What causes tooth abscess? Have you ever faced this problem? Which immediate dental abscess treatment have you used? Do you know what effects it has on the health of your teeth and gums? In this article, we ask Serenity to examine its symptoms, complications, and ways to prevent and treat it.
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What is a tooth abscess?
An abscess is a cavity or tissue filled with pus that develops around the root of an infected tooth and can affect all age groups (from old to young). This condition is caused by a bacterial infection that does not cause problems if treated in time, but otherwise, it can spread from the jaw to the neck, head or other parts of the body. Tooth abscess does not go away on its own, and to treat it, you need to see a dentist or an endodontist.
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Types of tooth abscess
Dental abscess is divided into several general categories:
A periodontal abscess, also known as a lateral or parietal abscess, affects the bone next to your tooth.
This lesion is a common and painful dental emergency that occurs as a result of bacterial accumulation or foreign body entrapment in the periodontal pockets. This problem affects most people with active periodontal disease and needs quick and long-term management.
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Gingival or gum abscess is one of the types of dental abscess that occurs between the gum and the tooth. This is caused by a bacterial infection as a result of tooth decay, improper brushing, a broken tooth, food getting stuck in the gum line, or when bleeding occurs at the gum line. Traumatic injury or excessive force on the tooth – as a result of orthodontics – can also cause this type of abscess.
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This abscess forms at the end of the root of your tooth. So that sometimes, the pus from the tooth infection spreads from the tip of the root and through the bone into the gum, so the gums swell near the root of the tooth. Swelling caused by pus is often the cause of constant severe pain that worsens when chewing.
In this case, depending on the location of the tooth, the infection may spread to the soft tissues and cause swelling in the jaw, floor of the mouth, or cheek area. Eventually, the tissue may loosen and allow pus to drain.
It should be noted that infections that spread to affect the airway can be serious and even life-threatening; Therefore, in this type of abscess, the bacteria passes through the pulp (the innermost part of the tooth) and can penetrate to the root of the tooth and create a periapical abscess.
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Wisdom Tooth Abscess
Wisdom teeth are the last set of back molars, which in many cases not only have no effective function, but also cause oral and dental health problems. Brushing and flossing these teeth is also often difficult due to their position in the back of the mouth. Therefore, wisdom teeth, both due to their impact and poor oral health, can sometimes lead to infection, and as this worsens, you may witness a dental abscess.
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If you feel pain when eating or suffer from bad breath, you may have a wisdom tooth abscess. If so, you should see a dentist right away. Because if the wisdom tooth abscess is ignored, it can be dangerous and lead to complications such as toothache and swollen glands in the neck, etc.
Nervous tooth abscess
After denervation of the tooth, you may see swelling and abscess due to the infiltration of the remaining material from the nerve to the tip of the tooth root and into the tooth tissue, and the presence of lesions and infections in the bone and gum around the denervated tooth. In these cases, it is better to visit your dentist immediately.
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Causes of tooth abscess
The tooth has a firm structure from the outside, but its innermost part (dental pulp) consists of nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels, which can sometimes become infected due to various factors. In general, tooth abscess is often caused by the following:
- Lack of oral and dental hygiene and lack of brushing, flossing or regular use of fluoride
- Creating a deep cavity in the tooth or tooth decay
- Diseases (including cancer and diabetes) and the use of certain drugs
- Having diets high in sugar
- Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease
- and damage to the tooth and its cracking
It should be noted that if this infection is not treated, it can seriously damage the dental pulp and lead to an abscess.
Symptoms of tooth abscess
During a tooth abscess (sometimes, but not always) the area around the tooth hurts. In this case, a sharp, throbbing pain is usually felt near the tooth (especially when you put pressure on it), which may also spread to your jaw or other parts of your face (on the affected side).
You may also notice the following symptoms:
- Redness of the gums
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures
- swelling of the gum
- Bad Breath
- Severe ear, neck or jaw pain
- Pain when biting or chewing food
Sometimes an abscess causes pimple-like bumps on your gum that if you squeeze it and a fluid oozes out, your tooth is definitely abscessed and that fluid is pus.
