An abscessed tooth is a common term used to describe an infection at the root of a tooth or between a tooth and the gums.
It is typically caused by bacteria that enter the tooth through either a dental cavity, chip or crack and spreads all the way down to the root tip. This leads to pain, inflammation and pockets of pus.
In most cases, an abscessed tooth is caused by severe tooth decay or gum disease (gingivitis). In addition, poor dental hygiene and a diet high in sugar, carbohydrates and sticky food increase your risk of developing this problem.
A throbbing and sharp toothache is a common symptom of an abscessed tooth.
Other signs and symptoms include pain when chewing food, increased sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink, change in taste senses, bad breath, swelling in your cheek, red and sore gums, difficulty opening your mouth, difficulty swallowing food, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw, fever, and general discomfort.
If left untreated, the infection may spread to the bone that supports the tooth and may result in severe life-threatening complications. Even if the abscess ruptures and there is a significant reduction in pain, you will still need dental treatment.
At times, as a result of infection, the pulp in the root of the tooth dies, thus decreasing the pain. This, however, does not mean that the infection has healed as it will still continue to spread and destroy the tissue.
If you notice signs of an abscessed tooth, consult a dentist as soon as possible because it will not get better on its own. As an adjunct treatment, you can also try some natural home remedies to help fight the infection and alleviate symptoms