Dental abscesses develop when a bacterial infection leads to a build-up of pus beneath your gums. Abscesses can be extremely painful, and it’s possible for that infection to travel to other parts of your body – in some cases, bacteria can even be transmitted to your body’s most vital organs.
With that in mind, you’ll want to be able to spot dental abscesses as soon as possible so you can have a dental professional deal with them at the earliest opportunity. That means learning these four early warning signs.
- Unpleasant Taste
As stated above, dental abscesses tend to produce a lot of pus, and pus isn’t renowned for its pleasant taste. In a way, that’s good news; you can often tell something is wrong when you notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth. If there’s an infection somewhere that’s leaking even a small amount of pus, you might notice a bitter, salty taste that won’t go away no matter how much you brush your teeth or wash out your mouth.
- Pressure and Discomfort
Dental abscesses can become quite painful if you allow them to develop, but, at first, you’re only likely to experience a sense of discomfort. You might feel throbbing or stabbing over an area of your gums that seems to have something growing beneath it. If that discomfort abates, you should still see your dentist. It could simply be that the infection has reached the pulp and caused the tooth to die.
- Swelling or Discoloration
As dental abscesses grow more serious you’ll probably start to notice swelling around your jaw or cheek. In some cases, the lymph nodes can also swell. There might also be swelling at some point along your gums that will sometimes be accompanied by redness.
One of the final signs people tend to experience before suffering actual pain is feverishness. It doesn’t always happen, but there’s a chance you’ll start to feel unwell as the amount of pus in your mouth grows larger.