An Abscessed Tooth Is a Bacterial Infection

Tooth pain is what usually brings someone with a dental abscess into the dentist's office. These teeth infections can be painful affairs, sometimes accompanied by shooting pains up and down the face. Even if you hate going to the dentist, you'll find that abscessed tooth pain is far worse.

Tooth abscesses are often accompanied by swelling in the cheek or oral tissues. However, sometimes abscessed teeth may have no visible swelling or little pain, so it's important not to wait until you're in severe pain to see a dentist.

If you're diagnosed with an abscessed tooth, you generally have two treatment options: get a root canal, or have the tooth extracted. The tooth infection is deep down inside the tooth root, and the only way to cure it is to clean it out.

Root canal treatment lets you save a tooth even when the tooth's root has become infected. An endodontist or root canal dentist will open up your tooth, clean out the infected pulp inside, and replace the damaged tissue with an inert material. Once a dental crown is placed, you're left with a tooth that looks and feels just like all the others in your mouth.

Tooth extraction is also known as "pulling a tooth." Thanks to modern dental anesthetics, it's not as painful as cartoons might lead you to believe. Your dentist will explain your options for replacing the tooth. Some people opt for dental implant surgery, while others choose a dental bridge or partial denture.

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Jim Du Molin

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