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Warning Signs of an Abscess: Dental Emergency
Wondering what constitutes a dental emergency? When teeth go untreated for too long, cavities open up and provide gateways for bacteria to invade enamel, gums and even jaws. These infections can lead to extremely painful and often sickness-inducing dental abscesses that will only get worse without proper dental attention. Here are warning signs of a dental abscess and a good rule of thumb for when to seek dental emergency treatment.
Pain and what it means
The first symptom of a dental abscess is a painful toothache that will impact all parts of the mouth, especially at the site of infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is the body’s biggest danger signal and should not be ignored. If a patient seeks treatment when dental pain is first noticed, a whole host of other issues can be avoided.
Physical reactions throughout the body
On top of localized pain in the mouth, the bacteria that infect teeth when ingested can produce other reactions, including fever or nausea, according to WebMD. These are signs of an advanced infection and therefore, a sure sign that professional dental emergency help is needed to mitigate the effects of the abscess and begin the process of removing it, either in the form of a root canal or pulling the tooth.
Difficulty opening your mouth
According to Medical News Today, the pain that radiates to areas around the mouth is a symptom that makes daily tasks like eating and drinking more difficult. If an abscess is creating issues like this, it has become a dental emergency and needs to be tended to immediately.
Since an abscess also creates inflammation in the affected area as your immune system works to fight the infection, swelling is another symptom that can make life miserable, according to WebMD. Swelling can also make it more difficult for an abscess to be treated, so it is important to go in before extreme symptoms like this start showing up.
Signs it is time to seek care
Any pain in the mouth and teeth
The best time to get help for a dental abscess or any dental issue in general is when the first inklings of pain start showing up. Going in for care at the first sign of trouble can spare you from painful symptoms and more treatments needed for advanced infections.
Weeping, pus or other fluids besides saliva
Although seeking dental care for any pain is a good rule of thumb for dental health in general, the defining feature of a dental abscess is the pus that is created. If any fluids that are not saliva are noticed in the mouth, that is a sure-fire sign that emergency treatment for an advanced dental infection is a good call.
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