When a tooth has been damaged whether due to trauma or disease, there is always the potential for infection. Your body will react to the invasion of bacteria by forming an abscess to block it out. An abscess will be noticeable soon after the onset of an infection and may form at the root of the tooth or between the gum and the infected tooth. People who suffer from gum disease are more susceptible to a periodontal abscess.

An abscessed tooth is usually accompanied by pain severe enough so that a person will seek relief and call their dentist right away. This is fortunate in a way because the sooner an infection is treated the better. Other symptoms that may occur with an abscess include redness and swelling, bad taste in the mouth and increased tooth sensitivity.

Your dentist can recognize the presence of an abscess by examining the tooth and confirm the diagnosis with x-rays. Once the infection has been determined your dentist will drain the abscess and perform root canal therapy to clean out the bacteria, replace the pulp, seal off the area and restore the tooth. He may place a crown over the tooth for added protection and to improve its appearance. The process may require more than one appointment and you may experience some discomfort after a procedure. It can usually be controlled with an over the counter pain reliever but your dentist can prescribe a stronger medication if you feel the need.

As with any medical matter, prevention is key. If you take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist for six month checkups you can probably avoid any serious issues. However, do not ignore symptoms. Call your dentist’s office as soon as you feel anything unusual even if it’s not time for your regular visit. If something is wrong getting immediate treatment is the best way to avoid serious repercussions.

Spokane Valley Dentistry is prepared to meet your dental emergency. Don’t hesitate to call us with your concerns. The number in Spokane is 509-926-6261.