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Can an Abscessed Tooth be Considered a Dental Emergency?

Dental abscesses are a prevalent issue caused by a bacterial infection that people may face at some point in their lives. They can manifest in various areas of the tooth or gum and cause severe discomfort, hindering daily activities like eating and speaking. Periapical, periodontal, and gingival abscesses are the most common types of dental abscesses. The gravity of the condition varies and can range from mild to severe, making it critical to identify if it requires urgent attention. Neglecting dental abscesses can lead to severe complications such as infection spreading to other body parts, tooth loss, or even life-threatening situations. Hence, seeking immediate dental treatment when detecting an abscess is crucial. However, many people need to recognize the signs and symptoms of dental abscesses and know what to do if they encounter one.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Dental Abscess?

Dental abscesses can be identified through several symptoms, such as:

  • Throbbing or sharp pain in the affected tooth or gum
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Pain when biting or chewing food
  • Redness and swelling in the gums or face
  • Foul taste in the mouth and bad breath
  • Fever, which may indicate an infection that is spreading
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing can signify a severe infection that demands immediate medical attention.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to seek dental treatment promptly to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further complications.

How Do I Know If An Abcess Needs Emergency Treatment?

At what point is a dental abscess deemed an emergency? An abscess in the teeth occurs when bacteria from an existing cavity spreads to the soft tissues and bones in the face and neck, causing inflammation and excruciating pain. The infection can expand to several areas, including the gums, throat, cheek, tongue, and facial bone.

As pus accumulates, the pain intensifies, and the abscess may either drain on its own or require surgical drainage. However, if the infection goes untreated, it can escalate and cause swelling that obstructs the airway, making breathing difficult. Dental abscesses can also cause general discomfort, with symptoms such as fever, vomiting, chills, and sweating. Therefore, under what circumstances should a dental abscess be considered a medical emergency?

Inadequate oral hygiene is not the only cause of a dental abscess; other factors such as an unhealthy diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, or specific medical conditions can also increase the likelihood of cavities forming in the teeth. Subsequently, this infection can spread to the gums and surrounding regions, eventually resulting in a painful dental abscess.

When is it Necessary to Seek Immediate Treatment for an Abscess?

If you encounter any of the following symptoms, it is advisable to seek emergency care in Calgary for a dental abscess:

  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • A sudden increase in swelling in the face, neck, or jaw accompanied by severe pain
  • High fever or chills
  • Feeling unwell, nausea, or vomiting
  • Confusion or disorientation

It is important to note that dental abscesses can be very painful and can quickly worsen if left untreated. Seeking prompt emergency dental care can help prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the body and potentially life-threatening situations. In some cases, a dental abscess may require immediate surgical drainage to relieve pressure and manage the infection.

At All Smiles Dental Care, our experienced emergency dentist in NW Calgary is committed to providing timely and efficient dental care to patients experiencing urgent dental issues. We offer flexible appointment options and use the latest technology and techniques to provide you with the best possible care. If you require an emergency dentist in NW Calgary, feel free to contact us today at (403) 777-3567 to schedule an appointment.


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