Tooth Abscess: Symptoms and Treatment
Tooth abscess can occur due to various reasons related to teeth such as tooth decay, gum disease or cavities in dental fillings and can lead to serious complications. Therefore, it is crucial to treat it as soon as possible.
What is Tooth Abscess?
Tooth abscess is a medical condition that threatens dental health, caused by an infection in the soft tissue inside the tooth or the gum surrounding it. The soft tissue in the middle of the tooth is formed as a result of the multiplication of bacteria in the gum or bone tissue. These bacteria cause infection. As a result of the infection, symptoms such as swelling, redness, pain and sensitivity occur in the tissues around the tooth. It usually involves a bad taste and odor as well.
What Causes Dental Abscess?
Tooth abscess usually occurs as a result of bacteria in the mouth causing tooth decay, infection and inflammation.
Bacteria thrive in the plaque and tartar deposits on the surface of the teeth and by decaying the tooth enamel, they cause a hole to form in the tooth. This hole can progress inward toward the tooth pulp (the living tissue of the tooth) as it develops inside the tooth. This can eventually lead to the onset of an infection.
Gum disease is also a cause of dental abscess. Gum disease is an infection caused by bacteria in the gums. It can cause inflammation, gum recession and bone loss around the teeth, making the surrounding tissues more susceptible to infection and dental abscess.
In addition to the reasons mentioned above, tooth fractures, cracked teeth, gum trauma or cavities in dental fillings can also cause tooth abscess.
What are the Symptoms of a Tooth Abscess?
The symptoms of a tooth abscess include:
- Redness in the gums
- High fever
- Gingival bleeding
- Tooth sensitivity
- Bad taste or odor
How is a Dental Abscess Diagnosed?
To diagnose a tooth abscess, a dentist may follow these steps:
- Evaluation of symptoms: The symptoms of a dental abscess can help the dentist make a diagnosis.
- Examination: The dentist will examine the infected tooth and the surrounding tissues.
- X-ray: X-ray is an important tool for diagnosing a tooth abscess.
- Measurement of gum depth: Gum recession or gum disease can be a cause of a dental abscess. Therefore, the dentist may measure the gum depth and assess the presence or severity of gum disease.
How is a Tooth Abscess Treated?
The treatment of a dental abscess depends on the severity of the abscess, the extent of the infection and the patient's overall health. Treatment options may include:
- Draining the abscess
- Tooth extraction (used when other treatment options have failed)
- Root canal therapy
How to Prevent a Tooth Abscess?
To prevent a tooth abscess, consider the following recommendations:
- Brush your teeth regularly: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. This helps reduce the buildup of plaque and bacteria on your teeth.
- Use dental floss: Use dental floss to clean between your teeth and remove any leftover food or debris.
- Complete your oral care routine: It is recommended to complete your oral care routine by using mouthwash after brushing and flossing.
- Don't skip regular dental check-ups: Regular dental check-ups are important to maintain healthy teeth and to detect dental problems early, reducing the risk of developing a tooth abscess.
- Watch what you eat: Balanced nutrition is essential for dental health. Foods high in sugar and starch can cause tooth decay.
- Use protective dental equipment: Wearing protective dental equipment during risky activities can help prevent dental injuries.
These measures can help keep your teeth clean and healthy, while also reducing the risk of developing a dental abscess.