What Abscessed Tooth Looks Like
If you think you have an abscessed tooth (periapical abscess), it’s likely that you’ll experience quite a bit of prolonged pain. But tooth abscesses are not always accompanied by pain. So it is helpful to know what this condition looks like. It’s advisable to get all dental abscesses observed and treated as soon as possible to stop the possibility of the infection spreading.
An abscessed tooth can occur if you get a bacterial infection in the pulp of the tooth. The bacterial infection usually happens if teeth aren’t properly cared for or if you leave an injured tooth untreated. Poor oral hygiene allows plaque build up on teeth. Acid in the plaque damages your natural protective tooth enamel (outer layer in Fig A). Once the outer layers of the tooth start to decay, bacteria can easily infect the pulp inside the root canal.
The bacterial infection of the tooth spreads throughout the pulp and this is when an abscess is likely to appear. An abscess is a small sack of pus that accumulates usually at the tip of the root (see Fig B). In one sense, an abscess is a good thing as it’s a bodily defense mechanism that blocks the infection and stop it spreading to other parts. A painful abscess alerts you to the unknown infection. But don’t delay; you’ll need to get the infection treated quickly – ideally by an endodontist or root canal specialist who will cleanse the bacteria from the canals and then seal the empty space. Why go to a dental specialist? He/she has the right equipment to do the job correctly and completely the first time.
What a tooth abscess looks like to the human eye
Tooth abscesses can vary slightly in appearance and not all of them are clearly visible. You should seek dental treatment if you experience oral pain or discomfort, or if you keep getting an unusual taste in your mouth, as it’s likely that you have an abscess which is leaking.
Visible abscesses can appear as a small lump on the gums next to the infected tooth (see Fig C) or often as more general swelling around the tooth (Fig D). Sometimes swelling can occur on the face (Fig E) or on the lymph nodes in the neck.
But even if the pain is intense and the swelling is severe, dental abscesses can be quite easily treated by dentist professionals and prevented through good oral hygiene.
Thanks for reading. Hope we satisfied your concern. Please feel free to leave a comment below or send in a request for more information of your abscessed tooth.