Abscessed Tooth

Monday, February 20, 2012

If you have a severe toothache, swelling of the gums or face or drainage, you may have an abscessed tooth. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this painful condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

An abscessed tooth is a tooth that has a pocket of pus around it. Pus forms when the body tries to fight a bacterial infection. If the pus cannot drain, it forms an abscess.

Damage to the tooth, an untreated cavity or gum disease can cause an abscessed tooth. If a cavity is not treated, the inside of the tooththe pulpcan become infected. The bacteria can spread from the tooth to the tissue around it, creating an abscess. Gum disease causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, leaving pockets that may form an abscess.

Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include:

Throbbing pain.

Red, swollen gums.

Fever, and

Swelling in any area of the mouth, face, upper or lower jaw, or neck.

Treatment may include antibiotics to destroy the bacteria causing the infection, and surgical drainage of the abscess. A root canal may be needed to save the tooth if the inside pulp is infected.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.