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Dealing with Tooth Abscesses in North Vancouver

Oral Health

Dealing with Tooth Abscesses in North Vancouver

Apr 15

In an ideal world, nobody would have to suffer from painful dental issues. Nobody would get a toothache or abscess.

Unfortunately, these issues do happen, though, making it hard for people to live their daily lives without pain. Eating becomes difficult. Even the strongest medications may not take away the pain.

This is why we offer emergency dental treatment at Blue Sky Dental. If you are dealing with sudden pain or injury, our staff is committed to getting you into our office quickly and will accommodate same-day appointments whenever possible. We even work with tooth abscesses.

A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection. The abscess can occur at different areas near the tooth for different reasons. The most common type of abscess is a periapical abscess, which occurs at the tip of the root. 

There are several signs that you may have a tooth abscess:

  • Severe, throbbing toothache that spreads to your jawbone or ear
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Pain or discomfort while chewing or biting
  • Foul odor in your mouth
  • Fever
  • Swelling in your face, cheek or neck 
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw 

The dentist will usually order X-rays to see if you have an abscess, although sometimes they can tell based on a physical examination. See your dentist right away if you experience any of these symptoms. If it is life-threatening, such as a high fever or difficulty swallowing, go to the nearest emergency room.

Causes of Tooth Abscesses

Pain from tooth abscesses

Tooth abscesses can happen in a number of ways, such as the following:

  • Dental cavities. When tooth decay penetrates deep into the tooth enamel, it can reach the pulp chamber, where the nerve and blood vessels are located. Bacteria can infect this area, leading to an abscess.
  • Poor dental hygiene. Inadequate brushing and flossing can allow plaque and bacteria to accumulate on the teeth and gums. This increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to abscesses.
  • Gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease involves inflammation and infection of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Advanced gum disease can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, which can cause bacteria to accumulate and cause abscesses.
  • Trauma. Trauma to the teeth, such as cracks, fractures, or chips, can expose the inner layers of the tooth to bacteria. This can cause infections and abscesses to form.
  • Weakened immune system. Those with a weakened immune system may be more susceptible to infections, including tooth abscesses.
  • Poor diet. A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can contribute to tooth decay and cavities, which can make abscesses more likely to form. 
  • Smoking. Smoking can weaken the immune system and impair the body’s ability to fight infections, increasing the risk of abscesses.

Tooth Abscess Treatment

The quicker you contact your dentist, the easier treatment will be. The goal of treatment is to get rid of the infection. Your dentist may accomplish this in the following ways:

  • Open up and drain the abscess. The dentist will make a small cut into the abscess, allowing the pus to drain out. The dentist will then wash the area with salt water to clean it and remove all pus.
  • Do a root canal. A root canal can help get rid of the infection and save your tooth. To do this, your dentist drills down into your tooth, and removes the pulp, which is the diseased central tissue. They will then drain the abscess and fill and seal the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals. The tooth may be capped with a crown to make it stronger.
  • Pull the affected tooth. In severe cases, it may not be possible to save the affected tooth. Your dentist will have to pull the tooth and drain the abscess to get rid of the infection.
  • Prescribe antibiotics. If the infection has spread to nearby teeth, your jaw or other areas, your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics to stop it from spreading further. 

Contact Us Today

Abscesses in the mouth can be painful and make it hard to eat. Contact your dentist for quick diagnosis and treatment. 

Whether you are a new client or an existing one, Blue Sky Dental can treat your dental issues and help your mouth feel so much better. Our friendly team is ready to help. To schedule an appointment with our office today, call (604) 971-6999 (existing clients) or (604) 330-0748(new clients).

Ready for your first appointment?