An abscessed tooth looks like a swollen, painful, and reddened area around the tooth or gums, often with a pus-filled pocket.
An abscessed tooth is a dental condition where a bacterial infection causes a pocket of pus to form around the root of a tooth or in the surrounding gum tissue.
This is called a dental abscess and can be extremely painful. It typically occurs when bacteria enter the tooth through a cavity or a crack and then spread to the surrounding tissues.
Tooth abscesses can cause serious complications if left untreated, as the infection can spread to the jawbone, nearby teeth, or other parts of the body.
It is crucial to visit a dentist as soon as you suspect you have an abscessed tooth to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.
This may include draining the abscess, antibiotics, root canal treatment, or tooth extraction if necessary.
Signs and Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth
|Signs and Symptoms
|A swollen, reddish, or off-white area around the tooth, sometimes forming a bump
|A swollen, reddish or off-white area around the tooth, sometimes forming a bump
|Whitish or yellowish pus may be present around or inside the abscess
|Increased sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet foods and/or drinks
|Bad taste or smell
|A foul taste or odor may be present in the mouth, often due to the discharge of pus
|Gum redness or inflammation
|Gums surrounding the affected tooth may appear red, swollen or inflamed
|In more severe cases, the infection can cause swelling on the side of the face
|The affected tooth may become loose or sensitive to pressure
|Difficulty swallowing or opening the mouth
|In severe cases, swelling and discomfort can make it difficult to swallow or open the mouth fully
what does an abscessed tooth look like
Understanding Abscess Tooth Symptoms
An abscessed tooth is not something to be taken lightly. If left untreated, it can lead to severe pain and even spread dangerous infections.
One of the first steps in diagnosing an abscessed tooth is understanding its symptoms.
We’ll take a closer look at the different ways an abscessed tooth can present itself in order to help you identify if you need to seek dental treatment.
Pain In The Tooth
One of the most common symptoms of an abscessed tooth is pain. This pain can vary and may be experienced as a dull ache or a sharp, shooting pain.
You may even feel discomfort in your neck, ear, or jaw on the same side as the affected tooth.
In some cases, you may notice that the pain is worse at night or when you bite down on something.
Sensitivity To Hot Or Cold
If you’re experiencing sudden sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, it could be another sign of an abscessed tooth.
You may find that you can’t tolerate hot or cold drinks, or even inhaling cold air can trigger discomfort.
This sensitivity may linger even after the temperature is removed, and it may not be relieved by over-the-counter methods like using sensitive toothpaste.
Swelling In The Gums
Swelling in the gums near the affected tooth can also indicate the presence of an abscess.
You may notice that the gum appears red, inflamed, and even tender to the touch. Sometimes, this swelling can result in a small bump on the gums near the tooth.
Bad Breath Or Unpleasant Taste In The Mouth
As with many dental issues, an abscessed tooth can also lead to bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
This taste is often described as sour or bitter and could persist even after brushing your teeth or using mouthwash.
If you’re experiencing this symptom along with other signs mentioned above, it’s essential to seek dental attention as soon as possible.
Redness And Swelling In The Face And Jaw
In some cases, an abscessed tooth can lead to visible swelling in your face or jaw. You may notice redness and tenderness in the affected area, along with swelling that can be painful to the touch.
This can be a sign that the infection has spread beyond the tooth and is affecting other areas of your mouth.
In severe cases, fever and difficulty swallowing may also occur.
It’s important to remember that these symptoms can vary and that the presence of one or more of these symptoms does not guarantee that you have an abscessed tooth.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s essential to seek advice from a dental health professional who will be able to diagnose and treat the issue safely and effectively.
Causes Of Abscess Teeth
Abscessed teeth are a common dental issue that occurs when a bacterial infection causes a pocket of pus to form near the tooth. In this section, we’ll explore the different causes of abscess teeth.
Bacterial Infection In The Tooth
One of the leading causes of abscess teeth is a bacterial infection in the tooth.
