Abscess tooth or dental abscess is the inflammation of teeth and gums due to infection. It can cause mild to severe pain. Pus or debris particles accumulate to form an abscess on your teeth causing toothache. You need to visit your dentist for treating abscess in your tooth and unlike abscess on any part of your body it will not heal naturally. Bacterial infection is the major cause of tooth abscess which builds up pus, a fluid like substance that contains dead tissues of the cells along with germs. It would cause foul smell on your teeth with pain.
Abscess Tooth Causes :
Infection and poor dental hygiene are the main causes for abscess tooth. Bacteria can grow on the leftover food material on your teeth or on the cavities and penetrate deep into the soft tissues of the oral cavity. This infection can spread from the teeth to the gums causing more complications and throbbing pain.
Abscess Tooth Symptoms :
Some of the common signs of abscess tooth are pain, inflammation (swelling) and redness of the mouth. It would cause sudden throbbing pain and the pain would increase over time. In some people if the infection is severe it can cause swelling of face and mild fever. The gums become tender to touch due to the presence of pus filled abscess. It can cause difficulty to swallow and for some people it would be difficult to open the mouth.
Complications are rare due to dental abscess but the infection would progress if not treated. The bacteria would enter into the gums and cheek and even into the jaw bone causing severe pain. Pus gets collected in the abscess and it becomes worse as time passes. For more severe cases abscess tooth can cause fever, chills, nausea and discomfort.
It is easy to identify abscess tooth by mere physical exam of the dentist.
Abscess Tooth Treatment :
You can use over the counter painkillers like ibuprofen for treating dental abscess of mild category. Sometimes the abscess would rupture on its own if you wash the mouth with warm salt water several times a day. Your dentist would drain the abscess using special sterilized needles and prescribe suitable antibiotics for clearing bacterial infection.
For some people the root of the tooth can get infected and your dentist would go for root canal treatment to remove the infected tooth. Local anesthesia would be injected on the infected gum so that you will not feel any pain during the procedure. While treating a periodontal abscess the dentist will smooth out the root surface of the infected tooth after draining off the pus inside, so that gum will close back firmly. You need to maintain good dental hygiene by brushing and flossing daily. Visit your dentist regularly to prevent tooth decay due to dental abscess.
Based on the location of abscess, abscess tooth can be classified into 2 categories.
- Periapical Abscess :
In this type, the abscess or pus collection would form below the tooth. This is the type of abscess that is commonly seen in many people. An abscess would begin to develop in the center of the dental pulp causing tooth decay and severe pain. The bacteria would enter the teeth pulp eroding the protective layers like enamel and dentine causing tooth decay.
- Periodontal Abscess :
This abscess is formed on the supporting tissues of the teeth and it often occurs between the gums and the tooth. Abscess is formed due to dental complications like periodontal disease. The gums get slightly detached from its place causing cavities or pockets which gets subsequently filled with leftover food materials. This would give room for the bacteria to invade on it leading to form an abscess. The main reason for building of abscess is due to poor dental hygiene and eating lots of sugary foods.
If the abscess tooth is treated in time prognosis is good. If not treated for long periods, the infection would spread to the nearby tissues and bones and also on your throat causing difficulty in breathing.