Dental abscess is a tooth infection rendering pain at its root or between them and the gum. It results in the collection of pus in the center of the tooth generally referred to as the pulp.
Decay of tooth remains the major reason for dental abscess. Unattended tooth cavity, gum infection, or gingivitis, chipped or broken tooth would also cause dental abscess.
The inner part of the tooth gets infected by such type of disorders which allow the bacteria to enter in the gaps of tooth enamel. Such infection by bacteria and other microorganisms ultimately spread to other parts of the tooth including its root and the supporting bones.
Treatment for the dental abscess is important, without which it may result in fatalities.
Dental abscess symptoms
Some of the symptoms of dental abscess are given below:
- Continuous toothache that causes throbbing and severe pain are the common signs of dental abscess. Dental abscess may sometimes result in intolerable and stinging pain.
- The gums and the tooth may be more sensitive to the touch of cold and hot food items and beverages.
- Dental abscess makes chewing and biting activities sensitive to pressure and causes pain each time one engages in the above activities.
- Foul breath
- Bouts of fever
- The cheeks and jaws or even the whole face may become swollen
- Affected individuals may feel a sense of uneasiness, discomfort or bad feeling
- There may be increased tenderness or inflammation of the lymph nodes under the jaw or in the neck
- The swollen gums have a tendency to become increasingly reddish in color
- When the dental abscess ruptures, then the pus- like fluids with putrid smell and taste which are present in the gums and tooth come out in torrents. Such bursting of the dental abscesses results in subsiding of the pain which slowly decreases and then completely vanishes.
- Persistence of a bitter taste in mouth
- The gum of the infected tooth may get an open and continuously draining sore
- If treatment is not given to the infected tooth, it may spread to jaws, neck and head. Ultimately it may result in dangerous sepsis which causes the spread of infection to other tissues and parts of the body
- Due to the infection, the root of the tooth dies. The infection then continues to spread to other regions of the body such as the head, neck, jaw, etc. A disorder in immune system would aggravate the spread of infection and cause rapidly cause the destruction of vital tissues
Causes of dental abscess
Some of the causes for dental abscess are discussed below:
- Dental abscess is caused due to bacterial infection in the tooth pulp, which is the innermost part of tooth, containing the soft connective tissues, the nerves, and the blood vessels.
- Chips and cracks in tooth make room for the bacteria to enter causing the decay of tooth which enter the root of tooth slowly and cause inflammation and swelling inside the tight space of tooth. Such inflammation results in the formation of pus which is pushed into an abscess or a gap that develops at the tip of the root.
- If enough dental care is not given by brushing twice a day, it can lead to tooth and gum decay, and can cause other dental diseases along with dental abscesses.
- The risk of getting dental abscess is more for those who are in the habit of consuming a diet that has high sugar content such as sweet dishes and chocolates. Such diets often tend to make room for cavities in the tooth.
- Diabetes and autoimmune diseases reduce the strength of the immune system and thereby hasten cases of dental abscess.
Dental abscess antibiotics, treatment
Treatment for dental abscess focuses on draining the abscess of the pus and clearing all infections in the tooth. This can be done with the use of the following methods:
- For treating and saving the tooth, root canalling is one of the best ways, wherein the infected tooth is drilled, the pulp is removed and the abscess is drained; after which the pulp chamber is filled, closed and sealed. Then it is capped by metal cover. After this repair work, proper dental care and hygiene would ensure its safety for life time.
- In case there is no room for saving the tooth, the best treatment would be to remove the tooth and the abscess
- Administering antibiotics is not required if the infection remains isolated to a single tooth. In case, there is spread of infection to other regions and tissues, then antibiotics are prescribed to treat the infection and prevent it from spreading any further.
- Dental abscess antibiotics can be taken alongside painkillers but both of them are given only under the advice of qualified medical practitioner . The antibiotics prescribed are amoxicillin and metronidazole only if the face is swollen, you contract fever or swollen glands, you are at risk of complications due to diseases like diabetes or if you have a weak immune system. Do not take antibiotics as replacement for dental treatment for tooth abscess because only a dentist can treat the issue.
- Apart from rinsing the mouth with warm salt water, pain killers may be prescribed during the treatment.
- Good oral hygiene habits such as daily brushing and flossing, changing the toothbrush every few months, regular dental checkup and a balanced diet are some of the best ways to prevent tooth decay and the spread of dental abscess.
Dental abscess pictures