This infection can occur when tooth decay or gum disease causes a hole in the tooth’s enamel, allowing bacteria to penetrate the inner layers of the tooth.
If left untreated, the bacteria can eventually reach the tooth’s pulp and cause an abscess to form.
Symptoms of a bacterial infection in the tooth can include severe tooth pain, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, a fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
In some cases, the pus from the abscess may even drain into the mouth, causing a foul taste or bad breath.
Gum Disease And Tooth Decay
Gum disease and tooth decay are two of the most common dental problems that can lead to an abscessed tooth.
Gum disease occurs when the gums become inflamed and infected, while tooth decay is the breakdown of the tooth’s enamel caused by bacteria.
Both conditions can weaken the tooth’s structure and increase the risk of developing an abscess.
Some common symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, bad breath, and red, swollen gums. Tooth decay is often characterized by tooth sensitivity, pain when chewing, and visible pits or holes in the teeth.
Trauma To The Tooth
In some cases, trauma to the tooth can also cause an abscess to form. This can include a hard blow to the mouth or even something as simple as biting down on a hard piece of food.
When the tooth is damaged, bacteria can enter the inner layers of the tooth, leading to infection and abscess.
If you’ve experienced a traumatic injury to your tooth, symptoms of an abscess may not appear right away. However, over time, you may notice swelling, pain, and sensitivity in the affected tooth.
Poor Oral Hygiene Practices
Finally, poor oral hygiene practices can also contribute to the development of an abscessed tooth.
When you don’t brush and floss regularly, harmful bacteria can build up in your mouth, causing tooth decay, gum disease, and eventually, an abscess.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of an abscessed tooth, it’s essential to seek dental care right away.
Treatment may involve draining the abscess, taking antibiotics, or even an emergency root canal to save the affected tooth.
Video On What Does an Abscess Tooth Look Like
Step 1: Check For Visible Signs
When it comes to identifying an abscess tooth, there are some visible signs you need to check for.
If you have swollen gums around the affected tooth, it could be a sign of an abscess. The swelling may or may not be painful, but it can be quite noticeable.
Redness could be a sign of infection, and it is often associated with pain. If the gums around the affected tooth are red, it could be an indication of an abscess.
White Spots On Gums
Another sign of an abscess could be the appearance of white spots on your gums. These spots could be pus-filled pockets, which is a clear indication of infection.
Bumps Or Lumps On Gums
You may also notice bumps or lumps on your gums near the affected tooth. These could be a sign of an abscess that needs to be treated right away.
It is important to note that an abscess tooth can develop without any visible signs, and it is always best to consult your dentist if you suspect you have one.
Ignoring an abscessed tooth can lead to serious health complications, including bone loss, tooth loss, and even sepsis.
By keeping an eye out for these visible signs, you can identify an abscessed tooth early and seek treatment before it becomes a serious issue.
Step 2: The Pain Test
What does an abscessed tooth look like step 2 – the pain test
Abscess tooth pain can be excruciating, and identifying the tooth causing the pain is the first step to finding relief. Here are two effective ways to perform a pain test on a suspected abscess tooth.
Use Hot And Cold Foods
Hot and cold food and drinks can help pinpoint the affected tooth. Take sips of cold water and hold it in your mouth on the side of the pain for a few seconds before spitting it out.
Avoid extreme temperatures while doing this, as it can cause further pain and sensitivity.
- Drink hot tea or soup and swish it gently over the painful area for about 30 seconds. Note the tooth that responds with pain.
- Use ice packs or a cold compress to help numb the area and relieve discomfort while waiting for treatment.
Check For High Sensitivity
Sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks can indicate an abscessed tooth. Sensitivity may linger for several minutes, making it easier to locate the tooth responsible for the pain.
Here are a few things to try to check for sensitivity:
- Turn off the lights and shine a flashlight into your mouth. The reflection may help pinpoint the painful tooth.
- Use a cotton swab or toothbrush to touch each tooth gently. Note the tooth that elicits pain.
