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Dr. Xixi Wu
Dr. Xixi Wu

Dr. Xixi Wu
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What About a Periodontal Abscess Makes It So Urgent to Treat

Posted on 3/30/2020 by Hilton Israelson, DDS
What About a Periodontal Abscess Makes It So Urgent to TreatAt any given point in our lives, we've all struggled in some way or another with a toothache. While extremely painful, a quick visit to see your dentist most likely treated both the pain and the underlying condition that caused it.

However, a periodontal abscess is not a normal toothache and should not be mistaken for one. The intimate familiarity with routine toothaches, unfortunately, makes a cavalier attitude about periodontal abscess highly dangerous.

When Toothaches Kill: The Deadly Truth about Periodontal Abscesses

Abscesses are easily recognized by their trademark pocket of pus that forms at the site of the infection. They are caused by a variety of factors, including untreated cavities and trauma to the site. Unlike a normal infection that might go away naturally once your body fights it off, periodontal abscesses do not heal on their own and require medical intervention.

Symptoms of a periodontal abscess include:

•  A severe toothache
•  Heat and/or cold sensitivity
•  Pressure sensitivity
•  Swollen lymph nodes
•  Difficulty swallowing
•  A fever
•  A pus-filled lesion on your gumline

If you suspect that you have a periodontal abscess, time is of the essence. Do not delay treatment for this infection, as the repercussions can be long-lasting, permanent, and even fatal.
Treating a periodontal abscess is fairly straightforward and involves lancing and draining the abscess, followed by antibiotics to treat the infection. If the tooth can be saved, we will perform a root canal on it.
However, it is absolutely vital to seek immediate treatment for this infection. Failure to intervene can cause permanent, lasting damage to not only your mouth but also your body – and possible death.
Complications that can arise include:

•  Loss of the tooth
•  Infection in surrounding bone and soft tissue
•  Infection of the brain
•  Septicemia

Abscesses of the brain are highly difficult to treat, so if the infection spreads to the brain or blood stream, your risk of dying from this infection are multifold. We cannot stress it enough: if you suspect you have a periodontal abscess, call our office right away. Our highly skilled and trained staff can assess your infection and start prompt treatment, saving both your tooth and your life.
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