05 Jul How is an Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed?
An abscessed tooth is a painful infection that requires professional treatment such as antibiotic therapy and oral surgery. Wisdom teeth commonly become abscessed because they do not erupt through the gingival tissue properly. An abscessed tooth is diagnosed through an oral examination that will involve physically evaluating the appearance of the tooth and surrounding tissue, as well as taking X-rays to look for signs of bone erosion. Once an abscess is diagnosed, patients will begin taking antibiotics and if the tooth cannot be salvaged, they will be referred to an oral surgeon for an extraction.
Why do wisdom teeth become abscessed?
Wisdom teeth, when retained, commonly become abscessed because they tend to erupt improperly, with some of the tooth’s structure submerged under the gums. Their location also makes them quite difficult to keep clean. Partial eruption paired with their location at the back of the mouth makes it easy for harmful bacteria to thrive. Bacteria and food can become trapped beneath the gums, infecting the periodontal tissue and ultimately the tooth. Without professional treatment, the tooth can become so badly infected that an abscess forms at the tooth’s root. An untreated abscess can destroy neighboring tissue including teeth, bone, and gums.
When is a tooth extraction needed for an abscess?
If the abscessed tooth is a wisdom tooth, its extraction is likely going to be recommended to prevent other complications associated with retaining a wisdom tooth. If another tooth is abscessed, a dentist might try to save the tooth with endodontic therapy and restorations. If a tooth cannot be saved, oral surgery is recommended to ensure that the abscess doesn’t continue to threaten a patient’s oral health.
Will I be comfortable during oral surgery?
During all surgical procedures, our team takes precautions necessary to ensure a positive experience. We will utilize local anesthetics and sometimes, prescription medications like sedatives and analgesics to promote comfortable treatment.
If your dentist has referred you to our practice, call us today to reserve a consultation with our caring staff.