Certain symptoms associated with a severe toothache may indicate an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is a serious infection, and you should seek dental care as soon as possible. In addition to a severe toothache, signs of an abscess include:
- Swelling: Swelling in the glands of the neck, swelling and redness of the gums, and swelling in the upper or lower jaw can be signs of a tooth abscess.
- Pain: In addition to a severe toothache, pain from a tooth abscess includes pain while chewing, and increased tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods.
- Bad Senses: A bitter taste in the mouth and bad-smelling breath can indicate a tooth abscess. (1),(2)
Treating a Severe Toothache
If you have a severe toothache caused by a tooth abscess, the pain may go away if the tooth root dies as a result of the infection but the infection is still present. If you have symptoms of an abscess, see a dentist even if your severe toothache has resolved. Proper treatment of a tooth abscess will cure the infection as well as your severe toothache. Your dentist may treat the abscess in any of several ways, including a root canal or incision into the gums to allow the infection to drain. In extreme cases, the tooth may need to be removed and replaced. (1),(2)