Abscesses: what are they, and what should you do about them

An abscess is an area of infection and pus that can appear at the root of an infected tooth. If you are experiencing symptoms of an abscess, our experienced dentists at Northern Beaches Dental in Mackay can help. An abscess is considered a dental emergency. If you think you have one you should visit us for an emergency dental appointment in Mackay as soon as possible.

Emergency Dental Appointment in MackayThe dangers of untreated abscesses

An abscess will not get better by itself. You must see a dentist to get it treated. Leaving an abscess untreated can lead to serious health problems such as losing the infected tooth. If you leave an abscess untreated for a long time, you may find that the pain spreads into your jawbone, neck, and head. An emergency dental appointment in Mackay can save your tooth, relieve your pain and protect your future dental health.

What can cause a tooth abscess?

Yout teeth are made up of an outer shell of hard enamel and a soft, pulp-filled centre. This soft centre can get infected. If it does you can develop an abscess very quickly. An abscess can be caused by:

  • tooth decay
  • gum disease
  • a broken or cracked tooth.

When an abscess develops in your tooth pulp, the infection can take hold in your jawbone too and from there spread out to neighbouring teeth.

What are the symptoms of abscesses?

An abscess can, but doesn’t always, cause a pimple-like lump on your gum. This lump may ooze puss if you press it. If you experience this, it is very likely you have an abscess. Other symptoms can include:

  • persistent dental pain
  • swelling
  • red gums
  • an unpleasant taste
  • pain when chewing
  • jaw ache
  • fever
  • swollen glands
  • trouble swallowing.

In some cases people may experience almost no symptoms, other than perhaps a little toothache. It may be that the pus has found a way to drain into your jaw. An x-ray can confirm whether or not you have an abscess.

If you think you have a tooth abscess, call us for an emergency dental appointment in Mackay.