Human teeth are strong and highly resilient, but they are not invulnerable to mechanical damage or even eventual wear by bacteria and other corrosive agents. One of the common dental diseases associated with the damage or deterioration of the teeth is known as dental abscess. This is essentially an infection of the tissues within and around the tooth, and the disorder is primarily characterised by localised pus collection. Here are the most important facts that you should understand with regard to dental abscesses if you suspect you have the infection.
Categories of Dental Abscess
Bacterial infections can affect different oral tissues, and the pertinent abscesses will form in the affected area. Consequently, the disease can be classified according to the diseased dental structure. Peri-apical dental abscess is the most common type, and it can be defined as the infection of the tip of the tooth's root. Often, the condition is chronic and may spread easily to other associated structures. Gingival abscess occurs in the gum tissues and typically does not spread to the tooth or other dental tissues. Periodontal abscess is also relatively common, and it normally causes the deterioration of the dental supporting tissues. These infections can occur independently or as a combination of disorders, depending on the nature of the infection.
The most common symptom of dental abscess is pain. However, the exact nature of the pain can vary from one individual to another. The ache is usually continuous, and it might manifest as a throbbing, growing, or sharp pain. The application of pressure or warmth on the tooth will increase the discomfort and induce sensitivity. However, you should note that some people will not experience any significant pain after infection. Another common symptom is swelling infected tissues and the areas surrounding them. These can include the tooth, gum tissues, and the cheeks. If treatment is not administered early, the swelling can spread to the face and the neck glands. Other signs and symptoms of abscess are fever, halitosis, open sores, bad taste, and malaise.
The treatment of dental abscess is based on eliminating the infectious oral bacteria and preventing recurrence of the disease. Mild cases can be treated using antibiotic therapy, and the collected pus in the tissues can be drained to alleviate swelling. If the teeth are affected due to the infection of the root, root canal therapy will be recommended. If the teeth are extensively damaged and cannot be restored, your dentist might perform extraction and subsequent curettage of the old tissues or use a dental crown.