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Warning Signs of an Abscessed Tooth During the COVID-19 Pandemic
An abscessed tooth typically always requires emergency dentistry. It is a serious dental problem that leads to the formation of pockets of pus due to an infection. The two main types of abscess are periapical — this occurs at the tip of the affected tooth's root — and periodontal, which occurs in the gum tissue next to the affected tooth.
Figuring out if you have an abscessed tooth that requires emergency dentistry during COVID-19
An abscess often occurs as a result of a cavity that has gone untreated for too long, old dental work, or an injury. The standard treatment is to drain the pus and treat the infection. At times, the dentist might be able to save the patient's tooth by performing a root canal. A severe abscess might require the extraction of the tooth to prevent the infection from spreading to other areas, like the brain, where it can be life-threatening.
Symptoms that a person has an abscessed tooth include:
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold beverages and foods
- Severe, throbbing toothaches
- A swollen face or cheeks
- Swollen or tender lymph nodes
- Toothaches when biting or chewing
- Weird taste or smell in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
People who are experiencing a combination of these symptoms should seek emergency dentistry. A dentist will conduct a proper diagnosis using a visual examination and diagnostic tools like CT scans and X-rays. These will help to evaluate the severity of the infection and to determine whether it has spread to other areas of the mouth.
Treatment for an abscessed tooth
Here are some of the popular ways an abscessed tooth can be addressed:
- Draining: A dentist might treat an abscessed tooth by cutting into it so the pus drains out. The area is then cleaned with a saline solution. A small rubber drain might be inserted into the pus pocket to allow it to drain as the inflammation goes down
- Root canal: A root canal can be used to save an infected tooth. The procedure involves the dentist drilling a hole into the tooth, removing the nerves and blood vessels in the pulp chamber, applying a medication, sealing up the tooth and covering it up with a crown
- Extraction: If the infected tooth is too damaged to be saved or there is a risk of the infection spreading to other areas, the dentist might extract it and replace it with an oral prosthetic, like an implant
- Antibiotics: If the infection has started to spread, the dentist might prescribe antibiotics to stop it from spreading further
Home remedies for abscessed teeth
No home remedies will completely alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by an abscessed tooth, but they can help a bit. A saltwater solution can be used to clean the mouth and disinfect it. Over-the-counter painkillers can help to manage the pain while waiting to see a dentist.
Get emergency dentistry for your abscessed tooth
Call or visit our Sacramento clinic to get fast treatment for your abscessed tooth. Relief is right around the corner, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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