- Try tapping each tooth lightly with a spoon or other utensil. The tooth that causes the most discomfort is likely the abscessed one.
Check For Sharp Pain While Biting
Another way to confirm an abscessed tooth is by testing for sharp pain while biting.
- Bite down on a piece of soft bread or a cotton swab on the side of your mouth with the pain.
- If you experience sharp pain while biting down, the affected tooth may have an abscess.
- Repeat this test with the other side of your mouth to rule out other causes of pain.
Performing a pain test is an effective way to identify an abscessed tooth. If you suspect you have an abscess, it’s important to seek dental care as soon as possible to prevent complications.
Remember to test only the suspected tooth and avoid causing further damage to the affected area.
Step 3: Gum Test
Now that you have checked for the appearance of an abscessed tooth and the presence of pain in the affected area, it’s time to perform a gum test.
Following these steps will make it easier for you to identify the symptoms of an abscessed tooth early on:
Use Gauze To Check For Gum Swelling:
The first step is to take a piece of gauze and gently press it against the affected area of your gum. If there is swelling in your gum, it will be immediately noticeable as the gauze will reveal a bulge.
Keep your eye out for any redness or inflammation as well.
Check For Tender Spots:
Next, you will want to gently press the gauze on different parts of your gum, taking note of any tenderness or discomfort that you may experience.
If you feel any pain when pressing the gauze, it could be a sign of an abscessed tooth.
Swelling Of The Gum Could Indicate An Infection:
If you see any swelling, redness, or inflammation in your gum, it could be an indication of an infection.
Abscess teeth are often the result of an infection, which is why it’s important to identify the issue early on.
By performing a gum test, you can easily pick up on the symptoms of an abscessed tooth, such as swelling and tenderness.
Remember to use a piece of gauze for easy detection and to keep an eye out for any redness or inflammation.
Early detection is key when it comes to treating an abscessed tooth, so make sure to stay on top of your dental health.
Step 4: Tooth Test
An abscessed tooth can be quite painful and unpleasant. If you suspect that you might have an abscessed tooth, it’s important to identify the symptoms as soon as possible.
In this post, we will discuss the fourth step in identifying an abscessed tooth – the tooth test.
Use A Mirror To Check For Discoloration
Checking for discoloration is an essential part of the tooth test. This is best done using a small mirror held up to the affected tooth. You should look for any signs of discoloration or stains on the surface of the tooth.
Discoloration could be a sign of an abscessed tooth.
Bumps Or Spots On The Tooth Might Indicate An Infection
Bumps or spots on a tooth could be an indication of an infection.
This is because the abscess has caused swelling and inflammation that can manifest as bumps or spots on the tooth. Use the mirror to look for any bumps or spots on the tooth.
If you see any, it’s wise to seek attention from a dentist.
Wiggle The Tooth To Check For Mobility
Mobility is another key aspect of the tooth test. If the tooth is freely moving, it could indicate that it has become abscessed.
To check the mobility of the tooth, wiggle it gently with your finger. If it moves easily, you should seek dental attention as soon as possible.
Remember, if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your mouth, it’s essential to seek professional dental care.
Do not delay seeing a dentist as too long a wait could mean a more invasive treatment down the track.
Step 5: Seek Professional Help
An abscessed tooth is a severe dental condition that requires immediate attention from a dentist.
In this situation, visiting a dental professional is your best bet as they can assess the extent of the damage and provide treatment to prevent the infection from spreading.
Here are some critical points to keep in mind in case you suspect an abscessed tooth:
Visit A Dentist Immediately If You Suspect An Abscess Tooth
It is imperative to have a dentist check out the condition of an abscessed tooth, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms such as pain, swelling, or fever.
Delaying professional medical attention can lead to the infection spreading to other parts of your body, causing severe complications.
A dentist can examine the affected tooth and prescribe antibiotics to combat the infection and alleviate your pain and discomfort.
Avoid Using Painkillers As They Can Mask The Symptoms
Although painkillers can provide temporary relief from the pain caused by an abscessed tooth, it is not a permanent solution.
