Yearly Archives: 2020

Is Accidentally Biting Your Tongue Dangerous?

We all know that accidentally biting your tongue can be painful, but can it actually be dangerous?

There’s a reason dentists caution against chewing, eating, or biting down for the first few hours after your mouth has been numbed for dental work. Accidentally biting your tongue is extremely common, and in most cases, it heals easily on its own. Sometimes, however, bites can be much more serious and may require medical attention. 

Causes

Accidental tongue biting can happen for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common are:

  • Car accidents
  • Numbness from dental work
  • Falling
  • Sports injuries
  • Sleep spasms
  • Seizures

Children are more likely to bite their tongue than adults due to their high levels of activity and their developing muscle control. 

Treatment

A bite on the tongue does not usually require medical diagnosis or treatment. Usually, the bite will heal on its own within a few days. In rare cases, bites might be more serious and require medical attention.

Depending on the severity of the injury, a doctor will likely ask you to rinse your mouth with water to make it easier to see the bite. If swelling is extensive, ice wrapped in a cloth can help reduce swelling to make way for proper treatment. A recent study recommends stitches for tongue bites in children over 2 cm long unless they are near the tip of the tongue. 

When to Seek Help

It can be difficult to know when a tongue bite is more serious because even minor tongue injuries bleed excessively. In rare cases, an untreated bite in the tongue may lead to infection. If you experience any of the following signs of an infection, seek medical attention right away:

  • Fever
  • Excessive swelling or throbbing at the site of injury
  • Clear or white discharge from the wound

Even when not infected, some bites need help to heal properly. If you notice any of the following with your tongue injury, you should see a professional:

  • Bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure 
  • Bleeding that stops and then starts again
  • A bite that has completely pierced or severed the tongue
  • A large, open wound
  • Difficulty opening your mouth, breathing or swallowing
  • Pain that doesn’t respond to an over-the-counter pain medication

The human jaw is very powerful, and accidentally biting your tongue (especially when your mouth is numbed) can lead to serious injury. A tongue that is severely injured or severed needs immediate attention. Professionals recommend seeking treatment within 8 hours of the injury to avoid permanent damage.  

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

Accidentally biting your tongue can be painful, and in some cases, it can be dangerous. Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help! Our board-certified oral surgeons are experienced in treating injuries, defects, and diseases of the head, neck, jaw, and general facial regions. We handle everything from the routine to the extreme. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele in Utah. Contact us today for your free consultation!

Is Accidentally Biting Your Tongue Dangerous?

Most Common Dental Problems in Seniors

Dental problems in seniors are nothing new. As seniors advance in age, so do their teeth, causing oral health problems.

With age comes wisdom. Unfortunately, so does declining oral health. Here’s a look at some of the most common dental problems in seniors.

Dry Mouth

According to the American Dental Association, dry mouth in seniors is a leading cause of advanced age cavities. Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging, but it is a side-effect of over 500 medications. As we age, the number of medications we take increases. Thus, many seniors experience dry mouth.

This is one reason your dentist asks about any medications you are taking. Your oral health care provider can help suggest remedies and treatments for dry mouth to help reduce the risk of cavities. Dentists often recommend the following treatments:

  • Drink more water
  • Use mouthwash
  • Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production
  • Use a humidifier
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, and soda
  • Get a fluoride treatment

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is another common dental problem for those over the age of 60. It’s caused by a bacteria found in plaque that irritates the gums and makes them swollen, red, and prone to bleeding. Gum disease is unique in that it’s relatively painless in the early stages. This causes it to be easily overlooked and left untreated. 

Untreated gum disease can wreak havoc on oral health. In the advanced stages, it causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and roots. This leaves open pockets that can easily trap food and allows more plaque to develop. Over time, the gums, bones, and supporting ligaments are destroyed. Eventually, teeth start falling out. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in seniors. 

Gum disease is best treated when it’s caught early, so it’s just as important to see the dentist regularly in old age as it is when you’re younger.

Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer is far more common than most people know. In fact, the American Cancer Society reports that over 35,000 cases of mouth cancer are diagnosed each year. A vast majority of these cases are found in adults over the age of 60. 

