Why An Oral Abscess Is A Dental Emergency

If you experience throbbing and shooting pain in the mouth, sensitivity to extreme temperatures, and a fever, then you may have a dental abscess. This is even more likely if you see a protruding mass in the gum tissues near one of your teeth. Dental abscesses are considered emergencies, and you should seek out an emergency dentist at a dental office like Milner Dentistry. Keep reading to learn about some reasons why an abscess is an emergency.

It Can Lead To Septicemia

You may know that the vast majority of bodily infections need to be treated properly with antibiotics. If an infection is not treated, then it will spread and become substantially worse. When it comes to oral abscesses, infections can spread to the jaw bone, heart, brain, or other tissues in the immediate region. Also, if the abscess bursts, then bacteria can be released into the bloodstream. 

If bacteria enter the bloodstream, they can travel all throughout the body to cause new infections. Also, the microorganisms will trigger a widespread immune response where antibodies are released into the bloodstream. This causes an issue where many of the bodily tissues become inflamed, and organs can be damaged in the process. This condition is called septicemia or sepsis. 

Sepsis can and should be avoided, and this means seeking immediate treatment for an oral abscess. 

It Can Cause Tooth Loss

When an oral infection develops, it typically involves the infection of the inner tooth tissue called the pulp. As the infection progresses, pus and bacteria will drain from the tooth roots. If the bacteria spread to the tissues of the gums, then an abscess can form. Typically, the infection is advanced at this point. The advanced infection will mean more and more tissue damage inside the tooth and the buildup of pus and debris within the pulp chamber. 

Over time, the infection can weaken the tooth substantially, and it may be impossible to complete a root canal. In other words, the tooth is likely to crack or break apart along the root structure if the treatment is completed. Instead of completing a root canal on this sort of tooth, your dentist will decide to remove it entirely.

Since the abscess indicates an advanced infection, immediate treatment can save your tooth. In some cases, the emergency dentist will not perform a root canal right away, but antibiotics will be provided. This controls the infection and gives you time to meet with your general dentist or to schedule a root canal at a later date with the emergency professional.