Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

A simple toothache can make you want to smack your head against the wall, but if you leave that ache untreated, you risk developing an abscess. An abscessed tooth is potentially dangerous because it can cause pain to spread through your head and to other parts of your body and make your mouth swell to the point where you can no longer chew or swallow. Some patients even develop an abscess that keeps them from breathing. If you experience any of the symptoms of an abscessed tooth, you should seek help right away.


Pain is one of the more common symptoms of an abscessed tooth. This pain usually centers on the affected tooth but can spread beyond that tooth too. Most patients describe this as a throbbing ache or pain that they feel all day. The pain can worsen to the point where you have a hard time sleeping and can stop you from eating or drinking. You may find that the pain spreads along your jaw and down your neck, but the pain can also spread to your ears and down your back.


If you have a toothache and fear that you have an abscessed tooth, open your mouth as wide as you can as you look in the mirror. Look for any red or pink pockets located around any of your teeth. These pockets typically form as pus builds up and puts pressure on your tooth, which causes the pain that you feel. This pocket may also be bright pink in color and have white streaks along the sides. Swelling in your nodes is another symptom of an abscessed tooth and can indicate that the infection caused by the puss spread.

Foul Taste and/or Odor

You’ll also want to look out for any foul tastes or odors. The pus pocket associated with an abscessed tooth will keep growing until treated. Once it grows to a larger size though, there is a risk that it might pop when you brush your teeth or bite down on something hard. This will lead to a foul taste spreading through your mouth, which can smell so bad that others around you notice it. With an appointment to an emergency dentist Charlotte NC patients can get help for an abscessed tooth. The dentist can decide whether to remove that infected tooth or recommend another treatment option for you.

About Pepper

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