Dental visits often include screenings for oral cancer. Like gum disease, oral cancer is typically painless in the early stages so it can be easy to miss. However, early detection can save your life so it’s important to see your oral healthcare provider often in every stage of life. 

Other Dental Problems

Other common dental problems in seniors include:

  • Darkened teeth
  • Decreased sense of taste
  • Root decay
  • Thrush
  • Uneven jaw bone
  • Tooth loss

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

Whether you are 7 or 77, Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can provide the oral health care you need. Our board-certified oral surgeons are experienced in treating a wide range of dental problems in seniors, as well as other surgeries and treatments ranging from the mild to the extreme. We take pride in offering the highest level of care for each and every one of our patients.

We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Contact us today for your free consultation!

Most Common Dental Problems in Seniors

Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Dangerous?

Wisdom teeth removal is a very common surgical procedure and it is generally considered safe. But as with any type of surgery, there is always risk.

Although wisdom teeth extraction is not considered to be dangerous, complications can arise during or after the surgery. The good news is, following your dentist or surgeon’s recommendations for after-surgery care can significantly help reduce the risk of problems.

Possible Complications from Wisdom Teeth Removal

  • Dry Socket

Dry socket (also known as Alveolar Osteitis) is a painful condition that can occur after a tooth is extracted. After wisdom teeth extraction, a blood clot forms over the bone and nerves in the now-empty socket. Dry socket occurs when this blood clot is displaced, leaving the bone and nerves exposed. The condition, though treatable, is extremely painful.

If dry socket does occur, it’s usually 3 to 5 days after surgery or another tooth extraction. Patients experiencing symptoms of dry socket should notify their provider immediately.

Treatment of dry socket includes cleaning, placing a medicated gauze dressing over the extraction site and the prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • Abnormal Bleeding

Bleeding is a completely normal part of wisdom teeth extraction, especially on the first day while the blood clot is forming. Bleeding becomes abnormal when it continues for several days or becomes excessive in the amount of blood.

Your surgeon will provide gauze to limit the flow of the bleeding and will recommend a soft food diet as well as no rinsing your mouth while the blood clot forms.

  • Swelling

Swelling, even when it’s accompanied by pain, is totally normal during the first few days following wisdom teeth extraction. Although it’s normal and can be easily treated with over-the-counter pain-killers, swelling can reach a point of concern.

Any swelling that lasts more than a few days or gets worse instead of better should be examined by your dentist or oral surgeon since it may indicate a more serious infection.

  • Infection 

Due to the surgical nature of wisdom teeth removal, there is a risk of infection. This is especially true for patients who fail to complete the recommended after-surgery care. If food particles are allowed to enter the extraction site and bacteria grows deep in the jaw where the wisdom tooth was pulled, a serious infection can occur.

Symptoms of an infection following wisdom teeth extraction include excessive bleeding, pain that doesn’t go away with pain-killers, excessive swelling, oozing discharge from the extraction site and difficulty opening the mouth.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of a serious infection, excessive pain or dry socket, call your oral surgeon right away. If you experience difficulty breathing, a high fever and other signs of infection following wisdom teeth extraction, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

If you’re ready to have your wisdom teeth removed and want the best care possible, Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is where you belong. Our board-certified oral surgeons are experienced in wisdom teeth removal, dental implant placement, jaw surgeries and more while also maintaining the highest level of patient care. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Schedule your free consultation today!

Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Dangerous?

What Are the Top Reasons for Jaw Surgery?

Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a procedure that corrects irregularities in the jawbone, bite and jaw alignment.

The prospect of surgery can be daunting, but in most cases having the surgery is well worth the years of well-aligned jaws, painless chewing and a visually appealing jaw line.

Reasons for Jaw Surgery

There are several reasons an oral surgeon might recommend this type of surgery. Some of the top reasons are listed here:

Reduce Headaches. Do you get chronic headaches? Patients with TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) often grind their teeth at night. This can lead to chronic headaches, especially first thing in the morning. Surgery can reduce the amount of nighttime teeth grinding and get rid of morning headaches for good.

