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Want to smile this summer but your teeth are causing some discomfort? A tooth abscess (an infection between the gum and tooth, or at the root of the tooth) may be the cause of your pain. Dana Dental Arts look for an abscess when you come into the office experiencing any of these symptoms:

– Loose tooth
– Bitter taste in mouth or unpleasant breath
– Liquid draining from a sore on the gum
– Neck glands, upper or lower jaw, gums (plus redness) that are swollen
– When chewing hot or cold food, you experience pain or sensitivity
– General discomfort, fever, or ill feeling

If left untreated, the infection spreads and destroys tissues. Even if the pain goes away, the root may have died and the infection continues to spread. See your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms.

An abscessed tooth with redness and swelling is the first indication to your dentist. They will then use a dental instrument to inspect your teeth, ask you to close your mouth tightly and bite down to determine whether you have further pain. An x-ray will establish how much bone or gum erosion is around the abscess.

To treat and stop infection spreading through the abscess, a dentist can use a variety of treatments. Draining the abscess through a root canal can remove the root tissue that is diseased. A crown is typically placed after a root canal. Another option to drain the abscess is an incision through the swollen gum, or remove the tooth altogether to drain through the socket. The tooth is then replaced by a dental implant. Antibiotics are another solution.

Over-the-counter medication and warm salt water rinses may ease your discomfort until an appointment with your dentist. Dana Dental Arts here in Spearfish, South Dakota wants to help ease your discomfort. Give us a call at 605.642.7727 to schedule an appointment or consultation, and Dr. Michael Dana will be happy to give you the dental care and quality your smile needs.