An abscess or tooth abscess is a collection of pus. Pus is a thick fluid that usually contains white blood cells, dead tissue and bacteria (germs). A dental abscess occurs when the nerve and blood vessel in the centre of a tooth has become infected. This is usually due to dental decay, but it may also be caused by injury to the tooth. The abscess typically originates from a bacterial infection, bacteria exist in plaque, a by-product of food, saliva and bacteria in the mouth, which sticks to the teeth and damages them, as well as the gums.
Types of Dental Abscess
- Gingival Abscess. A gingival abscess is an abscess shut in to the gingival soft tissue and does not affect the tooth or the periodontal ligament.
- Periodontal Abscess. Abscess begins in the supporting bone tissue structures of the teeth. A periodontal abscess is an alveolar abscess or a lateral periodontal abscess.
- Periapical Abscess. Abscess commences in the soft pulp of the tooth. A periapical abscess is an alveolar abscess localized around the apex of a tooth root.
Symptoms of a Dental Abscess
Symptoms typically include one or more of the following:
- Severe and throbbing tooth pain that rapidly get worse.
- Tender and Swelled Gums.
- Swelling of the face and the skin over an abscess may become red and inflamed.
- Tender and loose tooth.
- High Fever
- Feeling of poor health.
- Spasm of the jaw muscles.
Causes of Dental Abscess
Causes of Dental Abscess can be as follows:-
- A periapical abscess occurs when plaque bacteria infect your tooth as a result of dental caries
- A periodontal abscess occurs when plaque bacteria affect your gums, causing gum disease known as periodontitis.
- Dental procedures that create accidental periodontal pockets
- Antibiotic use in untreated periodontitis, which can mask the beginnings of an abscess
- Damage to your gums, even if you do not have periodontitis
Treatment of Dental Abscess
Treatment of a Dental Abscess centers on the reduction and elimination of the offending organisms. This can include treatment with antibiotics and drainage.
- Root Canal Therapy may be performed, if the tooth is treatable.
- Extraction of Tooth. A tooth that can not be restored is required to be extracted, followed by curettage of all apical soft tissue.
- Treatment with Antibiotics. If the infection has spread to nearby teeth, your jaw or other areas, dentist is likely to prescribe antibiotics to stop the spread of the infection. Antibiotics are recommended if patient have a weakened immune system.
Abscesses may fail to heal for several reasons:
- Cyst formation
- Inadequate root canal therapy
- Vertical root fractures
- Foreign material in the lesion
- Associated periodontal disease
- Penetration of the maxillary sinus