Corrects Bite or Alignment Issues. Bad bite, or malocclusion, is when the upper jaw and bottom jaw are out of alignment. This can cause difficulty closing the mouth or chewing foods, sleep disruptions, obstructive sleep apnea, TMJ and more. This type of surgery corrects the bite and alignment and can reduce adverse symptoms.

Pain When Biting and Chewing. TMJ causes serious pain and discomfort when biting and chewing food. Surgery can adjust the alignment of the jaws and lead to reduced levels of pain and discomfort.

Improved Facial Appearance. You can usually tell from outward appearance when a person has an overbite or an underbite. A jaw that is pushed forward can make it look oversized and cause your smile to look awkward. Similarly, when the bottom jaw needs moved forward it can appear that your jaw is underdeveloped with definition lacking between the jaw and the neck. Surgery can drastically improve the appearance of a patient’s profile and smile.

Minimize Wear and Breakdown of Teeth. When the jaw isn’t properly aligned, the molars in the back might touch together while the front teeth don’t meet. This is called an open bite. Over time, pushing the front teeth together wears on the molars and can lead to premature breaking down. Surgery brings the bite together evenly and naturally to minimize excessive wear of your teeth.

Sleep Apnea. One form of jaw surgery, maxillomandibular advancement surgery (MMA), can be effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea. In this surgery, the surgeon repositions the jaw bones to relieve airway obstruction. Not all patients are good candidates for MMA, but your oral surgeon can help decide if the surgery is right for you.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

If you’re having problems with bite alignment, pain from TMJ or obstructive sleep apnea and have been considering jaw surgery, Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help. Our highly trained, board-certified oral surgeons have extensive experience in a variety of jaw surgeries from the routine to the extreme, and we’d love to help solve your jaw-related problems and well as any other oral health needs you might have.

We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, West Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Schedule your free consultation today!

What Are the Top Reasons for Jaw Surgery?

How Many Teeth Can Be Extracted at Once?

A tooth extraction is a procedure that occurs when teeth need to be pulled due to decay or other complications such as disease, trauma, or crowding. 

Extracting one tooth is a common dental procedure, but occasionally more than one tooth may need to be pulled.

Understanding the Procedure

The procedure for extracting multiple teeth at once is a bit more complicated than a simple single tooth extraction. You can live without one or two teeth without major consequences, but losing several teeth at once requires the jawbone to be reshaped to prepare for a dental bridge or dentures. 

There is no clear rule on the number of teeth that can safely be extracted in one sitting. The answer varies depending on your oral health situation and your oral surgeon’s recommendations. In some cases, a full-mouth extraction might be in order. 

Full-mouth extractions usually occur when patients are suffering some severe periodontal (gum) disease. This can lead to excessive tooth decay and infection that can only be stopped by removing all of the teeth.

Tooth Extraction Complications

In most cases, extracting multiple teeth can be done in one appointment lasting a few hours. In rare cases when complications arise, the extraction might span several appointments. 

Typically, the surgeon will try removing the teeth using forceps. If they encounter teeth that are broken, impacted, or have any other complications, they may need to cut into the gums and jaw to safely remove the tooth.

Sedation in Tooth Extractions

In a simple one or two tooth extraction, dentists and surgeons generally use local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. However, IV sedation is commonly used for more extreme extractions involving multiple teeth.

IV sedation, also known as general anesthesia, is when the patient is put completely to sleep. This is extremely useful for multiple teeth extractions due to the length of the appointments and the potential for complications. 

Care After Tooth Extraction

Your dentist or oral surgeon will walk you through the steps for care after your tooth extraction, but some of the common after-care instructions include:

  • Keep gauze over the extraction site and change it frequently
  • Use prescription pain medication as needed
  • Apply ice or a cold compress
  • Eat a soft food diet
  • No smoking, drinking through a straw, coughing or sneezing
  • Rest and relax for 2-3 days, depending on the extent of the procedure
  • No mouth rinse for the first 24 hours
  • Additional care for stitches, if they were used

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

Having multiple teeth extracted at once can seem daunting, but at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah we do everything we can to make it as comfortable and painless as possible. Drs. Partridge and Maxfield are experienced in tooth extraction and a wide variety of other oral and facial surgeries.

