ADOB: Dental Abscesses Are a Serious Health Issue

Coming out of the holidays, when candy and desserts have been abundant, Dr. Robert Harrell and the dedicated team at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne remind you to pay extra attention to your teeth. Left unattended to, your smile can suffer dramatically, even leading to a possible serious infection known as a dental abscess that can affect much more than your mouth.

Learn about dental abscesses below:

A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that’s caused by a bacterial infection. The abscess can occur at different regions of the tooth for different reasons. A periapical (per-e-AP-ih-kul) abscess occurs at the tip of the root, whereas a periodontal (per-e-o-DON-tul) abscess occurs in the gums next to a tooth root. The information here refers specifically to periapical abscesses.

A periapical tooth abscess usually occurs as a result of an untreated dental cavity, an injury or prior dental work.

Dentists will treat a tooth abscess by draining it and getting rid of the infection. They may be able to save your tooth with a root canal treatment, but in some cases the tooth may need to be pulled. Leaving a tooth abscess untreated can lead to serious, even life-threatening, complications.


Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include:

  • Severe, persistent, throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, neck or ear
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Sensitivity to the pressure of chewing or biting
  • Fever
  • Swelling in your face or cheek
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw or in your neck
  • Sudden rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting, salty fluid in your mouth and pain relief if the abscess ruptures. Read more from the Mayo Clinic.


ADOB Can Help You Prevent A Painful Smile

Regular dental checkups can help you stay proactive in your oral health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, many people put off their dental treatment until they are experiencing discomfort. This is an extremely dangerous habit to get into. Minute cracks and fissures within a tooth can lead to a dental abscess occurring. Did you know that dental issues are behind a huge number of hospital visits each year? Discover more below:

A new study suggests that deaths from these preventable infections may not be as rare as once thought and that the number of Americans hospitalized with them may be on the rise.

Studies have shown that dental problems account for hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits each year. The new analysis, published in the September issue of the Journal of Endodontics, focused on patients who had to be hospitalized because of an infection of the tip of the tooth’s root, called a periapical abscess. It is a common consequence of untreated tooth decay, and it can be dangerous if it spreads. The NY Times Well Blog discusses more regarding oral infections and hospitalizations.


Dental Infection Control

Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne in Charlotte, NC has the experience, tools and technology to help you feel better fast. Our devoted team wants to help you obtain a healthy, happy smile every day. If you are feeling any oral discomfort, be sure to book your dental appointment with us ASAP to minimize the potential risk of worsening your oral infection. The earlier we see you, the faster we can treat your dental abscess and remove the infection. Please do not hesitate to call us to address any of your oral concerns. We want you to enjoy your healthiest and happiest smile in 2018. Learn more about fixing dental abscesses below:

An endodontist will typically treat your abscess with a root canal procedure or endodontic surgery. This involves removing the bacteria from the empty canals within your tooth, cleaning, shaping and filing the root canals, and sealing the empty space. Then, after some time to be certain the treatment was successful, you’ll visit your dentist who will put a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After the dentist restores it the tooth will continue to function like your natural teeth. Discover more details on oral infection control from the American Association of Endodontists.

If you are unhappy with your smile for any reason, schedule a free, no obligation smile consultation at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne. Call 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on our website to set your appointment. Dr. Harrell will explain your cosmetic dentistry options and help you decide which best suits your needs.

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