Dental Abscess: How to Detect and Treat It
A dental abscess can form without warning. All of a sudden, you feel a throbbing pain in your jaw, and it gets worse within a few hours. It won’t cure on its own. This require attention from a dentist who can help rescue your tooth. If you don't get timely care for your dental abscess, the infection can extend beyond your jaw to your neck or other body parts.
What is a Tooth Abscess?
A tooth abscess, also called dental abscess, is a localized accumulation of pus connected to a tooth. It can develop within the teeth, gums, or inside the bone that supports the teeth and it primarily originates as a bacterial infection.
A dental abscess can grow really painful when tissues are inflamed or from the pressure within the abscess. These infections are frequent in people who lack good dental health and arise from the absence of correct and timely dental care. Timely treatment generally aids the dentist in providing a cure for the tooth abscess.
Types of Dental Abscess
There are three categories of dental abscesses:
1. Gingival Abscess: Gingivae is referred to the soft gum tissue linings close to the teeth. The invasion of bacteria may cause an infection that develops a pus-filled sac. This condition is called gingival abscess. Every symptom of grave gingival abscess requires quick dental attention.
2. Periodontal Abscess: Also known as a gum abscess, a periodontal abscess is a painful condition that can cause serious complications. It’s important to know the symptoms of a gum abscess and obtain medical care if you develop one.
3. Periapical Abscess: Periapical abscess is an accumulation of pus at the base of a tooth, normally caused by an infection that has extended from a tooth to the adjoining tissues. Your dentist will perform immediate procedures to decrease pain and control infection.
Causes of Dental Abscesses
The following causes can increase your possibilities of developing a dental abscess:
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Excessive Sugary Diet
- A Tooth Injury or Previous Teeth/Gum Surgery
- A Weakened Immune System
How to Prevent Dental Abscesses
Follow these simple methods to maintain the health of your teeth and gums:
- Have regular dental examinations and teeth cleanings.
- Brush your teeth properly with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean hard-to-reach places daily by flossing your teeth and gums.
- Ensure to schedule a dental appointment immediately upon getting a loose or chipped tooth.
- Restrict sugary foods and beverages that can cause cavities, which can form an abscess.
Symptoms of Tooth Infections
The infection is normally the consequence of severe tooth decay and will appear as a terrible toothache. These are a few common symptoms:
- Pain when chewing
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Extremely bad breath
- Swollen neck glands
- Red, swollen gums
- Open, draining sores on the gums
- Swollen Jaw
Acute vs. Chronic Abscess
Dental abscesses are considered either acute or chronic. Acute abscesses are extremely painful. A chronic dental abscess may induce a dull pain with sporadic swelling but can evolve anytime into an acute abscess. Occasionally the infection can advance to the stage where swelling threatens to obstruct the airway, leading to breathing difficulty. A dental abscess is also capable of making you feel sick, nausea, vomiting, fevers, shiver, and sweats.
What Does an Abscessed Tooth Look Like?
A dental abscess may appear as a lump or a pimple on the gum that is occupied with pus at the root of an infected tooth. A bare pimple is known as a "draining fistula" that ruptures to release pus. This is an evident sign of infection.
The tooth becomes dark in color in comparison to surrounding teeth. The effect of the necrotic pulp that percolates into the permeable tooth layer cause this stain. In many instances, there may not be existing pain.
Tooth Abscess Treatment
Dental abscesses are cured by eliminating the origin of the infection and emptying away the pus. Depending on the position of the abscess and how serious the infection is, potential treatments include:
- Tooth extraction
- Root canal treatment
- Minor incision and drainage
- Extensive surgery involving a general anesthetic
- Antibiotics for the severe spread of infection
- Painkillers for pain management
Questions to Ask Your Dentist
If you think you have a mouth abscess, you can ask the following questions to your dentist at your appointment:
- What's the likely cause of my dental abscess symptoms or condition?
- What types of tests do I need for my dental abscess?
- What's the best treatment plan for a dental abscess?
- What options do I have to your suggested primary approach?
- Are there any limitations that I must follow?
Root Canal Treatment for Abscessed Teeth
A popularly used method is to get rid of the abscess from the root of an impacted tooth before filling and closing it. The endodontist prepares your tooth by cleaning the inside of the pulp from the root canals to your gum. He then fills and fastens the empty spaces. You’ll either receive a filling or a crown. The restored tooth will appear and function exactly like your other teeth.
An unaddressed dental abscess can be fatal and should not be approached lightly. Quick dental cavity treatment decreases the risk of a dental abscess. If notice the symptoms of dental abscesses, contact your dentist at the earliest.
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