An abscessed tooth is an infection caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease or a cracked tooth. These problems allow bacteria to enter the pulp (the soft tissue of a tooth). When pus builds up at the root tip in the jaw bone, it forms a pus-pocket called an abscess. If the abscess is not treated, it can lead to a serious infection in the jaw bone, teeth and surrounding tissues. Symptoms of an abscess include: pain, swelling, redness in the gums, bad taste in the mouth, and fever.
There are various treatments, depending on the severity of the infection:
Antibiotics, to destroy the bacteria causing the infection
Drainage of the infection
Cleaning the space between the tooth and the gum if the cause is from gum disease
Root canal treatment if the abscess is caused by decay or a cracked tooth
Following good oral hygiene practices and routine dental exams will significantly reduce your risk of developing a tooth abscess. If your teeth experience trauma (become loosened or chipped), see your dentist as soon as possible.
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