Continuous, throbbing, or shooting pain from any tooth can indicate an abscess. When the tooth in question is a third molar, or wisdom tooth, the discomfort can be even more severe and the treatment options are significantly limited.
Under normal circumstances, an abscessed tooth can be resolved with a root canal treatment, antibiotics, and a dental crown or similar restoration. Unfortunately, most wisdom teeth are far from “normal”. As the very last teeth in the mouth, the wisdom teeth are difficult to access, difficult to clean, and the source of recurrent infections.
When an abscessed wisdom tooth has been diagnosed, the most ideal treatment generally involves oral surgery. The success rate after a root canal treatment on an infected wisdom tooth is significantly lower than average and it is typically more difficult to prevent future infections in these teeth. As a result, your oral surgeon may recommend removing the infected tooth rather than attempting to save it.
Due to the extreme discomfort and the complications associated with an abscessed wisdom tooth, it pays to try to prevent the infection whenever possible.
Most abscessed teeth are the result of excessive decay or the accumulation of bacteria in an area that cannot be cleaned regularly. More often than not, the position of most wisdom teeth is the contributing factor to cavities and bacterial accumulation. These teeth are sometimes partially covered by a flap of gum tissue or trapped behind the neighboring teeth.
If these teeth cannot be properly accessed during normal brushing and flossing, cavities and periodontal infections are likely to arise, and there is a greater likelihood that an abscess can develop. When your dentist can foresee the types of conditions that are known to lead to an abscess, the best recommendation is often an extraction.
If you have been advised to schedule your wisdom tooth extraction, or if you suspect that you are suffering from an abscessed wisdom tooth, contact Dallas Oral Surgery Associates to schedule an evaluation today.