We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Contact us today for your free consultation!

How Many Teeth Can be Extracted at Once

What Happens with Untreated Sleep Apnea

Untreated sleep apnea can cause some serious health problems including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and more.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that even when treated can have some negative side effects. 

3 Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is very common, especially among overweight males over 40 years of age. In all forms of the disorder, breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common form of the disorder. It occurs when the throat muscles relax and collapse during sleep, blocking the airway.
  • Central Sleep Apnea is much less common, and is usually a sign of other health problems. This occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome is extremely rare. This is when a patient suffers from both Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

The most common signs that you might have sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Stopping breathing repeatedly during sleep
  • Waking up with a morning headache or a dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Irritability

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should speak with a doctor right away. Early treatment is key to keeping sleep apnea under control.

Problems with Sleep Apnea

There are some serious health issues that can arise with untreated sleep apnea. These include:

  • High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease — When sleep is regularly disrupted, patients can suffer from high blood pressure and heart disease. In fact, people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea are more likely than the average person to suffer from a heart attack.

The heart problems that arise from sleep apnea are due to the sudden drops in blood oxygen level. When breathing stops during sleep, it’s like your heart is suffocating. The blood oxygen level drops low and then back up again once breathing resumes. This puts a serious strain on the cardiovascular system and can lead to extensive heart problems, especially when left untreated over time.

  • Type 2 Diabetes — Sleep apnea is often linked to obesity, and the symptoms can go hand-in-hand. LIke obesity, people with untreated sleep apnea have a higher than average chance of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. 

 

  • Metabolic Syndrome — Metabolic Syndrome is a disorder that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased circumference around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. When untreated, sleep apnea can cause metabolic syndrome which is also linked to heart disease.

 

  • Complications with Medical Procedures — When patients with sleep apnea are sedated lying on their backs for medical procedures, some serious complications can occur. If you have sleep apnea and are undergoing surgery, you should let your doctor know ahead of time.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, we are committed to helping our patients live their best lives. If you are suffering from the effects of untreated sleep apnea, our highly trained team will work with you to create a plan to get you back to a good night’s sleep. This plan might include jaw surgery, and if it does our board-certified oral surgeons will take excellent care of you. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Contact us today for your free consultation!

Oral Health: What Happens with Untreated Sleep Apnea

What Health Problems Can Result in Bad Teeth?

Routine dental exams check your teeth and mouth, but your dentist also checks for other health problems that could be contributing to bad oral health.

Your oral health says a lot about what’s going on in the rest of your body, so if you have problems with your teeth it could be a sign of some of these other health problems:

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can contribute to gum problems, including red and bleeding gums and even gum disease. If you suddenly start experiencing problems with your gums, it’s a good idea to have your blood pressure checked.

Additionally, certain medications that treat high blood pressure can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay because saliva helps eliminate bacteria on the teeth. 

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is another health problem that is known to contribute to poor gum health, which can turn into a vicious cycle. Kidney disease negatively impacts the gums and in turn, chronic gum infections can cause inflammation in the kidneys and the rest of the body. 

Obesity

Obesity is linked to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. It starts as gingivitis, but over time can become far more serious. Those who struggle with obesity should take extra care to monitor and maintain gum health to avoid periodontal disease. 

Osteoporosis

Loose teeth in older adults is a sign of fragile and weakening bones. Dental x-rays can reveal a lack of density in the jaw which is a good indication of osteoporosis. Your dentist will refer you to a doctor if he suspects you might have osteoporosis. 

Diabetes

Diabetes is another disease that causes periodontal disease. Keeping your blood sugar under control can really help protect your gums if you have diabetes. Patients with both diabetes and periodontal disease are often referred to periodontists for treatment and might even need gum surgery.

