You’re having a relaxing morning, but you take the first drink of coffee and your tooth feels like you took a bite of a Popsicle. You brush it off and continue about your day. Then, you take a bite of toast, and realize chewing hurts too. Time for some aspirin. A few hours later, you notice your face is swollen, and you’re feeling feverish and sick. Maybe you’re coming down with the flu, but chances are that sensitive tooth is causing your sudden illness. An abscess tooth can feel like a minor irritation or tooth sensitivity to cold or heat, but they quickly lead to more severe symptoms as infection spreads. What now? You need a dentist. In State College, PA Dr. Chris Devlin is always here to help. Whether you have an abscess or loose a tooth, dental emergencies don’t need to ruin your day. Call Dr. Devlin to make your dental emergency a memory.
Do I Have an Abscessed Tooth?
An abscess is an infection in the root or the gums near the root of your tooth. Generally, caused by tooth decay or gum disease, these infections can progress quickly. An abscessed tooth can be extremely painful. Patients often say they feel a stabbing pain each time they bite something, take a drink, and even swallowing or breathing air over the tooth can cause severe pain. As the root of the tooth is worn away by infection, the infection reaches the pulp (middle) of the tooth. This is usually what causes the pain. The abscess can kill the pulp. When this happens, the pain associated with the abscess often subsides. However, the infection will continue to spread. If you think you may have an abscess, have it examined immediately.
Because an abscess affects the root of the tooth, root canal therapy is often necessary to remove the infection. Additionally, infection to the gum tissue may have to be drained, and antibiotics are usually prescribed to fight the infection. Once the tooth is free from infection, Dr. Devlin will work to restore your tooth to its natural look and feel. Because an abscess is an infection, the longer it is left untreated you are at risk for serious health effects related to infection, and the further the infection spreads the more difficult it is to treat. Don’t hesitate to call us as if you fear you may have an abscess. We will try to see you right away, and begin treatment to remove the infection before it can spread.
Dental emergencies are often not life threatening, but that doesn’t make it any easier to keep calm. However, Dr. Devlin is here to help you no matter what your emergency, his years of experience in restorative dentistry means he is capable of returning your teeth to their natural strength and beauty after almost any accident, and his numerous relationships with local dental surgeons will ensure that any serious trauma will be repaired by a skilled professional you can trust.
If you experience any trauma related dental emergencies, a few tips can help you stay calm, and keep you healthy and safe until we can get your smile back in place. For a lost tooth or soft tissue damage, you want to make sure that your wound is cleaned and that the blood flow is reduced or stopped. Don’t use any toothpaste, mouthwash or other dental hygiene product to clean your cut. Start with just warm water. Once you have cleaned the affected area, you’ll need a cool, sterile compress to stop the bleeding and reduce swelling. Wrapping a small ice cube in a cool, damp cloth and holding it to the wound is extremely affective in slowing blood flow.
Once you have cleaned the area and stopped blood flow, assess the damage. Injuries to the mouth and face are frequently much less serious than they initially appear because any injury to the head will bleed heavily. If you have lost or chipped a tooth or you believe you need stitches or other repair, you will need to come in to see us as soon as possible. Even if you determine that the injury was not severe, it is still a good idea to come in for an examination to make sure there is no unseen damage.
Don’t Panic – Call Dr. Devlin
If you think you have an abscess tooth or have any other dental emergency, we are here to help. Don’t panic. Call Dr. Devlin for an emergency examination. As your family dentist, we’re here to help your whole family in State College, PA and surrounding communities including Centre Hall, Bellefonte, and Altoona.