Moreover, numbing the pain can mask other symptoms such as swelling and discharge, which can make it difficult for your dentist to diagnose and treat your condition accurately.
Always remember that painkillers only provide short-term relief and that you need to seek professional medical help as soon as possible.
Inform The Dentist Of Any Allergies Or Medical Conditions You Have
It is crucial to keep your dentist up-to-date on any allergies or medical conditions you have.
This will allow your dentist to prescribe antibiotics and pain medication that won’t cause any adverse reactions or complications.
If you have any allergies, make sure to discuss these with your dentist before taking any medication.
If you suspect an abscessed tooth, it’s essential to seek immediate professional medical attention.
Your dentist can examine and provide treatment to prevent the infection from spreading and causing severe complications.
Additionally, always keep your dentist updated on any allergies or medical conditions that you have to avoid any adverse reactions or complications.
How Dentists Treat Abscess Teeth
An abscessed tooth is a painful condition that affects millions of people worldwide. If left untreated, it can lead to further complications and severe pain.
In this section, we’ll take a closer look at how dentists treat abscess teeth.
Drainage And Cleaning Of The Abscess
The first step in treating an abscessed tooth is to drain and clean the abscess. Dentists make an incision in the abscess to release the pus and other fluids.
They then flush out the area to remove any debris or bacteria that may remain.
This helps to reduce pain and inflammation while preventing the infection from spreading further.
Here are some essential points that you should know about the drainage and cleaning of abscess teeth:
- The area numbing may be necessary before the procedure.
- The pus and fluid will be drained by making a small incision.
- Bacteria and debris will be flushed out to prevent the infection from spreading further.
- The procedure may take around 30 minutes to complete.
Root Canal Treatment
If the abscessed tooth is caused by decay or damage to the tooth’s nerve, root canal treatment may be necessary.
This involves removing the infected nerve and pulp from the tooth before cleaning and sealing it. This procedure helps to save the tooth while preventing the infection from spreading.
Here are some essential points that you should know about root canal treatment:
- A root canal treatment may take more than one appointment to complete.
- The tooth’s nerve and pulp will be removed and cleaned.
- The tooth will be sealed with a filling or crown.
- Pain and discomfort following this procedure are minimal.
If the abscessed tooth is beyond saving, then tooth extraction becomes necessary. This involves removing the damaged tooth and replacing it with a dental implant or bridge.
An extraction may also be necessary for cases where the tooth is blocking other teeth, causing pain, or creating alignment problems.
Here are some essential points that you should know about tooth extraction:
- A numbing agent may be necessary before the extraction.
- Forceps will be used to gently loosen the tooth from its socket.
- The tooth may need to be cut into pieces if it is difficult to remove.
- Pain and swelling following this procedure are common but can be managed with pain medication.
Dentists have several treatment options for abscessed teeth, including drainage and cleaning of the abscess, root canal treatment, or tooth extraction.
It’s vital to consult a dentist as soon as possible if you suspect you have an abscessed tooth to prevent the infection from spreading and minimize pain and discomfort.
Antibiotics For Abscess Tooth
An abscess tooth is a common dental issue that requires immediate attention. It is a painful condition that can cause swelling and inflammation in the mouth.
It occurs when a bacterial infection develops in the root of the tooth or the space between the tooth and gums.
If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications such as tooth loss and even sepsis. Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat an abscessed tooth.
When Are Antibiotics Prescribed?
Antibiotics are prescribed based on the severity of the infection.
Your dentist will determine whether you need antibiotics based on the following:
- If you have a fever
- If you have severe pain
- If there is visible swelling in your gums and face
- If there is a severe infection that spreads to the jaw and neck
Types Of Antibiotics Prescribed
The types of antibiotics that are prescribed to treat an abscessed tooth include:
- Penicillin: Penicillin is usually the first choice of antibiotic to treat an abscessed tooth. It is effective against most bacterial infections and has few side effects.
