DENTIST - TWIN FALLS, ID

Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. It’s most commonly caused by severe tooth decay. Other causes of tooth abscess are trauma to the tooth, such as when it is broken or chipped, and gingivitis or gum disease.

These problems can cause openings in the tooth enamel, which allows bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (called the pulp). The infection may also spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth.
What Are the Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth?

A toothache that is severe and continuous and results in gnawing or throbbing pain or sharp or shooting pain are common symptoms of an abscessed tooth. Other symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Foul smell to the breath
  • Swollen neck glands
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
  • Redness and swelling of the gums
  • Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw
  • An open, draining sore on the side of the gum

If the root of the tooth dies as a result of infection, the toothache may stop. However, this doesn’t mean the infection has healed; the infection remains active and continues to spread and destroy tissue. Therefore, if you experience any of the above listed symptoms, it is important to see a dentist even if the pain subsides.
How Is an Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed?

Your dentist will probe your teeth with a dental instrument. If you have an abscessed tooth, you will feel pain when the tooth is tapped by your dentist’s probe. Your dentist will also ask you if your pain increases when you bite down or when you close your mouth tightly. In addition, your dentist may suspect an abscessed tooth because your gums may be swollen and red.

Your dentist may also take X-rays to look for erosion of the bone around the abscess.
How Is an Abscessed Tooth Treated?

Strategies to eliminate the infection, preserve the tooth, and prevent complications are the goals of treatment.

To eliminate infection, the abscess may need to be drained. Achieving drainage may be done through the tooth by a procedure known as a root canal. Root canal surgery may also be recommended to remove any diseased root tissue after the infection has subsided. Then, a crown may be placed over the tooth.

The tooth may also be extracted, allowing drainage through the socket.

Finally, a third way to drain the abscess would be by incision into the swollen gum tissue.

Antibiotics are prescribed to help fight the infection. To relieve the pain and discomfort associated with an abscessed tooth, warm salt-water rinses and over-the-counter pain-reducing medication like ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) can be used.

The inflammation and pain of abscesses can be relieved with a low-level laser, making the patient more comfortable to receive the injection in a more painless way.
Can an Abscessed Tooth Be Prevented?

Following good oral hygiene practices can reduce the risk of developing a tooth abscess. Also, if your teeth experience trauma (for example, become loosened or chipped), seek prompt dental attention.

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sandy shafer
sandy shafer
Professional and very friendly group! Excellent experience and Dr Lyman didn’t want to do unnecessary procedures!! My last dentist ALWAYS wanted to do $3000-$5000 work on me and my husband.
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Sep 13, 2021
Hollie Ann Pember
Hollie Ann Pember
I had a problem with work that was performed by another dentist. I was hurting, scared and anxious. Dr. Lyman and his staff worked me in quickly and were supportive of my physical (and unfortunately emotional) needs at the time. Dr. Lyman explained that the work I had with the other dentist wasn't the problem, even complimented the other dentist's work. He then showed me what needed to be done and got me set up with a specialist to get taken care of. I couldn't be more grateful for he and his staff.
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Apr 14, 2021
chris Jensen
chris Jensen
Green Acres family dentist Has always gotten me in, in a timely manner. They've Worked kindly to accept my ability to pay my bill. Once I had to cancel at the last minute and they were very understanding. The girls at the front desk are super helpful and treat me with a genuine care. I REFERRED my oldest son there, and years later he's still with them.
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Dec 07, 2020
Toni Hendrickson
Toni Hendrickson
Dr. Lyman and his staff are very kind and friendly. It’s easy to feel comfortable and at home in their office. Several hygentists work there. Every single one has been thorough and gentle. Dr. Lyman has done a good job on every procedure he has performed on my teeth I highly recommend these people and this office.
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Oct 13, 2020
Caylie Wickham
Caylie Wickham
Going to the dentist is never fun, but they make it SO easy, painless, and fast! I will never go anywhere else!
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Mar 24, 2022

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