4 Fast Facts About Abscesses

Posted on: 1 April 2018

Most people know when they have a toothache. The pain can range from a slight discomfort in the tooth to severe pain that radiates through the entire mouth, jaw, and head. Unfortunately, toothaches can also be dangerous and life-threatening if there is an underlying infection. Proper understanding of an abscessed tooth will help you diagnose and treat an infection before it becomes dangerous. With this guide, you will learn a few important facts about an abscessed tooth.

Abscesses are Caused By Plaque

An abscessed tooth can develop quickly and painfully and this infection stems from the buildup of plaque.  

As you eat, food residue builds up on the surface of your teeth and gum tissue. Over time, the plaque can harden, eating through your tooth enamel, allowing food and bacteria to infect the interior of your tooth.

Proper brushing and flossing is your best weapon against preventing plaque buildup and potential infections.

There are Different Types

You may be surprised that an abscess can develop in a few different areas of your mouth.

If the abscess develops in the soft tissue of the tooth pulp, it is known as a periapical abscess.

If the abscess develops in the gum tissue, it is called a gingival abscess. These infections do not usually affect the actual tooth.

A periodontal abscess is another infection that can affect your oral health. These abscesses form in the actual bone that supports the tooth.

Pain Is Not the Only Symptom

An abscess does cause you pain, but it is not the only symptom you will experience if you have this type of infection. Discomfort in the infected area, along with jaw pain and headaches will be common.

In addition, patients with an abscess may experience fatigue, sleeplessness, and sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages. The abscess will also cause you to have a fever. This fever is your body's attempt at fighting off the infection.

Treatment Is Possible

If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms, you should visit your dentist or emergency room immediately.

Treatment will depend on the severity of the infection. Extracting an infected tooth and its root will most likely be necessary for fast relief. If the abscess is located in the gum tissue, draining the infected tissue will treat the infection.

Antibiotics will also be prescribed to treat the infection. In severe cases where the infection has spread through the body, antibiotics will be administered intravenously. This is the most efficient option for effective treatment.

An abscess should be taken seriously. This guide and your dentist will help you diagnose and treat a painful and dangerous abscess. Contact a clinic, like Centre Family Dentistry, for more help.