How Do You Know If You Have a Tooth Abscess?

dentist analyzes x-rayAn abscessed tooth is an infection that has worked its way deep into the tooth, the root, and even the bone. This causes pus to fill up the area, and it can be very painful. If left untreated, an abscess can cause serious problems or even require an extraction. That’s why our dental office in Lawrenceville wants our neighbors to know the signs and symptoms of an abscess so they can get treatment fast and protect themselves from complications.

Signs of an Abscess

Many times an abscess will cause pretty severe pain. That’s typically the first warning sign that there may be a problem. However, there are several other symptoms of an abscess besides pain alone. Some signs include:

  • A dark, discolored tooth
  • Increased pain when pressure is applied
  • Swelling on the gums that resembles a pimple
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • Swelling of the jaw or face  

Occasionally, an abscess shows no symptoms and may not even cause any pain. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. When this happens, your dentist in Lawrenceville will catch it during a routine appointment through the use of dental x-rays. This is one reason why your regular dental appointments are so important.  

What Causes an Abscess?

We already know that an abscess is typically caused by an infection. But how does that infection get there in the first place? Many times the infection is caused by untreated tooth decay that hasn’t been treated and has started to seep deep into the tooth. However, decay doesn’t necessarily need to be the culprit. Abscesses can be caused by dental trauma, prior dental treatment such as root canals or fillings, or constant grinding and clenching.

Things That Increase Your Risk of an Abscess

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Eating too much sugar
  • Dry mouth

Reduce Your Risk of an Abscess

Many abscesses are caused by decay, and the best way to reduce your risk of both decay and an abscess is to brush and floss daily. It’s also crucial to schedule an appointment at our Lawrenceville dental office twice a year. These appointments allow us to monitor your oral health and take dental x-rays to see what’s happening below the surface so we can catch any problems early. After all, early diagnosis is key to successful treatment.

If you’re overdue for a visit or are experiencing pain, give us a call today.

oral cancer awarenessApril is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and our dental office in Lawrenceville wants to encourage all of our neighbors to get regular dental exams to check for signs of this scary disease. The truth is, oral cancer treatment is more successful the earlier that symptoms are detected. It’s important to know the common symptoms of oral cancer so you can seek treatment fast if you do notice anything that might be concerning.

Signs of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can affect many areas of the mouth including the lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, or the top or bottom of the mouth. Symptoms can include:

  • A sore that doesn’t go away
  • Irregular areas such as lumps, rough spots, or erosion
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain or numbness
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing

If you’re worried about any concerning areas in your mouth, schedule an appointment with your Lawrenceville dentist as soon as possible.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

While anyone can develop oral cancer, there are several lifestyle factors that can increase the risk. For example, those who drink a lot of alcohol and those who smoke are more likely to get oral cancer than social drinkers and non-smokers. Age can also contribute to someone’s oral cancer risk, as those over 50 years old tend to get oral cancer more often than their younger counterparts. However, more recently the younger population has been put at greater risk of oral cancer due to the increase of HPV (human papillomavirus).

How to Reduce Your Risk of Oral Cancer

Even though there is no concrete way to avoid oral cancer, there are things you can do that can greatly reduce your risk of developing the disease.

  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Don’t smoke or use any tobacco products
  • Use a lip balm that contains sunscreen
  • See your dentist

An oral cancer screening should be part of your routine dental cleaning. If you’re not sure if you’ve ever been screened for the disease, ask your dentist.

For more information about oral cancer, or if it’s been more than six months since your last dental exam, we welcome you to call our dental office in Lawrenceville to schedule an appointment today.

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