A dental abscess or a tooth abscess is a collection of pus that can form inside the teeth, in the gums, or in the bone that holds the teeth in place.
The abscess usually comes from a bacterial infection, often one that has accumulated in the soft pulp of the tooth. Bacteria exist in plaque. If the plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, the bacteria may spread inside the soft tissue of the tooth or gums. This will result in an abscess, which is a collection of pus that is a mixture of dead white blood cells, tissue debris and bacteria.
There are two types of abscesses.
- The tooth abscess (periapical abscess) occurs inside the tooth, in its pulp and exits out at the bottom of the root. This happens when the tooth’s nerve is dead or dying.
- A gum abscess (a periodontal abscess) is usually caused by an infection in the space between the tooth and gum.
- There is pain with eating or with pressing on the tooth.
- There is swelling on the gum that is filled with pus.
- The tooth turns dark in color compared to surrounding teeth.
- There may be pain that spreads to your ear, jaw and neck on the same side of the affected tooth or gum.
- There may be redness or swallowing in your face.
- Bad breath or unpleasant taste in your mouth.
- Poor oral hygiene. This means that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss and rinse your mouth with mouthwash. Otherwise plaque will build up on your teeth.
- Smoking, alcohol, poor diet, diet rich in sugar and starchy foods.
- A weekened immune system – people with certain conditions such as diabetes, and people who take certain medications, including steroid medication or chemotherapy are more likely to develop abscesses.
- Use a soft brush;
- Do not floss around the affected area;
- Chew on the side of the mouth with no abscess.
Symptoms of a dental abscess
Home care in order to relieve pain
People who experience symptoms that may indicate a dental abscess should see a dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will treat your abscess with a root canal procedure or a surgery. This involves removing the bacteria, cleaning, shaping and filing the root canals, and sealing the empty space. After that he will put a crown on the remaining tooth. If the root canal treatment is not an option, an extraction may be the only solution.
Your dentist ay also recommend some antibiotics to fight the infection and also pain relievers.
As a conclusion, dental abscesses must be treated because the infection can last for a long period of time. It will not go away on its own. The infection may spread to the other parts of body. This is why you should contact your dentist as soon as you may experience the symptoms of an abscess. Call today Dr. Arhiri to make an appointment.