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What is an Abscessed Tooth?

The very center of a tooth is composed of blood vessels and nerves which are collectively called the “pulp”. This inner chamber containing the pulp is susceptible to infection when a tooth has an opening in the enamel that exposes the soft center of the tooth. Severe tooth decay, gum disease, a cavity or when a tooth is broken or chipped can all lead to an abscessed tooth.

ToothDiagram-300x300.jpg
Diagram of a healthy tooth
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Diagram of an abcessed tooth

An abssessed tooth is when the inner pulp is exposed to bacteria and becomes infected. The infection spreads from the inner pulp to the root of the tooth, and sometimes spreads from the root of the tooth to the surrounding supportive bones.

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Symptoms of an abcessed tooth include:

  • Fever
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain when closing mouth or chewing
  • Bad breath and a foul taste in mouth
  • Swollen gland in neck
  • Red, darkened or swollen gums
  • Swollen jaw
  • Open, draining sore on the side of the gum

Sometimes the infection can kill the pulp in the root of the tooth which will make the pain subside. If this happens you still need to seek medical help. The infection is still active and spreading only the pain has stopped due to the nerves dying. If left untreated it can spread from the jaw to the neck and eventually become life threatening.

If you have a tooth or teeth that you suspect are abscessed, Smiles by Burgess can help. Please contact us at 281-367-5900 or send us a message HERE.

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