An abscessed tooth is a painful dental condition that causes inflammation of the pulp tissues in the root canal. Read on to know about the signs & symptoms of tooth abscess.

Abscessed Tooth Symptoms

When bacteria attack the soft pulp of the tooth, tissues of the jaw bone covering the tip of the infected tooth swell and are filled with pus. This medical condition is known as tooth or root abscess. An abscess typically originates if a decayed tooth is left untreated for long or when there is an accidental crack in the tooth. Even an extensive periodontal disease or a failed root canal treatment might result in a tooth abscess. An abscess can initiate with a mild to severe painful toothache. Once the tooth’s nerve becomes infected, it spreads into the gums and forms a boil. This boil usually ruptures in the mouth and once this happens the pain subsides to a significant extent. However, if the boil ceases to burst, the infection gradually spreads to the adjoining areas like the neck and the head. An untreated abscess may get worse and can even lead to severe life-threatening complications. Maintaining an oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day and rinsing your mouth every time you eat something will keep your teeth and gums free of food particles, hence preventing abscess. Regular dental check-up is equally important to prevent a tooth abscess. This article deals with the signs & symptoms of abscessed tooth to make you aware of the prevailing condition so that you can rush to the dentist without delay.
Signs & Symptoms Of Tooth Abscess
  • A person suffering from tooth abscess experiences a sharp and throbbing pain in the affected region continuously. The pain becomes unbearable at the time of chewing. The tooth becomes extremely sensitive to heat and pressure conditions.
  • Besides this, the person may complain of increased level of pain if he is lying down. With a lot of pus being accumulated in the root canal of the tooth, there is a mounting pressure on it and hence the increased pain. This causes disturbance in a person’s sleeping pattern, affecting his mind and body as a whole.
  • The more the bacterial infection spreads the more sensitive the tooth becomes to hot and cold food. While the pain is usually bearable when the infection reaches the dentin, the person suffers the most by the time the infection simulates to the pulp region of the tooth. Any hot or cold stimulus aggravates the pain to a large extent.
  • When the infection is in its full shape and form, the person may develop an abnormal taste in the mouth. This foul taste quite often leads to a complete loss of appetite.
  • Another common symptom of tooth abscess is bad breath or halitosis. Especially after a person has had his meal or wakes up from sleep, his mouth stinks badly.
  • With the severity of the tooth infection, the lymph glands located in the neck and surrounding the affected area swell too. Palpation of the lymph nodes causes intense pain. However, swollen lymph node condition is mostly seen when a tooth abscess arises due to complications in wisdom tooth eruption. The person may find it difficult to open his mouth or jaw. He may also experience pain at the corners of the mouth.
  • At times, a person with an abscessed tooth might experience severe irritation due to the continuous gnawing pain in the affected region and a complete loss of appetite.
  • The gums surrounding the affected tooth often swell and turn red or slightly white or pale, since they are filled with pus. The gums have diffused borders and are extremely painful when touched.
  • At times, the swelling around the tip of the root may rupture, resulting in a draining sore near the periapical region. 
  • A tooth abscess may often lead to local facial swelling. As the pain gradually transfers from the infected area, one can even feel like he is having a migraine attack
  • In few cases, a person might experience abscessed tooth symptoms without the presence of any kind of tooth infection. This happens when a person has a periodontal abscess. When a person vigorously brushes his teeth, allowing a foreign particle to land up in the gums, an abscess might result not directly at the root tip of the tooth, causing swollen gums instead. 

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