Tooth Abscess

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Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess, is a tooth where the inner pulp has had a bacterial infection. This infection creates a pocket of pus that can form in different areas of the tooth structure.
Emergency dental clinic staff operating in yellow uniforms

Tooth abscess – Are there different types?

Here are the different types of dental abscesses:
 
  • Periapical abscess – This abscess occurs at the end of the root of the tooth.
  • Periodontal abscess – This abscess occurs adjacent to the tooth on the gum.

Who Is Most At Risk Of An tooth abscess?

People who are at the highest risk are people:
 
  • Who have dry mouth – Saliva helps wash out your mouth and neutralize bacteria, less saliva will allow bacteria to multiply in your mouth and their by-product (an acid) will damage your teeth. 
  • Have a weakened immune system – A healthy immune system can help defend against infections.

What Caused My tooth abscess?

Dental abscesses have a number of reasons as to why they would occur:

Advanced Tooth Decay

Decay will break down the enamel on your teeth, causing openings.

Broken, Chipped, Or Fractured Teeth

A broken tooth can allow for bacteria to enter inside the affected tooth.
Gum disease (periodontitis) – The bacterial infection will attack deeper parts of the gum tissue.

Symptoms Of An Abscessed Tooth

Dental abscesses have a number of symptoms that may show up:
 
  • Pain – If you are experiencing pain in or around your tooth it may be an abscess.
  • Tooth sensitivity – Hot or cold temperatures will cause you moderate to severe discomfort.
  • Foul-smelling breath/or a bitter taste – You may experience unexplained bad tastes and odors.
  • Gum redness & swelling – The infection will result in these superficial afflictions.
  • Loose teeth – The swelling may cause your gums or jaw bone to subtly change shape, resulting in loose teeth.
  • Sore on gum – A visible sore may be seen on the gum itself, this sore be drain fluid also.

Dental Abscess – Complications

If a dental abscess is left untreated, the following may occur:
 
  • Fistula – A hollow space in the bone and skin.
  • Cysts – A fluid filled bubble on the jaw.
  • Sepsis – Your body’s extreme response to an infection. It is a life-threatening medical emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions - Absecessed Tooth

See a general dentist immediately.

You should avoid the following:

  • Hard foods
  • Chewy foods
  • Sugary foods like candy
  • Food or drinks that are overly hot, or cold.

A dentist will most likely suggest a root canal to treat your abscessed tooth. This will help prevent tooth decay and will save the original structure of the tooth. You can also get a tooth extraction if a root canal is too expensive.

You should see a general dentist first, if they need to refer you to a specialist they will inform you of what to do.

Our Dental Terminology Guide

Are you interested in learning about different dental terms? We made a massive glossary of terms so you can listen with confidence!