When a bacterial infection becomes present in the tooth, an abcess can appear, which forms a pocket of pus. These abscesses are typically very painful, even being felt in the neck or ear, and should be looked at right away because they can lead to life threatening conditions.
There are many symptoms that can indicate the presence of an abscess, including:
- Radiating pain
- Pain when eating
- Redness and swelling in the face
- Worsening pain when lying down
- Red, swollen gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Bad breath
- Swollen lymph nodes
To treat an abscess, a dental x-ray may need to be taken to check and see if the infection has spread anywhere else. Depending on the severity, your dentist will recommend one of the following treatment options:
- Making an incision and draining the abscess
- Root canal therapy
- Removing the tooth
If you’re unable to reach your dentist right away or have pain, over the counter medication can be taken to relieve the symptoms until medical help can be given.