HIV

Some of the earliest signs of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are evident in your mouth. Thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth, can be an early sign of HIV. The virus can also cause herpes, mouth sores and gum disease. Although HIV itself isn’t curable, most of the oral symptoms are treatable with medication.

Anemia

Anemia is the condition of having too few red blood cells in the blood. Anemic patients usually have pale gums that might be sore to touch. The treatment for anemia depends on the cause, but if your dentist suspects you might have anemia they will refer you to the appropriate doctor.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

There are many health problems that can result in bad teeth. If you suspect that your oral health is suffering due to an underlying illness, you should seek professional help right away. The experts at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah are experienced in treating a variety of oral health issues. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele, Utah. Call us today for your free consultation!

What Health Problems Can Result in Bad Teeth?

What Types of Floss are Better for Tender Gums?

Most adults experience bleeding and sensitivity occasionally when flossing teeth. But did you know that some types of floss can be abrasive?

When it comes to tender gums, choosing the right dental floss can decrease pain and lead to a healthier, happier mouth.

Why Floss?

Oftentimes people balk at the idea of not brushing their teeth, yet they floss infrequently. Brushing is obviously necessary and is the single most effective way to clean your teeth, but even the best toothbrush can’t get all the way into the tiny cracks between your teeth. Flossing between your teeth daily helps remove plaque and reduces the risk of cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.

It’s a common saying among dental providers that floss is cheap and dentists are expensive. Flossing your teeth regularly can prevent costly dental work down the road. Take a look at this step-by-step guide for correct flossing from the American Dental Association.

Different Types of Floss

  • When it comes to the many flosses available, it’s important to remember that the best floss is one that you use every day. That being said, there are several varieties of floss and it can feel overwhelming trying to pick one. Here’s a look at some of the common types of floss and the benefits of each:Waxed floss — Typically made of nylon, this type of floss has a waxy coating that makes it harder to break but it has a harder time cleaning the tightest spots.
  • Unwaxed floss — Also made of nylon, this floss has several skinny strands wound together. This makes it better for cleaning tight places but breaking and shedding is common.
  • Dental tape — Available in both waxed and unwaxed versions, dental tape is wide and flat and fits well in mouths with more space between the teeth. This type of floss tends to be more comfortable and less abrasive than nylon floss.

Floss and Tender Gums

It’s normal to experience tenderness and bleeding when you first begin flossing, or floss for the first time in a while. This pain should ease within a few days of continued flossing.

Sometimes, no matter how much you floss your teeth, your gums are still tender and bleed. If your gums are extremely sensitive, a tape floss should help. Due to its wide and flat construction, dental tape is less aggravating than other flosses. A waxed tape is the best bet, but any product that is labeled “tape” instead of “floss” will help.

If dental tape is uncomfortable, buy a few different kinds of floss and try them out to see which kind feels the best in your mouth. If you still have trouble finding a floss that is comfortable, ask your dental care provider for recommendations. They probably even have some samples you can try.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

Here at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, we know that you have many options when choosing an oral healthcare provider. And just like choosing from the various types of floss for your mouth, we hope you’ll look for an oral surgeon that meets your specific needs and makes you feel comfortable. Our team works hard to provide quality care to each and every one of our patients. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Call us today for your free consultation!

What Types of Floss Are Better for Tender Gums

Can I Drive After a Tooth Extraction Without Sedation?

Medical procedures come with their share of questions in order to plan ahead, and the same is true for getting a tooth extraction without sedation.

Do I need to take time off of work or school? How long will the procedure take? Can I drive myself to and from the appointment?

The answer to whether or not it’s safe to drive after a tooth extraction depends entirely on the type of anesthesia your oral surgeon uses in the procedure.

Types of Anesthesia

Some forms of anesthesia wear off quickly and are safe for driving. Depending on the difficulty of the tooth extraction, the number of teeth to be extracted and the duration of the procedure, your oral surgeon will determine what anesthesia is best. The following anesthesias are typically considered safe for driving afterwards, unless you are directed otherwise by your provider:

  • Local anesthesia, where the immediate area surrounding the extraction site is numbed, is completely safe for driving afterwards. This type of procedure is known as a tooth extraction without sedation, and patients can drive themselves to and from their appointments without any added concern.
  • Minimal sedation, usually achieved through laughing gas, wears off within a few minutes and is also safe for driving home afterwards.

