You may not have heard this dental problem so often, but you will be surprised to know that it is one of the most common dental problems in the world. A dental abscess, or tooth abscess, is an accumulation of pus that forms inside the teeth or gums. The abscess usually initiates from a bacterial infection that has accumulated in the soft pulp of the tooth.
If the plaque is not removed by regular and proper tooth brushing and flossing the bacteria may spread to the soft tissue inside the tooth or gums, eventually resulting in an abscess.
To ensure the damage is not so harmful, it is vital to catch the abscessed tooth at an early stage, and it is also important to understand the symptoms and signs of an abscessed tooth.
The main symptom for both tooth and gum abscesses is a throbbing pain in the mouth that doesn’t seem to fade or decrease with time. If you have a toothache, it may be because you have a tooth abscess. Usually, the tooth abscess area of the mouth will become sensitive to chewing and will pain when eating. Brushing your teeth can also become painful with a tooth abscess. Another symptom is swelling of the lymph nodes in your neck, making it hard and painful to swallow, this is sometimes accompanied by body temperature as well. You may also feel pressure in the sinuses as a symptom of gum or tooth related abscess.
A dental abscess is a collection of pus in a tooth or nearby area like gums. A dental abscess is described in two types:
It is the most common type. This kind of abscess starts in the center of the dental pulp. A periapical abscess usually starts with a tooth decay problem and later it may develop into an abscess. Dental decay is widespread because of our daily eating and cleaning habits. Some food particles stick to the teeth and cause the decay. The decay then breaks down the outside protective layers of the tooth (the enamel and dentine). The damage caused to the tooth enters the pulp, which causes an infection.
The bacterial infection in the pulp can further form an abscess. A periapical abscess can also develop if the nerve to the tooth damages because of an injury. The dead tissue inside a tooth is more prone to infection.
This type of abscess starts in the supporting structures of the teeth, such as the periodontium, which is between the tooth and the gum. Periodontal abscess most commonly develops as a complication of gum disease, which is infection or inflammation of the tissues that surround the teeth. Gum disease often causes the tooth to become loose from the tooth. Gaps form because of this space between the tooth and gum, which at times start developing bacterial infection resulting in forming an abscess. A periodontal abscess can also be a result of a complication of injury to the gums or periodontium.
Treatment of a Periapical Abscess
This abscess type treatment is a root canal treatment. First and foremost the dentist will find a way to release the pus from the tooth and remove the dead pulp tissue. After cleaning the tooth of pus, a root filling will be placed to avoid further infection. Then your dentist will perform a root canal treatment in some time to treat the dead pulp entirely.
If the infection persists despite root canal treatment, the dentist may have to remove (extract) the tooth.
Treatment of a periodontal abscess
After draining the pus, the dentist may clean the pocket where the abscess was present. Then the dentist may smooth out the root surfaces of the tooth to remove any other gaps, which will prevent the infection from coming back. If you develop frequent periodontal abscesses, you may have to see an oral surgeon. The oral surgeon may carry out a procedure to reshape the gum tissue.
Emergency treatment needs immediate attention of your dentist. We try to preserve the tooth in all conditions unless it is completely spoiled. With the help of an x-ray, we will be able to determine the extent of the infection. If the abscess seems to be present only in the gums, it is treatable with a minor incision. However, most abscesses are spread much deeper, in the pulp of the tooth. The next step will be the Root canal therapy to extract the infected pulp. If a root canal is the best treatment option, the dentist will remove the infected pulp from your tooth to relieve you from the pain.
After removing the pulp, the tooth is covered with a gum-like substance for sealing the pulp, and it avoids sticking any food debris. The tooth may need a crown after this procedure to make it healthy again.
In case of extreme damage, we might suggest removing the tooth. We will discuss this with you in detail before going ahead of the extraction so that you can make an informed decision. If you decide to extract the tooth, we will restore it with a dental implant and crown. It functions as good as a tooth.
It is vital to contact your dentist as soon as you have dental abscess pain. When you seek treatment for an abscessed tooth, you are looking for instant relief from the pain. So, you might want to go to the nearest emergency doctor rather than waiting for an appointment with your dentist. It is recommended to visit your dentists because he knows the best what has been done in the previous visit. He would work with your schedule and provide the best dental care in the area when it comes to dental emergencies. Call now and make an appointment!