How to Recognize Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

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An abscessed tooth is an infection in a tooth or gum which may occur from an untreated cavity or gum disease. An abscessed tooth requires dental treatment. If it goes untreated it can become serious and the infection may spread. It is important to recognize the symptoms of an abscessed tooth so that you can see a dentist and receive proper treatment.

How to Recognize the Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

  • Feel for sensitivity when drinking hot or cold fluids. An abscessed tooth will react with sensitivity to either temperature extremes.

  • Stand in front of a mirror, open your mouth and examine your gums for a bump on the inside of the cheek or on the gum near the tooth where pain or sensitivity occurs.

  • Look for signs of inflammation such as red and swollen gums.

  • Take your temperature to see if you have a fever. A fever is usually present when there is infection.

  • Feel for swelling in the jaw area. The swelling may be accompanied by a throbbing pain. As the infection progresses, swelling will become more apparent and is easily observed.

  • Feel for swollen lymph glands in the neck. Swelling of the lymph glands may sometimes occur due to infection.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you suspect you have an abscessed tooth, see your dentist. An antibiotic is needed to clear up the infection.
  • If there is any drainage of pus from the abscess, contact your dentist immediately. Spread of infection is possible and can be serious.

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