Dental dilemma

by Kimberly Flanagan

Toothaches, smelly breath, sensitivity or bleeding gums, we all have experienced one or even all of these at some point in our lives. Dental health can sometimes be overlooked until it’s too late and your teeth are breaking or falling out and like many others, I myself, have waited too long to get my teeth checked out and now I struggle with many of the above-mentioned problems.

Unfortunately, in the case of your teeth, the saying one rotten apple ruins the barrel or in this case, one rotten tooth does ruin the mouth but also, fortunately, because of the age and era we live in, many of these problems, can now be cured or reversed.


Tooth decay starts by little brown spots that you see on your teeth. It can quickly turn into broken or rotten teeth if not treated immediately. These brown spots can be caused by medical conditions or eating too many sugary foods. Broken or rotten teeth can also open up a pathway for infected gums that eventually lead to an abscess to form.

A tooth abscess is a pus that is caused by an infection. This abscess can form in any region of the tooth or gum for various reasons.
An infected tooth or the abscess can also lead to you becoming ill, that’s why it’s so important for you to always go see your dentist, just in case you have missed something.

Like I mentioned earlier, I made the mistake of taking too long to go and see a dentist when I started experiencing toothaches. It eventually turned into a cavity in my tooth and the dentist I went to see told me if I had come to see him sooner, then he could have easily fixed it with a filling but my gums got infected and caused an abscess and now a root canal awaits me. In fact, it has been awaiting me for weeks now, I just haven’t made a plan to go see the dentist again.

A root canal is a procedure where the nerve and pulp of the tooth are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. A root canal procedure needs multiple visits to a dentist.

However, if you have an infection, you might need to go see an endodontist who deals specifically with that. Your abscess can be treated with a root canal and during this procedure, the inflamed or infected tissue is removed. After it is removed, the dentist or endodontist will either choose to close up the hole immediately or wait a week for the swelling to go down. This procedure and what it will entail, all depends on the damage you have in your mouth. It differs for everyone.

It’s really important that you go see a dentist at least twice a year, even if you don’t think it’s necessary. Tooth decay and bacteria from an infected tooth or abscess can spread into your gums, cheeks, and throat and even into your facial bones.

I have personally been experiencing facial aches in my cheeks and right under my eye because of the abscess in my mouth. In some extreme cases, the result can be fatal.


  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Avoid too many sugary foods and drinks
  • Use fluoridated toothpaste
  • See your dentist often

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