Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are wisdom tooth abscesses very painful?"
My doctor warned me about using straws because I could get an abscess. What exactly is a wisdom tooth abscess? Doe they hurt a lot?
A wisdom tooth abscess can be painful and will often cause significant pain. If you have further concerns, I would recommend that you discuss this with your dentist the next time you are in his or her office. The wisdom teeth are teeth located on the outermost side of both the top and bottom, thereby giving four wisdom teeth in most people. As they are far outside, they are not integral to chewing and other jaw alignment. Keep in mind that all people may not have all four wisdom teeth. An abscess is a collection that represents an infection. Often caused by a bacteria, the abscess represents a walled off focus of an infection. These can occur anywhere in the body, and are often hard to treat. Giving antibiotics alone doesn't work, because the infection is "walled off" from the blood. Therefore the only way to treat it is by directly draining the infection. A wisdom tooth abscess is a ball of infection that occurs around on of the four wisdom teeth. These often cause pain, swelling in the area. People with these also exhibit signs of infection -- fevers, chills and fatigue. It is not common that straws cause an abscess. Talk to your dentist for more information.
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