7 Signs That You Have A Dental Abscess

A dental abscess (infection) can cause some serious problems and even land you in the hospital.  Most of the time, before this occurs, there are certain symptoms that will show up, letting you know that this condition is present. Knowing how to spot the signs will help you take action quickly, while the problem can still be fixed and before you’re in excruciating pain. Call Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ if you’re experiencing any of the following signs of infection. 

What Are the Signs of a Dental Abscess?

  1. Fistula, Gum Boil or Pimple

A fistula is a pimple-like knot that appears on the gum tissue. It’s filled with infection. The tooth nearest the fistula is the one that is abscessed.

  1. Pus in Your Mouth

Most often the fistula will have a small hole that allows the infection to drain.  If you have pus coming from your mouth, then you likely have a fistula somewhere.

  1. Bad Taste and Odor in Your Mouth

When the pus drains from your mouth is causes a bad taste (salty, metallic, or sour) and a foul odor in your mouth.

  1. Severe Pain

The pain from a dental abscess shows itself in different forms.  Temperature sensitivity is common, meaning cold and hot things that touch your tooth will hurt. Chewing, biting your teeth together, or even just touching your tooth could be painful. You may also experience unprovoked, sporadic pain that wakes you up at night.

If over-the-counter pain medicines like ibuprofen or Aleve aren’t enough to relieve your toothache, then it’s likely you have a serious dental abscess.

  1. Swelling

Swelling will not only occur at the sight of the infection. It can also spread to your cheek, face, neck, and throat. You may begin to have trouble swallowing and breathing.  If the infection reaches your eye it can swell it shut.


  1. Having A High Fever

Having a fever is not something to take lightly.  You should seek the assistance of our dentist in Mesa right away if you’re experiencing high fever and a suspected tooth infection.

  1. Earache

Commonly, people will mistake a toothache for an ear infection (as well as the other way around.) Since the nerves in your face run so closely together, an abscessed tooth can cause pain in the ears.

Antibiotics for A Dental Abscess

When you have a dental abscess, seeing a dentist in Mesa is unavoidable. You will need to have the tooth treated.  No amount of antibiotics will eliminate the infection.  Though they’re often prescribed, antibiotics only reduce the level of infection (and swelling) leading up to your treatment.

Mesa, AZ Treatments for Dental Abscesses 

To get treated we’ll need to take a dental x-ray of your tooth and examine the area.  There are two ways to treat an abscessed tooth.  You may have the option of saving the tooth by doing root canal therapy, or you may elect to have the tooth removed permanently.

Root Canal Therapy

During a root canal, our Mesa dentist will access the nerve of your tooth by making a small opening in the surface.  Then he will clean out all of the infected tissue and sterilize the hollow chamber left behind.  Finally, he will fill the nerve canals with a sealant material to seal them off.

After the root canal is complete, any decay will be removed from the tooth.  Voids will be filled in with a buildup material similar to a composite filling. Since most endodontically treated teeth are more brittle, we recommend that you protect them from everyday wear by getting a crown made.

A crown is an essentially a shell or “cap” that’s cemented over compromised teeth and serves to protect them from future damage. Waiting weeks to get a crown made is a thing of the past.  Eastport Dental in Mesa has advanced technology that will have you leaving the dental office with a brand new, permanent tooth replacement on the same day as your root canal!

Tooth Extractions

You may opt, for whatever reason, to just get the tooth removed. In fact, in some cases, you may not even have the option of saving it. During a tooth extraction, the bad tooth and its infected roots are completely removed.  This leaves an open space.  If you’re interested in replacing the tooth to preserve spacing, you could choose between a dental implant, bridge, or a partial.  Our Mesa dentist will discuss your options with you.

Diagnosing Your Dental Abscess

If you have had any of the above symptoms, don’t ignore them.  Our Mesa dentist is here to get you out of pain as quickly as possible.  Give our office a call today to schedule!

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