Do I Have an Abscessed Tooth?
Dental abscesses happen when the nerve inside of your tooth is infected and becomes inflamed – leading to drainage or pus out the tip of the tooth root.
If we suspect an abscess, our dentists at Purity Dental Mulgrave will order a periapical X-ray that shows the entire root structure. From there, we’ll look to see if there’s a dark radiolucency around the root tip, which is indicative of a dental abscess.
Sometimes, that cyst becomes so large that it needs to drain. As such, it creates a small opening through the gums, where the pus drains out of the tooth through the gums and into the mouth. You might notice a salty bitter taste that comes and goes, as the infection drains.
A fistula is a small pimple-like structure that accompanies draining dental abscesses. Usually, fistulas come and go depending on the stage of the infection. You’ll notice the pimple on the gums along the area next to the tooth root.
In some cases, our dentists may place you on antibiotics to help heal up the initial infection. Excessive swelling and inflammation can make it difficult to anaesthetise or numb the tooth, so antibiotics help prepare you for the next phase of treatment. However, antibiotic therapy does not stop the infection or keep the abscess from coming back.
So what’s next? Endodontic therapy (aka root canal treatment.) By removing the infected nerve structures and sealing out the canals, we can medicate the inside of the tooth then seal it off, preventing risk of reinfection. Root canals are the only treatment available for restoring abscessed teeth. If we allow the infection to go untreated, the tooth would usually start to resorb (shrink away) from the inside, ultimately requiring an extraction.
Need a root canal in Mulgrave? Visit the dentists at Purity Dental today!