Pella, IA Residents: What’s the Cause of your Toothache?

ToothPainManToothaches can be the result of cavities, dental injuries, and other undiagnosed dental conditions. If you ignore an ache in your teeth, or don’t present with symptoms when you have an infection, you could end up with something called an abscessed tooth. Your teeth are coated with enamel, an extremely strong compound that is designed to guard your teeth from bacterial infiltration. Unfortunately, acidic diets and poor dental hygiene can make enamel weak and damaged, opening up your teeth and all of the sensitive nerves and roots below to serious infection. If you have a toothache that is sudden, severe, and accompanied by a pimple-like bump on your gums, you may have an abscessed tooth. Pella, IA general dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen, can help you deal with this kind of toothache.

Describing Abscesses

Abscesses are often described as a sharp and throbbing toothache. These severe infections are sometimes accompanied by distinct and unusual breath odor, bitter taste in the mouth, pain that gets worse when you chew or bite, down, fever, malaise, temperature sensitive teeth, swollen gums, swollen jaw, and swollen glands. Abscessed teeth can sometimes be mistaken for sinus infections when the upper molars are the teeth infected because they are located so closely to each other. To diagnose an abscess, Dr. Allen will give you a thorough examination, possibly including x-rays to uncover the extent of infection and damage.

Treating the Infection

The main goal when treating an abscess is to control the infection so the tooth won’t need to be extracted. Antibiotics are often sufficient treatment when the infection is dealt with early enough. The bump may drain pus which you should avoid swallowing. Rinse with warm salt-water and follow Dr. Allen’s instructions to take over-the-counter pain relievers in order to lower your level of discomfort while you heal. Root canal procedures are sometimes necessary to repair damage and save the remaining tooth structure. Occasionally, severe abscesses may require surgical drainage or complete tooth extraction.

Contact Your Pella General Dentist

Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule an appointment. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA.