You’ve probably thought about preventing infections in other parts of your body. If you scrape your knee, for example, you work to keep it clean. But there’s another body area that deserves the same amount of infection prevention attention: your teeth.
If any one of your teeth decays, it can allow bacteria to get into the tissue inside the tooth. There, you can develop a bacterial infection that turns into a pocket of pus. Dental experts call this an abscessed tooth. Unsurprisingly, this isn’t a comfortable situation. In addition to tooth pain, you might experience a fever, facial swelling, and bad breath.
You probably want to avoid this situation. Fortunately, as a specialist in abscessed teeth, Robert Scott Nance, DDS, MS, PA can help. Here at his offices in Statesville and Hickory, North Carolina, he can help you address tooth decay early to prevent an abscess.
Dr. Nance and our team also want to help you take preventive measures in your daily life. For that, it’s first helpful to understand a little bit more about tooth abscesses.
The hard outer layer of your tooth should protect the sensitive tissue inside. You only develop an abscess when something happens to that protective shell.
In most cases, this comes down to tooth decay. Plaque and tartar can eat away at the enamel on the outside of your teeth. Over time, the decay can progress enough to allow bacteria into the interior of your tooth. From there, the infection can take hold.
Tooth decay isn’t the only way you can get an abscess. Any break in the outer part of your tooth can provide the entryway bacteria needs. That means that a crack or chip in your tooth could be more than a cosmetic concern. It could also expose you to the risk of an abscessed tooth.
If you’ve chipped or cracked your tooth, visit Dr. Nance right away. He can repair the tooth, restoring its appearance and sealing it against bacterial infections.
Beyond getting prompt care for any serious dental issues, you can also prevent a tooth abscess by taking good care of your teeth on a daily basis. To minimize tooth decay, you should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Use toothpaste with fluoride. And don’t stop there: make sure you’re flossing daily, too.
Visiting Dr. Nance for a tooth exam twice a year can go a long way toward preventing tooth abscesses. Tooth decay often starts before the individual notices. Generally, you won’t experience any discomfort or notice anything different in your mouth until the issue has advanced. Regular checkups ensure that our team can spot decay early before it can lead to a tooth abscess.
For the preventive care your mouth needs — or for treatment if you have an abscessed tooth — call either of Dr. Nance’s offices to schedule your appointment today.