Monthly Archives: January 2013

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What Is An Abscessed Tooth And How To Deal With It

Abscessed ToothAn abscessed tooth is simply a painful infection that occurs between the gums or at the tooth’s root. It’s commonly caused by severe dental decay, gum disease or gingivitis, and trauma to the tooth, i.e., chipped or broken tooth. These problems may create openings in the enamel of the tooth, causing bacterial infections in the center of a tooth. Sometimes the infection may spread from the tooth’s root to bones that support the tooth. Fortunately, there are so many dental treatments and options available to help deal with this problem.

Causes of an abscessed tooth

An abscessed tooth is most commonly brought about by serious decay within the mouth, but may be caused by various other things such as:

  • Damage or trauma to the tooth
  • Certain disorders of the mouth like Gingivitis
  • Previous fillings wearing down or becoming dislodged

Each tooth has an extremely sensitive pulp at the center. When the enamel of the tooth becomes cracked or chipped, it can’t protect the sensitive pulp, nerves in the tooth, and jaw bone anymore.

Symptoms of an abscessed tooth

An abscessed tooth has a number of symptoms, but the main one is a very painful toothache. It is characterized by continuous pain and can be described as throbbing, sharp, gnawing or shooting.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Breath odor
  • General uneasiness, discomfort or ill feeling
  • Sensitivity of teeth to cold or heat
  • Bitter taste in mouth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Fever
  • Swollen area of lower or upper jaw, which is a quite serious problem
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Swelling of gum above the affected tooth, that may appear like a pimple
  • Self care techniques at home

Avoid anything that can worsen the pain, such as cold air or cold and hot foods. Holding crushed ice or cooled water around the tooth may sometimes relieve the pain. The pain may often get worse when you lie flat, so lie propped up to help relieve the pain.

Medical treatment

The doctor can decide to try therapy using antibiotics or open up the abscess and let the pus drain. This is usually the only way to cure the infection, unless the abscess unravels on its own. Those who have tooth abscess are normally prescribed pain relief medications and, and depending on the doctor’s assessment, antibiotics to treat the infection.

How to prevent tooth abscess

Preventions plays a significant role when it comes to maintaining proper dental health. Brushing and flossing every day, along with frequent dental checkups may prevent both tooth abscess and tooth decay. Anyone who frequently suffers from an abscessed tooth needs to be assessed by a doctor to determine if the condition is caused by an underlying medical problem.

Avoiding the use of tobacco (smoking and chewing) can also help. If tooth decay gets discovered early and is promptly treated, cavities that might develop into abscesses may often be corrected.

Tips For People With Sensitive Teeth

Fixing Sensitive TeethTooth sensitivity affects many people and it’s often triggered by certain types of food and drink. In a healthy mouth, the dentine, the underlying layer that the surrounds a tooth’s nerve, is protected not only by your gums but by the hard enamel of your tooth’s crown. Over time, the enamel of your tooth’s crown can become thinner and thinner, thus providing the dentine with less protection from the elements. Your gums can also recede (move away from your teeth) over time, exposing the sensitive dentine.

The dentine comprises a large number of pores that run from the outside of your tooth to its delicate nerve in the very center. When the dentine loses its protection, these pores become highly sensitive to changes in the acidity, sweetness and temperature of the foods you consume.

The dentine can become exposed for a number of reasons. The natural aging process and improper tooth brushing can result in receding gums and hence, exposure of the dentine. Gum disease, which can cause your gums to recede, and chipped or broken teeth can also cause the dentine to become exposed.

Cleaning your teeth with a harsh toothpaste or heavy hand, brushing more than three times daily and drinking a significant amount of acidic drinks can contribute to the thinning of the tough enamel that protects the dentine. Bulimia and acid reflux can also contribute to sensitivity due to the high levels of damaging acid present in your mouth. Certain types of dental treatments can also cause you to suffer from painful teeth, including professional tooth whitening, fillings, professional dental cleanings and having braces put onto your teeth.

If you’re experiencing dental sensitivity, it’s essential to work with us to uncover its cause. If your sensitivity is caused by exposed dentine, we recommend using a soft bristled toothbrush, brushing correctly to avoid thinning your tooth enamel and using a toothpaste that’s been specifically designed to reduce your dental sensitivity.

Since tooth sensitivity is commonly triggered by certain foods and drinks, we’d recommend that you avoid these triggers where possible. If breathing in cold air makes your teeth feel painful, it’s essential to wrap up warm when venturing outdoors. A diet low in acidic foods may also aid in preventing further sensitivity, as can following a good oral hygiene regime consisting of regular brushing, flossing and rinsing.

Ignoring tooth pain and sensitivity can potentially lead to more severe oral health problems, especially if pain prevents you from brushing your teeth properly each and every day. It’s therefore imperative to let us know about your sensitive teeth so that we can thoroughly examine your teeth and gums and help you to embark on the best course of dental treatment for your individual needs.