A dental abscess is an accumulation of pus that forms inside the teeth or gums. The abscess usually arises as a result of a bacterial infection that often accumulates in the pulp of the teeth.
Dental plaque (plaque) appears as a result of the accumulation of food, saliva and bacteria in the mouth and sticks to the teeth and harms them and the gums. If the plaque is not removed by regular and proper brushing and flossing, the bacteria may spread within the soft tissues of the teeth and gums, which may eventually lead to an abscess.
Dental abscess symptoms
Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include:
- Pain in the affected area when biting or when touching this area
- tooth sensitivity For hot or cold foods and liquids
- Bad taste in the mouth
- general feeling of malaise
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
The main symptom of a tooth abscess is pain. This pain may be throbbing and is often severe.
The pain usually begins suddenly and becomes more severe over the following hours or days. In some cases, the pain may spread to the ear, jawbone, and neck.
Types of tooth abscess
There are three types of dental abscesses:
- gum abscess: The abscess forms only in the gum tissue and does not affect the tooth or the periodontal ligament.
- Periapical abscess: This abscess begins in the pulp of the tooth.
- An abscess around my tooth: This abscess begins in the bone tissue supporting the teeth.
The type of abscess determines the severity of symptoms and where they are located.
Causes of a tooth abscess
The mouth is an environment filled with bacteria that form a sticky film on your teeth called plaque.
Tooth abscess is in most cases a complication of a dental infection.
Bacteria enter the teeth through small holes caused by tooth decay or cavities, which form in the hard outer layer of the tooth called enamel.
The exposure of the teeth to severe decay eventually leads to the destruction of the soft tissue layer under the enamel, which is called dentin. If the decay continues, the hole will eventually penetrate. The inner pulp tissue of the tooth becomes infected.
This is known as pulpitis. As the pulpitis progresses, bacteria make their way to the bone that surrounds and supports the tooth called the alveolar bone and causes an abscess to form around the tooth roots.
Abscess around the tooth
When bacteria in the plaque infect the gums, the patient's gums become infected and inflamed, causing the tissues surrounding the roots of the teeth to separate from the base of the tooth and the formation of a periodontal pocket.
The periodontal pocket is a small gap that forms when the periodontal ligament separates from its connection with the root. The pocket gets dirty easily as a result of food residues collecting in it and it is difficult to keep it clean. Bacteria accumulate in the periodontal pocket and a periodontal abscess or periodontal abscess is formed.
Patients can develop periodontal abscesses as a result of some dental procedures that may cause occasional pockets to form around the teeth.
The use of antibiotics in cases of inflammation Untreated periodontitis can mask the symptoms of root abscesses that can progress to abscesses Periodontics.
Sometimes gum damage can lead to abscesses Periodontics even in the absence of inflammation Periodons.
Can a tooth abscess be treated at home?
There are procedures you can take at home to relieve pain:
- Avoid extremely hot and very cold foods and drinks
- Chewing on the side of the mouth that does not have an abscess will be less painful
- Do not use dental floss around the affected area
- Use a very soft toothbrush
But remember that home remedies can only help make a person more comfortable while waiting for treatment and not get rid of a tooth abscess, as the patient must visit the dental clinic to receive appropriate treatment to avoid any of the complications of a tooth abscess.
Complications of a dental abscess
In the vast majority of cases, complications occur only if the abscess is left untreated. However, some complications can occur even after apparently effective treatment, but this is very rare.
Possible complications include:
Tooth bags: If the abscess is not treated, it may develop into a fluid-filled cavity in the lower part of the tooth root, and this is called a dental cyst.
There is a high risk that the cyst will become infected, and if this occurs, the patient will need antibiotics and possibly surgery.
Osteomyelitis: The bacteria in the abscess enter the bloodstream and infect the bones with infection. The patient will experience a high body temperature, severe pain in the affected bones, and possibly nausea.
The affected bone is usually near the site of the abscess and sometimes it may spread into the bloodstream and infect any other bone in the body. Treatment includes either oral or intravenous antibiotics.
Cavernous sinus thrombosis: The spread of bacteria leads to the formation of a blood clot in the cavernous sinus, which is a large vein at the base of the brain. Cavernous sinus thrombosis is treated with antibiotics and sometimes surgery to drain the sinuses.
In some cases, the condition can be fatal and is a very rare complication.
croup ludwig: It is an infection that affects the floor of the mouth when bacteria spreads from dental abscesses. Swelling and severe pain appear under the tongue and neck. In severe cases, the patient may find it difficult to breathe, so Ludwig's angina is a life-threatening condition.
Patients are treated with antibiotics and people with acute Ludwig's angina may need a procedure to open the airway if there are breathing problems.
Sinusitis: It occurs when bacteria spreads in the small spaces behind the cheekbones called the maxillary sinuses. This condition is not dangerous, but it may be painful. The patient may develop a fever and the cheek may become sensitive to pressure.
Sometimes the inflammation goes away on its own, and depending on the severity of the infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
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Management of pain caused by a tooth abscess
Over-the-counter pain relievers may help reduce pain while a person waits for treatment. It is important to follow the information on the package carefully and remember that painkillers are only there to relieve pain and cannot replace a visit to the dentist.
Aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol (paracetamol) are effective pain relievers, however some are not suitable for certain types of patients, as:
Ibuprofen and asthma: If you have asthma, do not take ibuprofen.
Ibuprofen and stomach ulcers: Do not take ibuprofen if you have or have ever had a stomach ulcer.
Aspirin and children: Do not give aspirin to children under 16 years old.
Aspirin, pregnancy and lactation: Do not take aspirin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Antibiotics may be prescribed To prevent the infection from spreading, it can be taken with pain relievers, such as amoxicillin or metronidazole.
In no case should antibiotics be considered a means to dispense with treatment at the dentist or to postpone treatment.
Dental abscess treatment in Turkey
Anyone experiencing symptoms associated with a tooth abscess should see a dentist immediately. A dental abscess is easily diagnosed by a qualified dentist.
People who have trouble swallowing and breathing should also go directly to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.
If you can't see a dentist right away, see your family doctor. A doctor can't treat an abscess but may prescribe medications, give advice on self-care and pain management, and likely know the quickest way to get emergency treatment if needed.
The abscess must be opened and the pus containing the bacteria drained. The doctor will administer a local anesthetic.
Treatment of periapical abscess
Root canal treatment will be used to remove the abscess. A hole is made in the dead molar so that the pus drains out while removing any damaged tissue from the nerve. Then, the root filling is inserted into the canal space at the root to prevent subsequent infections.
Treatment of a periodontal abscess
The abscess is drained, the periodontal pocket cleaned, and the tooth root surfaces smoothed by scaling and debridement below the gum line. This will help the tooth to heal and prevent further infection.
People with periodontal abscesses and recurrent infections may need to surgically remove diseased tissue, and those with periodontal abscesses and recurrent infections may have to reshape the gum tissue and remove the gum pocket.
If a tooth abscess reappears even after surgery, the tooth may be removed permanently.