March 7, 2019
One of the most painful dental health issues your child can face is an abscessed (infected) tooth. If this problem arises, it’s vital to take expeditious action to have it treated. But first, you need to know what symptoms to be on the lookout for. Your kids’ dentist in Dix Hills provides the answers you need so you can best protect your child’s oral health.
What is an Abscessed Tooth?
To gain an understanding of an abscessed tooth, let’s first take a look at the tooth’s anatomy, which includes the following basic parts:
- The Enamel – The hard, outer layer of the tooth, the enamel protects the more sensitive parts from harmful debris and bacteria.
- The Dentin – Over time, if there is tooth decay, the enamel can be penetrated. Then, bacteria can gain access to the more sensitive dentin, the first layer that contains nerve activity.
- The Pulp – Untreated, bacteria will keep moving. If allowed to reach the inner-most part of the tooth, the pulp, there can be intense pain.
Because bacteria won’t stop moving on their own, the infection can eventually spread to the root of the tooth, causing an abscess to develop. Ironically, there is a benefit to this happening.
That’s because an abscess is the body’s way of identifying a threat. Then, by surrounding the area, it can stop the infection from traveling farther and causing even more serious conditions.
Recognizing the Symptoms in Your Child
The best way to help your child recover from a dental abscess is to recognize the following warning signs:
- Severe pain when chewing
- A red bump near the tooth
- Elevated body temperature
- Pus secretions from the tooth
- A tooth that turns a dark color
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Swelling in the gums and cheeks
At the first sight of any of these signs, you should reach out to your dentist to schedule a visit.
How an Abscessed Tooth Can be Treated
There are generally three ways to treat an abscessed tooth: antibiotics, root canal therapy or an extraction. Here is an explanation of each process:
- Antibiotics – If the infection has spread past the teeth and gums to the jaw, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics to stop the bacteria growth.
- Root Canal – Another possible remedy is to have a root canal performed. It involves the dentist gaining access to the pulp, removing any decayed tissue and then packing and sealing the tooth.
- Tooth Extraction – As a last resort, the dentist may recommend having the tooth extracted. This route is usually taken when the damage has progressed to a point where the tooth is not salvageable.
The last thing you want is to see your child suffer. Now that you know how your dentist can help him or her overcome a tooth infection in Dix Hills, don’t hesitate to reach out to seek the care your little one needs.
About the Author
Dr. Raj Gaur earned his dental degree from New Jersey Dental School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Throughout his career, he has remained committed to providing the absolute best in care. Dr. Gaur helps children maintain healthy teeth and gums at Dix Hills Family Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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