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What Is an Abscess?

June 11, 2014

Our teeth have multiple layers, with the inner layer containing the tooth’s nerve. Most dental problems involve the protective layer of enamel on the outside of teeth, but sometimes, because of an injury or deep decay, an infection can develop inside the tooth, where the nerve is.

Treating an infected tooth is important. If it’s not treated, an abscess can develop, resulting in a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Signs of an abscessed tooth include:

  • Toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Redness and swelling
  • A sore or pimple on the side of the gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • A bitter taste in the mouth

If enough time goes by, you may lose your tooth to the infection. Having a gap in your smile creates a new set of obstacles to good oral health. First, nearby teeth will shift out of alignment. Second, your jawbone will lose bone tissue, because you don’t have a root there to stimulate the growth of new tissue. And third, as your jaw loses more bone tissue, you could end up losing other teeth.

Thankfully, there’s a way to treat infected or abscessed teeth with root canal therapy. In our next post, we’ll talk about what a root canal is and how it can help you enjoy good oral health again.

Do any of these symptoms sound like what you’re experiencing? Call Dr. Latner’s Los Angeles dental office to schedule an appointment with us. We’re happy to serve the dental needs of patients from Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and all surrounding areas.

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