained to treat issues like dental abscesses with the most effective, minimally invasive, and modern procedures.

If you live in the Grapevine, TX area, Dr. Chris Tye is one of the most highly recommended oral surgeons around. When you call our office, one of our team members will instruct you on how to care for your mouth while you wait for an appointment with Dr. Tye.

Call Texas Oral Surgery Specialists today at (817) 552-3223.