For more extensive tooth extractions, your dentist or oral surgeon may opt for the use of a deeper sedation. The following are not safe for driving:

  • Moderate to deep sedation puts you in a sleeplike state through the use of a pill or an IV. The effects can take a few hours to wear off and can leave you feeling sleepy and confused. You should get a ride home after undergoing moderate or deep sedation and don’t operate a vehicle until the effects have worn off completely.
  • General anesthesia or IV sedation is the deepest form of sedation. Patients under general anesthesia are monitored closely throughout the procedure and for the first little bit afterwards since it can take quite a while for the effects to dissipate. If you are put under general anesthesia, you should not drive for at least 24 to 48 hours.

For procedures using these deeper types of sedation, your oral surgeon will let you know ahead of time so that you can plan to have someone drive you to and from your appointment. If you have any questions or concerns about the type of anesthesia that will be used in your procedure, you should let your provider know right away.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Are Your Tooth Extraction Experts

Whether you need a simple tooth extraction without sedation or are in need of a more complex tooth extraction, our expert team at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is here to help. Our board-certified oral surgeons have extensive experience in all levels of tooth extractions as well as numerous other oral surgeries and procedures. We pride ourselves in offering the best care at a great value to every single one of our patients. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Call us today for your free consultation!

Can I Drive After a Tooth Extraction Without Sedation

What Are Abscessed Teeth?

If you’ve ever woken up to a swollen jaw and persistent pain, you know the calamity that is abscessed teeth.

Characterized by severe achiness, sensitivity, and swelling, an abscessed tooth is not something to be taken lightly.

What Are Abscessed Teeth – The Two Types

A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus around the tooth caused by a bacterial infection. There are two types of tooth abscess: periapical and periodontal. A periapical abscess is the most disruptive as it forms at the tip of the root, deep in the gums. A periodontal abscess is also located in the gums but is along the side of the tooth.

Causes of Abscessed Teeth

When you have a cracked tooth, a cavity that is left untreated, or an old filling that needs replaced, bacteria can get inside the tooth. If it’s not cleaned out and removed properly, it can penetrate deep into the roots and invade the dental pulp (the blood vessels, tissue, and nerves furthers inside the tooth). This bacteria causes an infection that then leads to swelling, pain, and abscessed teeth.

Symptoms

  • Severe pain and throbbing toothache that can radiate to jaw, neck, and ear
  • Swelling in the face, jaw, or neck, sometimes extreme
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to biting down or pressure on the tooth
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • If the abscess ruptures, you may experience a sudden rush of foul-tasting and odorous fluid in your mouth

An abscessed tooth is a serious medical condition and should be treated promptly by a professional. If you experience any of these symptoms, particularly severe swelling that makes it difficult to breath and swallow, you should go to an emergency room right away. When not treated immediately, abscessed teeth can lead to the infection spreading deeper into your jaw and neck, and even throughout other parts of your body.

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment depends on the severity of the infection. Your dentist, endodontist, or oral surgeon may treat an abscess with antibiotics, drainage, cleaning, and a root canal. In more serious situations, your tooth may need to be pulled altogether.

The best options for preventing abscess are simple oral health care routines. Take care of your teeth and mouth by drinking fluoridated water, brushing your teeth regularly with fluoride-containing toothpaste, and flossing between your teeth daily. Additionally, you should replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, whenever the bristles start to fray.

Eating fresh, healthy foods and limiting sugar can also help maintain oral health, as can regular cleanings and checkups with your dentist. As an added layer of protection, consider using an antiseptic mouth rinse to help rinse away food particles and bacteria from hard-to-reach areas.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If you are experiencing symptoms of this condition, don’t live with pain any longer. Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help. From treating abscessed teeth to placing dental implants, our highly-skilled team does it all. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Contact us today!

What Are Abscessed Teeth