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Your teeth have three layers: the enamel, dentin, and pulp. If a bacterial infection appears in your pulp—the soft center layer of your tooth—an abscess could be formed. The abscess itself is a pocket of pus that can appear at the root tip or near the gums. Usually, abscesses are caused by an untreated dental cavity or by inadequate dental care. If an abscess is not treated, serious complications could follow.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to recognize an abscess, and there are several treatments your dentist can do for you.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, we recommend visiting your dentist soon:

  • A throbbing, persistent, or intense toothache
  • Sensitivity to temperatures
  • Sensitivity when you bite or chew
  • A fever
  • Swelling in your face
  • A sudden relief of pain accompanied by a foul-smelling, foul-tasting fluid
  • Redness in your mouth and face

If you have an abscess, your dentist may recommend several treatments. For example, if the tooth is salvageable, your dentist could suggest root canal therapy. However if the tooth can’t be saved, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction. In essence, the most important aspect of dealing with an abscess is removing the infection.  Fortunately, once the infection is removed, you should not experience any other ill effects.

If you are worried about abscesses or are interested in scheduling an appointment with our dentist, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We are excited to hear from you.