Tooth abscess: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

A dental abscess or periapical abscess is a kind of pus-filled pouch caused by a bacterial infection, which can occur in different regions of the tooth. In addition, the abscess can also occur in the gums near the root of the tooth, the so-called periodontal abscess.

A dental abscess usually happens due to an untreated cavity, an injury or poorly performed dental work.

Treatment consists of draining the abscess fluid, devitalizing, administering antibiotics, or, in more severe cases, extracting the affected tooth.

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Possible symptoms

The signs and symptoms that can be caused by an abscess are:

  • Very intense and persistent pain that can radiate to the jaw, neck or ear;
  • Sensitivity to cold and hot;
  • Sensitivity to pressure and chewing and biting movements;
  • Fever;
  • Acute swelling of the gums and cheek;
  • Swelling in the lymph nodes of the neck.

In addition to these symptoms, if the abscess ruptures, there may be a bad smell, bad taste, a salty liquid in the mouth and pain relief.

What causes

Dental abscess occurs when bacteria invade the dental pulp, which is an internal structure of the tooth formed by connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves. These bacteria can enter through a cavity or a crack in the tooth and spread to the root. See how to identify and treat tooth decay.

Having poor dental hygiene or high-sugar hygiene increases the risk of developing a dental abscess.

How the treatment is done

There are several ways to treat a dental abscess. The dentist may choose to drain the abscess, making a small cut to facilitate the outflow of fluid or a devitalization of the tooth, in order to eliminate the infection but to save the tooth, which consists of removing the dental pulp and the abscess. and then restore the tooth.

However, if it is no longer possible to save the tooth, the dentist may have to extract and drain the abscess in order to treat the infection effectively.

In addition, antibiotic drugs can also be administered if the infection spreads to other teeth or other regions of the mouth, or to people with a weakened immune system.

How to prevent a tooth abscess

To prevent an abscess from developing, preventive measures can be taken, such as:

  • Use a fluoride elixir;
  • Wash your teeth properly, at least twice a day;
  • Floss at least once a day;
  • Replace the toothbrush every three months;
  • Reduce sugar consumption.

In addition to these preventive measures, it is also recommended to go to the dentist every 6 months in order to make an assessment of oral health and dental cleaning, if necessary.

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