Fractured teeth or decaying ones can allow bacteria to enter into the pulp chamber at the center of the tooth. This can infect the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues of the pulp and cause pulp death. The infection can spread to the tooth root and create an abscess there, which is a pus-filled pocket. The symptoms of abscess include toothache, swelling, pain when chewing, a bad taste in the mouth, or even fever. See your dentist if you think you have an abscessed tooth, and they will be able to apply one of the following treatments.
- Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics that will fight the bacteria and infection inside of your tooth.
- They may drain the abscess by making a small incision in the gums. After the abscess if drained, your dentist will cleanse the area with salt water.
- If your abscess is caused by gum disease, then your dentist will clean the space between the gum and tooth.
- If the pulp of the tooth is infected, root canal treatment may be the solution. This procedure will involve drilling into the tooth, removing the pulp tissue, draining the abscess, placing filling inside the tooth, and covering it all with a crown.
- If the abscess has caused too much damage to the tooth, a tooth extraction may be necessary. The abscess will then be drained after the tooth is removed.