- Amoxicillin: Amoxicillin is a type of penicillin that is often prescribed to people who are allergic to penicillin. It is equally effective and has fewer side effects.
- Metronidazole: Metronidazole is a type of antibiotic that is used to treat anaerobic infections. It is often prescribed in combination with penicillin.
- Clindamycin: Clindamycin is an alternative antibiotic that is prescribed to people who are allergic to penicillin. It is also effective against anaerobic infections.
Dosage And Duration Of Treatment
The dosage and duration of treatment depend on the severity of the infection.
Your dentist will determine how long you need to take antibiotics based on the following:
- The severity of the infection
- Your medical history
- Your age and weight
The typical course of antibiotics for an abscessed tooth is between 5-10 days. It is important to take the full course of antibiotics, even if you feel better before the course is finished.
Remember, antibiotics are not always necessary to treat an abscessed tooth. Your dentist may recommend other treatments such as draining the abscess or providing root canal therapy.
However, if your dentist prescribes antibiotics, it is important to take them as directed to prevent complications and promote a speedy recovery.
Oral Hygiene Practices To Prevent Abscess Tooth
What Does An Abscess Tooth Look Like
An abscessed tooth is a painful condition that requires urgent dental treatment. The tooth becomes infected, and pus collects in the surrounding tissue.
This results in swelling and severe pain around the affected area. If left untreated, this condition can lead to serious health problems.
Therefore, it is important to identify the symptoms of an abscessed tooth as quickly as possible.
Brushing Twice A Day
Maintaining good oral hygiene is key to preventing an abscessed tooth. Brushing your teeth twice a day is an essential part of maintaining oral hygiene.
Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste removes plaque, which is a sticky film that contains bacteria and can cause tooth decay.
People should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush their teeth for at least two minutes, making sure to cover all surfaces of the teeth, including the tongue.
Flossing is another crucial tool for cleaning between the teeth, where a toothbrush cannot reach.
Flossing removes food particles and plaque from between the teeth, which helps prevent cavities and gum disease. People should floss daily, running the floss gently between the teeth.
Using Mouthwash Regularly
Mouthwash is another tool that can help prevent abscess teeth.
Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride or an antibacterial agent can help reduce the number of bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using mouthwash and not to rinse the mouth vigorously.
Avoiding Sugary Foods And Drinks
Avoiding sugary foods and drinks is another way to prevent abscess teeth. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar, which produces acid that attacks the teeth and causes decay.
People should try to limit their intake of sugary foods and drinks, choosing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains instead.
Taking care of your oral hygiene is the best way to prevent an abscessed tooth.
Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, using mouthwash regularly, and avoiding sugary foods and drinks – these simple lifestyle changes can help prevent serious dental problems in the future.
So, it is important to follow these guidelines to maintain good dental health and prevent abscessing teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions Of What Does An Abscess Tooth Look Like
What Is An Abscessed Tooth?
An abscessed tooth is a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Abscessed Tooth?
Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include severe toothache, swollen glands, and fever.
How Is An Abscessed Tooth Treated?
Treatment for an abscessed tooth may include draining the abscess, prescription antibiotics, and a root canal.
Will An Abscessed Tooth Go Away On Its Own?
An abscessed tooth will not go away on its own. Treatment is necessary to prevent the infection from spreading.
How Can I Prevent An Abscessed Tooth?
To prevent an abscessed tooth, practice good oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly.
It is essential to take proper care of your dental health to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which may lead to an abscessed tooth.
An abscessed tooth is a severe dental infection that occurs at the root of a decayed or broken tooth.
You can identify an abscessed tooth by the symptoms of intense pain, swelling, foul taste or breath, fever, difficulty in swallowing or breathing, and pus discharge.
Furthermore, an abscessed tooth can appear as a small bump or pimple on the gums, which may eventually burst, causing drainage into your mouth.
It is crucial to seek immediate dental care if you experience any of these symptoms to prevent complications like the spreading of infection or tooth loss.
Additionally, maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups can help you prevent and detect dental infections, maintaining good oral health for a long time.