Though your teeth are some of the hardest parts of your body, they can also break due to different factors. When that happens, bacteria can rush to the broken spot and cause an infection that results in a broken tooth abscess.
This condition is rather serious, and it requires immediate treatment. Visiting a great dentist’s office if you have a dental emergency in Ravenswood, IL is the best way to take care of this condition.
Keep reading if you want to find out more about a broken tooth abscess, its symptoms, and treatment options.
Broken Tooth Abscess: The Basics
You can break your tooth in many different ways. It can happen if you chew on something particularly hard or if you have an accident. Different dental conditions can also make the chance of a broken tooth greater. In most cases, a tooth that breaks is already in poor condition.
Generally speaking, breaking a tooth in itself is not that dangerous. You will just have to get a crown or a replacement tooth, and you will be good to go. However, if you don’t treat the tooth immediately or if you have to wait until you can get a crown, problems may arise.
Namely, bacteria will immediately begin breeding close to the break and slowly enter the area inside the tooth. Once they get there, infection will set in as the bacteria form an abscess inside the tooth. This abscess might cause the infection to spread to the rest of your body, which could cause severe complications down the line.
The Symptoms of a Broken Tooth Abscess
At first, the abscess will only present itself with mild discomfort and pain. If you already know that your tooth is broken, calling your dentist at this time is the best idea. Then you can stop the infection from spreading or becoming worse.
However, a tooth abscess may form even if you aren’t aware your tooth is broken. For example, your tooth may just be cracked, and the crack may be hard to spot. Even so, such cracks might allow bacteria to breed, and an abscess can grow just as easily as with a fully broken tooth.
So, if you notice discomfort and slight pain around a tooth and its gums, inspect it closely. A better option would be to visit your dentist immediately. Even if it is not a broken tooth abscess, they will be able to treat you right away and prevent an infection from forming in the first place.
More advanced and prominent symptoms of a broken tooth abscess include:
- Facial swelling
- Swelling of the gums
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Difficulty chewing
- Jaw pain
If you have any of the symptoms we stated above, and if they are accompanied by a high fever, you most likely have an infection. Reacting quickly is of the essence, so call your dentist as soon as possible.
What Is the Cause of a Broken Tooth Abscess?
As we have already mentioned, an abscess is caused by the bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria can also come from the food you consume if a piece gets lodged in your tooth. Once the bacteria enter your broken tooth, they start multiplying quickly, and your white blood cells rush to the spot to fight them off.
To protect the rest of your mouth and body from the bacteria, the cells form a little pocket around them and contain the infection. This pocket is the abscess, and if it breaks, the infection can spread through your mouth.
Apart from appearing inside your broken tooth, abscesses can also form in your jaw bone. That will cause your jaw or cheeks to swell and might be more challenging to treat than a simpler broken tooth abscess.
Treatment for a Broken Tooth Abscess
A Small-Scale Infection
Treatment for a broken tooth abscess depends on how far the infection has progressed. If it has not spread further than your gum line, your dentist will drain the abscess fluid. Then, they will clean the area and remove any foreign objects that might be there (food particles).
After these steps, your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics. These meds will help your tooth heal properly and get it ready for whichever dental procedure you will need to fix the break. It is vital that your tooth and gums heal properly before you get a crown or fillings because, otherwise, the infection might just become worse.
A Large-Scale Infection
In certain cases, simply draining the abscess fluid is not enough. When that happens, the infection has probably spread to the roots of your teeth, the surrounding gums, or even the jawbone.
Most dentists will try a root canal to help you keep your tooth. This procedure will clean out all the pus and infection, and your tooth will no longer be alive. After this, you get your filling and crown, and the tooth will be as good as new.
However, in some instances, the only solution is tooth removal. Though it isn’t ideal, and most doctors will do everything to avoid it, sometimes it is what you need to heal. The dentist will prepare everything, remove your tooth, and thoroughly clean the entire area. That will ensure the infection is no longer present.
After the removal, you will probably get an implant and then a replacement tooth. Though it might seem too complicated and scary, it will actually be rather quick and painless, and you will get your smile back in no time. Any worries about an infection will be gone, and you will be able to return to your everyday life.
A broken tooth abscess is a serious condition that requires immediate attention and treatment. If you react quickly and get an emergency dentist to take a look, you will save your tooth and fight off the infection easily. So, call your doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms, and you should have nothing to worry about.
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