Did you know that in the 1600s, the fifth leading cause of death was from oral infections and other problems related to teeth? We have made a lot of progress away from that statistic, but deaths from oral problems still happen. More than 61,000 hospitalizations due to periapical abscesses occurred during one recent eight-year period in the US. (A periapical abscess is at the tip of the root of the tooth.) Sixty-six of those hospitalized died.
When You Should Call Us
Unfortunately, many people play “wait and see” if a tooth begins to hurt, hoping that it will go away and they won’t have to interrupt their plans to have it checked. Pain is a warning that something isn’t right. Anytime you experience tooth pain, you should contact us and arrange to be examined soon.
There are numerous causes for that pain. Your tooth could have developed a crack, or a cavity may have progressed enough to become sensitive. Upper teeth may hurt because of your sinuses. All of these are uncomfortable and worth a trip in. But pain that throbs and/or is constant might signal an infected or abscessed tooth and is in need of attention immediately.
Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth
The tissue inside and around the tooth can become infected and filled with pus — and bacteria thrive in that environment. Left untreated, the bacteria can spread through the body and lead to sepsis, which can threaten your life. In addition to the pain mentioned earlier, look for these symptoms that the tooth may be abscessed:
- Swollen glands in your neck
- A bitter taste
- Tender gums
- Bad odor in your mouth
- Open sore on the gum
- Swelling in either jaw
You can’t “wait out” an abscess — you must call us for treatment. We will x-ray the tooth to confirm that you have an abscess. Sometimes the infection is so severe that you will need to be treated with a round of antibiotics before treatment can begin. Once the infection is under control, we will determine the best treatment option for you. Often a root canal can be done to remove the destroyed pulp within the tooth and root and save the tooth from extraction. We are ready to help relieve your pain and save your tooth. If you experience any tooth pain, contact our office to schedule an appointment. We serve Spotswood, New Jersey, and the surrounding area.