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Is a Tooth Abscess an Emergency?

A dental emergency in Charlotte, just like any other medical emergency, requires immediate care. This is vital not only for managing your symptoms but also for minimizing the chances of losing one (or more) teeth. 

However, a lot of people have trouble identifying dental emergencies. For example, does a persistent toothache caused by an abscess require urgent care? 

The answer is yes. Let us tell you why. 

What Is a Tooth Abscess?

A tooth abscess is a collection of pus either inside the tooth, in the gums, or the supporting bone. It’s caused by an untreated cavity that made it possible for bacteria to penetrate the inner layers of the tooth and reach the pulp and nerves. 

An abscess can also occur because of an injury that left the tooth vulnerable to bacteria. 

How to Tell You Are Dealing with a Tooth Abscess?

It’s not that hard to differentiate a regular toothache from an abscess. If you are experiencing some of the following symptoms, then most likely you are dealing with an abscess:

  • Severe pain that may radiate to the jaw, neck, or ear
  • Increased pain when biting or chewing
  • Swelling around the affected tooth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold 
  • Foul taste in the mouth or bad breath
  • Fever

Is It an Emergency?

A tooth abscess is considered a dental emergency, especially if it’s accompanied by severe pain, swelling, or fever. These symptoms indicate that the infection is active and may be spreading. 

If left untreated, the infection can spread to the jawbone, surrounding tissues, or other parts of the body. It can also lead to sepsis, a life-threatening condition, which is why it’s crucial to seek dental care as soon as possible.

How Will the Dentist Treat It?

One of the main reasons people avoid getting treatment for an infected tooth is that they fear pain. But, it’s important to know that the dentist will numb the affected tooth and only after proceed to clean it. Therefore, you won’t feel anything more than a bit of pressure during the entire procedure. 

The first thing the dentist will do is try to drain the puss. They will make a small incision in the gum to drain the pus and relieve pressure from the swollen area. If the infection is too severe, they will treat it with antibiotics first before trying to remove the infected pulp. 

Depending on the severity of the infection and the size of the damage, you may also need a dental crown to restore the tooth’s function and appearance.

In severe cases, the dentist may need to remove the infected tooth to prevent the spread of infection.

Dealing with a Dental Emergency? Call Us Right Now! 

Not sure if you are dealing with a dental emergency? Call the team at SouthEnd Dentistry at (704) 335-8266 and tell them about your problem. They will be able to determine if you need urgent care and schedule a same-day appointment for you. 

For regular appointments, you can also get in touch with us online

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