A periapical dental abscess is a type of tooth infection that is well-known to most general dentistry professionals. A periapical dental abscess refers to a collection of pus that develops on or near the tip of a tooth's root. Risk factors for a periapical abscess include poor oral hygiene habits, a cracked tooth, dry mouth, and consuming a high-sugar diet. If you have any of the following signs and symptoms, your dentist may suspect a periapical dental abscess.
A subjective symptom is something that only you (the patient) can perceive, so before your general dentistry professional can evaluate these subjective symptoms, you need to tell them. Subjective symptoms of a periapical dental abscess include throbbing pain in the infected tooth that may radiate to your jaw or neck, sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, and pain when biting down.
Feeling hot and getting chills are also subjective symptoms that may be the result of a periapical dental abscess. A bad taste in your mouth may also be present and is usually the result of pus draining from the tooth.
Signs Revealed Through Dental Exam
In addition to discussing your subjective symptoms with your dentist, they will perform an oral examination to assess your teeth for signs of a periapical abscess. These revealing signs may include redness and swelling of the gum tissue that surrounds the abscessed tooth, facial or throat swelling, and yellow or greenish discharge draining out of your tooth or gum tissue. In addition, the dentist may palpate your neck to see if you have swollen lymph nodes, which may be caused by a dental abscess. Bad breath may also alert your dentist to the presence of a severe tooth infection.
In addition to a complete oral examination, your dentist may also take x-rays of your teeth to help identify the precise area of infection and to determine whether or not the infection has spread. If you have a periapical dental abscess, your dentist will clean the tooth and then make an incision in the area of the root tip so that the abscess can be drained of pus. Oral antibiotics will probably be prescribed, and if warranted, your dentist may suggest a root canal.
If you develop any of the above signs and symptoms of a periapical dental abscess, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. When an abscessed tooth is treated promptly, you may be less likely to lose your tooth.
Call a general dentistry clinic for more information.
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