Common and painful, dental abscesses affect many people with poor dental health. We’ll explore more about dental abscesses, including how they’re caused, their symptoms, and the different types of treatment which are available.
A dental abscess is a collection of pus made from dead white blood cells, dead tissue, and bacteria which forms inside the tooth. They can affect any tooth, however, wisdom teeth are particularly vulnerable. There are two different types of dental abscesses, a periapical abscess (tooth) and a periodontal abscess (gum).
Dental abscesses are caused by bacterial tooth infections or cavities (the result of tooth decay). Originating within the pulp chamber of the tooth (which cannot fight off infections) the bacteria multiply, spreading through the tooth down to the root and bone. The abscess tooth will become increasingly painful, and if left untreated the infection can spread to other areas of the body, such as the jaw, facial bones, neck, or throat. In the very worst cases, an abscess tooth will need to be extracted. A few different things can lead to decay in teeth, including:
There are numerous symptoms which can indicate a dental abscess, including:
It’s worth remembering that if the pulp within your tooth dies because of the infection, the pain may go away. This doesn’t mean that the abscess tooth has been healed or is no longer a problem. In fact, the tooth infection will simply continue to spread, so it’s vital that you seek dental attention if you encounter any of the above symptoms.
By maintaining good standards of oral healthcare, you can avoid getting a dental abscess in the first place. Specifically, you should:
To treat a dental abscess, the source of the tooth infection will need to be removed and the pus drained from it. There are several different ways that you can do this:
Even if the abscess ruptures by itself, you will still need to receive treatment from a dentist. Make sure that you rinse your mouth out with warm water (to clean the wound and allow the pus to drain) and then make an appointment with a dentist so that you can receive some professional treatment.
Think that you might have an abscess tooth? Contact 1-800-DENTIST to book an appointment with a local dentist.