What are the Symptoms of an Abscess Tooth?

An abscessed tooth is a dental infection that can cause a collection of pus to form in or around the tooth. It typically results from advanced tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or gum disease. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth may include:

  • Severe Toothache: The most common and prominent symptom of an abscessed tooth is a severe, throbbing toothache that can be constant and may radiate to the jaw, ear, or neck.
  • Sensitivity to Hot and Cold: The affected tooth may become extremely sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, causing discomfort when consuming hot or cold foods or beverages.
  • Swelling: Swelling of the face, cheek, or jaw in the area near the affected tooth can occur. This may be accompanied by redness and warmth.
  • Fever: An abscessed tooth can lead to systemic symptoms, including a fever, as the body tries to combat the infection.
  • Bad Taste or Odor: Foul-tasting or bad-smelling discharge from the abscess can sometimes be present in the mouth.
  • Painful Chewing: Chewing or biting down on the affected tooth can be painful, making it difficult to eat.
  • Pus Drainage: In some cases, an abscess may rupture, leading to the drainage of pus, which can relieve pain temporarily but should not be mistaken for a cure. The infection still needs treatment.
  • General Malaise: Individuals with an abscessed tooth may feel generally unwell, with fatigue and a sense of being under the weather.

It’s important to note that the symptoms of an abscessed tooth can vary in severity. Left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas of the face and neck or even become a systemic infection, which can be life-threatening.

If you suspect you have an abscessed tooth or are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, it is essential to seek prompt dental care. Treatment typically involves draining the abscess, removing the source of infection (such as dental decay), and possibly taking antibiotics to clear the infection. Delaying treatment can lead to more severe complications and may require more invasive procedures, such as a root canal or tooth extraction. Dental professionals can provide the necessary care to alleviate pain and prevent the spread of infection.