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When left alone, cavities can become painfully abscessed. When the bacteria and decay takes over the inner tooth pulp, it is able to gain access to the roots—and it doesn’t stop there. It can then spread to the tip, where it makes a pocket that fills with pus. Now, it has transformed into what is called a periapical abscess.

A dangerous abscess of this type can actually become life-threatening if left untreated and the infection is allowed to spread. There are two options your dentist has before things become worse. Initially, the pus will be be drained and the hollow cavity of the roots cleaned and sterilized. If the tooth can be saved, most likely you will need a root canal operation. If the tooth is dead, it will need to be removed. Pulling teeth is always a last resort for a dentist, but you can be sure that he will fill the space with a cosmetically pleasing replacement implant or bridge
Periapical Abscess Signs and Symptoms:

-An exquisite, throbbing toothache pain that may extend to the jaw and radiate to the ear or neck.

-If the abscess bursts there will be a foul taste in the mouth and sudden relief from pain.

-High fever

-Sensitivity to hot and cold, and whenever there is pressure applied to the tooth from chewing.

-Neck and facial swelling.

-Lymph node swelling.

If you have a cavity, come see Dr. Joel Wiersum before it becomes an abscess. He will be happy to help you. Please contact Alaska Smile Center to make an appointment at: 907-486-3475, or come by our office in Kodiak, Alaska.