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Oxford NC orthodontistIf you’re suffering from jaw, tooth, or gum pain, you should be aware of the symptoms of dental abscesses. Dental abscesses are tooth root infections that can potentially become serious if left untreated. Our Oxford, NC, orthodontist explains more below. 

What Is An Abscess?

An abscess is a pocket of pus in the root of the tooth that is caused by an infection of the pulp. The infection can be at the tip of the root (periapical) or in the gum, at the side of the root (periodontal). A periapical abscess is generally a result of an untreated cavity or injury to the tooth. These infections can be life-threatening if left untreated, as they can rupture, or spread to the bone and the blood, creating a full-body infection. 

Risks & Symptoms of an Abscess

Risks for abscesses include a high-sugar diet, dry mouth, and poor oral hygiene.

Keep the following symptoms in mind, especially if you suspect you have an active dental cavity. As the infection worsens, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the jaw
  • Sensitivity
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Swollen gum or cheek
  • Bad breath
  • Fluid leaking from the abscessed area
  • Fever

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it is critical to make an appointment with our orthodontist immediately. If you have trouble breathing or swallowing, go to the emergency room, as this can indicate a spread of the infection to your jaw or other tissues. 

How To Treat Abscesses

An abscess must be treated promptly to ensure proper healing. Our orthodontist will drain the abscess to relieve pain and infection, then evaluate if you need a root canal or a tooth extraction. After your dental procedure, you will most likely be prescribed antibiotics to fight any remaining infection. If you have been treated for an abscess, it is important that you practice good oral hygiene in the future and get regular checkups with our orthodontist. 

Contact Our Oxford, NC, Orthodontist Today To Schedule An Appointment!

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about retainers and other topics related to orthodontic treatment, feel free to contact Wilson Orthodontics, with a convenient orthodontic office near Oxford, NC, by clicking here or by calling 919.371.0384.

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