What Are the Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth and Gum Infection?

What Are the Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth and Gum Infection?

If you’ve been experiencing any sort of ongoing toothache that involves sharp pain or a throbbing sensation, you may be under the impression that it’s just a cavity. In reality, though, it could be something even more destructive: an abscessed tooth. Odds are, though, that you may not be entirely sure how to recognize such a condition. You may even find yourself asking, “What are the symptoms of an abscessed tooth and gum infection? Dr. Karen Kang, a dentist in Midtown Manhattan, can provide the answers you need.

An abscessed tooth is usually the result of severe decay in one of the teeth, but can also result from any sort of injury such as chipping, a break in the tooth, or even gum disease. All of these factors result in small openings appearing in the tooth enamel. Bacteria are then free to invade the interior of the tooth and cause an infection that can reach all the way to the tooth’s root.

Left unattended, the infection will eventually destroy the pulp at the center of the tooth. At that point, the toothache subsides. The infection continues to spread, though, and will attack tissue for as long as it is left untreated. That makes it all the more important for you to recognize the symptoms of this condition and seek treatment as early in the process as possible.

The symptoms of an abscessed tooth or infected gums can include:

Sharply elevated temperature. The fever can often be mistaken with the flu or other sicknesses. As a general rule, however, it is always wise to check for an infection whenever fevers appear.
Pain whenever you try to chew. This is due to the added pressure placed on the supporting tissue surrounding the abscessed area.
Extreme sensitivity to temperature, most commonly noticed when drinking either hot or cold beverages.
Swelling in the glands of the neck.
The jaw can become swollen. This is usually an indication that the infection is spreading.
The gums can sometimes become sore and have open wounds that ooze pus. This is a clear sign that an infection is present.
You may have a bitter taste in your mouth, even when you haven’t eaten any food that could explain it.
Your breath can be extremely bad, due to the infectious material.

Like many infections, a tooth abscess can lead to more severe complications if it is not treated. In some instances, there can be such swelling in the jaw and glands that breathing can even be impaired. To prevent those complications and avoid further damage to the teeth and gums, you should consult with a dentist at the first sign of trouble.

Dr. Kang at Ebenezer Dental in Midtown Manhattan can help to get the diagnosis you need, and then arrange the treatment necessary to correct the issue. While some advanced abscesses will result in the loss of the affected tooth, many can be saved when the condition is caught early. To protect your teeth, always take proactive action when these symptoms appear.