Prevention of tooth abscess
You can take the following simple steps to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
- Every once in a while, visit the dentist for a routine examination (checkup of your teeth).
- Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time with fluoride toothpaste.
- Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
- Floss to clean hard-to-reach areas between teeth and gums.
- If you have a loose or cracked tooth, see a dentist as soon as possible.
- Limit sugary foods and drinks. Because sweets and soft drinks lead to cavities in the teeth, which can cause abscesses.
- Limit snacking between meals.
Treatment of dental abscess
The goal of dental abscess treatment is to get rid of the infection and pain. To do this, the endodontist may adopt the following treatment methods:
Treatment of dental abscess with antibiotics
If the infection spreads from the abscess site to the jaw or other areas of the body, antibiotics are prescribed. However, antibiotics do not cure an abscess.
If the endodontist cannot find a way to save the tooth, she will inevitably pull the tooth.
Abscess treatment with dental denervation
Root canal is the best way to save your teeth. In this case, the endodontist makes a hole in your target tooth with the help of a drill, and with this method, he drains the abscess and cleans the infected pulp from inside the tooth and its root canals. Then it fills the pulp area and empty spaces with a special material.
In the next step, he shapes the cleaned root canal and often restores it with a dental crown after sealing the tooth. In this method, the restored tooth will look and function like other teeth.
What is a tooth abscess?
A tooth abscess is a painful infection that occurs in the root of a tooth or in the space between the tooth and the gum. It is usually caused by bacteria that enter the tooth through a cavity, crack, or chip.
What are the symptoms of a Dental abscess?
Common symptoms of a Dental abscess include severe toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, swelling of the face or gums, pain while chewing, a foul taste in the mouth, and swollen lymph nodes.
How is a Dental abscess diagnosed?
To diagnose a Dental abscess, a dentist will examine your teeth and gums, review your symptoms, and possibly take X-rays. They may also perform tests to determine the extent of the infection and identify the most appropriate treatment.
What are the complications of a Dental abscess?
If left untreated, a Dental abscess can lead to serious complications such as the spread of infection to the surrounding tissues or other parts of the body. It can also cause bone loss around the tooth, damage to nearby teeth, and the formation of a dental fistula, which is an abnormal passageway between the abscess and the surface of the gums.
How is a Dental abscess treated?
Treatment for a tooth abscess typically involves draining the abscess and eliminating the infection. This can be done through a root canal procedure, which involves removing the infected pulp from the tooth and filling it with a special material. In some cases, extraction of the tooth may be necessary. Antibiotics are often prescribed to help fight the infection.
Is a Dental abscess a dental emergency?
Yes, a Dental abscess is considered a dental emergency. If you suspect you have a tooth abscess, it’s important to seek dental treatment as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further complications.
Can a Dental abscess go away on its own?
While it’s possible for a Dental abscess to drain on its own, it is not recommended to rely on this happening. The infection will likely persist or worsen without proper treatment. Seeking professional dental care is crucial to effectively treat the abscess and prevent complications.
Can I prevent a Dental abscess?
Practicing good oral hygiene is key to preventing Dental abscesses. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Additionally, avoiding sugary foods and drinks, quitting smoking, and wearing a mouthguard during physical activities can help reduce the risk of dental problems that can lead to abscesses.
Are there home remedies for tooth abscess pain?
While home remedies cannot cure a tooth abscess, they may help temporarily alleviate pain and discomfort. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater, apply a cold compress to the affected area, and take over-the-counter pain relievers (following the instructions) to manage the pain. However, it’s important to remember that these remedies are not a substitute for professional dental care.
How long does it take to recover from a Dental abscess?
The recovery time for a Dental abscess can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the chosen treatment. In general, it may take a few days to a couple of weeks for the symptoms to subside after receiving appropriate dental treatment. It’s essential to follow your dentist’s instructions and attend any follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing.