If you have a toothache that is only getting worse, you may start to wonder if it has become infected, causing an abscess. If so, look for the following symptoms that you may have an abscessed tooth that will require the care of your dentist.
Painful, Swollen Gums and Jaw
While you may have already been experiencing a toothache, you may start noticing an increase in the pain. Not only will the intensity become greater, but the pain may start radiating down into the gum and jaw.
As the pain worsens with an abscessed tooth, your gum may start swelling. You could also notice puffiness in the jaw region that is close to the infected tooth as the infection worsens and the inflammation spreads.
Bad Taste in Your Mouth
Along with increased pain and swelling, you may also notice a bad taste in your mouth. Along with a sour, metallic taste that affects the taste of your food, you may also notice that your breath has a foul odor.
As the abscess on your tooth slowly drains, the pus oozing out of your gum contains bacteria, along with its waste products. These waste products have a foul odor and taste that contribute to the changes in your mouth. As the infection spreads and produces more drainage, the bad aftertaste and breath will become more noticeable.
Generalized Symptoms of an Infection
If you have an infected tooth, you may start noticing generalized symptoms of an infection. As your body tries to fight off the bacteria invading your tooth, you may have a fever and a feeling of weakness and fatigue. Your lymph nodes may also start swelling, becoming tender and sore to the touch.
While these symptoms by themselves are not necessarily indicators that you have an abscessed tooth, they do raise the likelihood when combined with the ones already discussed. These symptoms should never be ignored, as an abscessed tooth is caused by an infection that requires antibiotics.
If left without treatment, the infection could spread throughout your body, causing a serious systemwide infection called sepsis. This life-threatening infection would then require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics to treat.
If you start having any or all of the symptoms above, you may have an abscessed tooth that requires immediate attention. Contact a clinic to make a dental services appointment as soon as possible so a dentist can examine your tooth and start treatment right away if an abscess is found.