What is a Tooth Abscess?

Tooth problems have become common in the daily life of individuals. It begins with a little pain when chewing, bad breath, or sometimes yellowing of teeth. It can stay for months unnoticed, but when it blows up, your dental health becomes an issue. One of the most severe tooth problems that should be avoided at all costs are a tooth abscess. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that is frequently caused by a bacterial infection. It occurs in different parts of a tooth. There are two common types of tooth abscess; periodontal abscess, which occurs at the gums, and periapical abscess, which appears on the tip of a tooth.

 

Causes of a Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess, especially, periapical abscess, is caused by an untreated dental cavity or sometimes injuries as a result of dental work. It occurs when bacteria invade the delicate dental pulp and affect nerves, connecting tissues and blood vessels. The entry of the bacteria is mostly through a crack on the tooth or a dental cavity. It then moves downwards of the root, which consequently causes inflammation and swelling at the tip of the tooth.

A dentist treats this condition by draining the tooth and removing the infection. Sometimes draining becomes difficult, but they can still apply the root canal treatment. When the condition worsens, it can call for the total removal of the tooth.

 

Signs and Symptoms

Common symptoms of a tooth abscess include:

  • The sensitivity of your tooth during chewing or biting.
  • Severe throbbing toothache that can cause pain on the jawbone, ear, and neck
  • Swelling in your cheeks and the face
  • Difficulties in swallowing and breathing
  • Fever
  • High sensitivity to temperature
  • Swollen lymph nodes on the neck or under the jaw

 

Factors that Increase Chances of Developing Tooth Abscess

  • Poor dental hygiene – this occurs when you do not take proper care measures to your teeth e.g., not brushing your teeth twice a day.
  • Dry mouth – dry mouth can result in tooth decay.
  • Sugary foods – frequent consumption of sugary foods can increase the chances of developing dental cavities.

If you are experiencing severe dental pain or you have any of the above-mentioned common symptoms of a tooth abscess, please contact your dentist today to book an appointment.

 

Choosing the Right Dentist for You and Your Family’s Needs

Perhaps you’ve just moved to a new community, or maybe your regular family dentist has decided to relocate or retire — whatever the reason, choosing a new family dentist can feel like a daunting task. After all, your family’s oral health is extremely important, and choosing the wrong dentist can have unpleasant consequences. Fortunately, strategies exist designed to help you make the best possible choice. The following are five of them.

Ask Your Dentist for Recommendations

The easiest way to find the right dentist is to ask your current dentist to recommend someone. If your dentist is retiring, he or she may already have a replacement lined up. If you’re moving, your dentist may be able to recommend a good dentist in your new community.

Ask Family and Friends

If your dentist isn’t able to make recommendations, ask family and friends for recommendations — especially those whose families resemble yours. For instance, if you’re married with children, you’ll probably want someone who practices general family dentistry rather than someone who specializes in geriatric dentistry. The best way to go about this is to ask as many people as possible and look for a name or names that keep popping up.

Check Out Online Reviews

Online reviews aren’t just for restaurants and hotels anymore — medical professionals of all types are being reviewed online as well. Searching for reviews on dentists in your area can point you in the right direction. Although it’s important not to let one bad review cause you to jump to conclusions, look for common themes in several reviews and take it from there.

Ask Your Family Doctor or Personal Physician

Another good source of recommendations for a family dentist is your family doctor or personal physician. Medical professionals often know one another, and they often have enough inside knowledge to be able to recommend someone who’s a good fit for your family.

Look on the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Website

You can search the ADA’s website by the community, making it easy to come up with a list of dental professionals in a specific area. Members of the ADA have all firmly pledged to provide top-quality care and to put the dental health of their patients at the very top of their list of priorities.

Please contact Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry at your convenience for more information on finding the right dentist for your family.

 

The Importance of Having a Good Family Dentist

Many people muddle through life without seeing a dentist on a regular basis until they experience oral health issues that they can no longer ignore. They are then often surprised and discouraged at the cost of treating these issues as well as the pain and discomfort these conditions often cause. However, a significant amount of dental issues can be circumvented or at least slowed down in their progression if they’re caught early enough. Most people are advised to see their dentist every six months for a thorough examination and cleaning, which provides the dentist with the opportunity to check for developing issues and to implement a treatment program.

Following are just three more of the many reasons why having a good family dentist makes good sense.

Regular Dental Cleanings Help Prevent Tooth Decay

Although practicing good oral hygiene is an essential component of preventing tooth decay, it can’t completely stop the buildup of plaque and tartar that can damage tooth enamel to the extent it starts to decay. A good professional cleaning every six months removes plaque and tartar buildup that brushing and flossing don’t get.

You Can Usually Get Multiple Appointments on the Same Day

Having a family dentist who provides care for everyone in your household means that you can usually get multiple appointments on the same day when it’s time for routine checkups. This cuts down on ferrying people around to various appointment locations on different days as well as keeping track of different appointment times.

A Family Dentist Provides Personalized Care

A good family dentist provides the kind of good personalized care you’ll won’t find by just piecing together your family’s dental needs as you go along. For instance, your dentist will have first-hand knowledge of your family’s dental history and be familiar with other medical conditions that may impact treatment options for your dental issues. For instance, if you have Type II diabetes, your family dentist will be able to recommend a course of preventive treatment designed to minimize your chances of developing gum disease.

Our dental practice is designed for patients in all stages of life. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about why you should make us your family dentist.

Causes of Tooth Pain

It’s no secret that tooth pain is unpleasant. It often goes beyond the pain itself, affecting one’s ability to eat, sleep, and enjoy life. Before your dentist can help alleviate your tooth pain, he’ll need to get to the root of the problem, so let’s explore some common causes of tooth pain.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that occurs after plaque (the sticky, white substance that’s filled with bacteria) that has turned into tartar along the gum lines. The tartar causes the gums to become irritated and swollen. Sometimes, if left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, an infection that can lead to the deterioration of the gum line, bone loss, and a loss of teeth.

Regular dental cleanings help reduce plaque and tartar, keeping gums healthy.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay happens when plaque has formed on the enamel (outside) of the tooth. The bacteria within the plaque produce an acid, which eventually begins to eat away at the enamel. Over time, this erosion leaves the tooth enamel vulnerable to cavities. While cavities themselves aren’t usually painful, untreated tooth decay can expose the tooth’s dentin (the inside of the tooth). This part of the tooth is sensitive and needs the protection of natural enamel or cosmetic dentistry solutions to avoid being painful.

senior couple

Bruxism

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth-grinding. People who grind their teeth may not even realize they’re doing it—especially if the habit happens while they’re sleeping. Bruxism can lead to a host of oral health problems, including:

  • Chipped, fractured, or cracked teeth
  • Flattened tops of teeth
  • Facial pain
  • Sensitivity to cold, heat, or pressure
  • Chewed wounds on the tongue or cheek

Inflammation of the Tooth Pulp (Pulpitis)

The pulp is in the center of the tooth where the nerves and tissue live. When it becomes inflamed or irritated—often as a result of decay or trauma—it can cause tremendous sensitivity to various stimuli (hot and cold temperatures, in particular).

 

If you’re in the Woodbury, MN area and experiencing tooth pain, contact our team at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry as soon as possible. We’d love to help you feel better!

 

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