Tooth abscesses can be caused by a number of things, but the most common is dental cavities. If left untreated, an infected tooth will spread bacteria to other teeth and gums, which can lead to further infection and even tooth loss.
What is a Dental Abscess?
A dental abscess is a localized infection of the tooth that occurs when bacteria accumulates in the pulp chamber, which is the soft tissue surrounding the tooth. The pulp chamber can become infected when there is a break in the oral barrier, such as through a tooth extraction or decay.
An abscess can cause intense pain in and around the tooth, it may cause pus to discharge from a tooth. The infection can spread to other areas if left untreated.
Please see medical attention if you notice these symptoms:
- Severe pain or pressure on one or more teeth
- Discharge from the tooth
- Swelling or redness around the tooth
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
A periodontal abscess is an infection of the gum tissue. It is the most common type of oral infection in adults, and can easily spread to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of a Dental Abscess
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention:
- Sudden onset of pain in one or more teeth
- Redness or swelling around the tooth or adjacent gums
- Acid or pus coming from the tooth
5 Dental Abscess Stages
If the abscess is still left untreated, it could result in:
- Unavoidable tooth pain
- Severe sensitivity
- Tooth loss
- Fatality – You can die from a dental abscess if it is never treated at all.
What Causes Dental Abscesses
Physical Trauma & Damage
If you suffer from injuries, dental damage, or deep tooth cracks, bacteria can spread to deeper parts of the teeth. This can cause an abscess.
Underlying Medical Conditions And Or Medications
Dental Abscess Treatment Options
Draining The Abscess
Root Canal Therapy
The surgical extraction of your tooth might be necessary after receiving an injury or disease to an infected tooth, or when the decay reaches a certain size. The anesthesia is administered during the procedure, and your tooth is removed using small instruments. After extraction, the socket will be covered with sterile gauze, in order to reduce the risk of bacteria entering it.
Antibiotics – Which Ones Are Best?
Antibiotics used to treat dental abscesses include amoxicillin, penicillin and metronidazole. These antibiotics can help solve other types of infections, such as those that occur in the mouth. Your dentist may prescribe a treatment plan that includes antibiotics for you.
Advice On Managing The Pain
Complications Of A Untreated Dental Abscess
Root canals are not always the best treatment option. If a tooth becomes severely infected or weak, removing and replacing it with an artificial tooth and dental crown may be necessary.
Dental Abscess – Can You Prevent Them?
- Brushing your teeth with fluoride twice a day. Use a brush that’s appropriate for your brushing style for the best results.
- Replace your toothbrush or head every 3 to 4 months.
- Floss daily with dental floss, floss sticks, or a water flosser.
- Use a mouth rinse with fluoride or an antiseptic daily to prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay.
- Make sure to stay on top of professional dental care. Receive a dental exam and teeth cleaning every six months.
- Reduce sugar in your diet by eating a balanced, healthy diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
An abscessed tooth won’t go away on its own. If an abscess isn’t treated, it can spread to other parts of your body.
It’s never a good idea to try and press or squeeze a dental abscess. Doing so can lead to more serious infections in your mouth.