A tooth abscess is a condition that occurs when a bacterial infection develops under the gums usually at the root of a tooth. It is commonly caused by an injury, deep infection in the gum pocket, or failed dental work. The body’s natural immune system responds to the infection by releasing pus to prevent the bacteria from affecting other parts of the body.
A tooth abscess can damage the teeth and gums by eroding the periodontium (the bone, connective tissue, and gum surrounding and supporting a tooth), tooth periodontal ligament (PDL), or the hard compact alveolar bone, and cause irreparable damage. The most common cause of a dental abscess is tooth decay caused by a chip, crack, or fracture in the tooth. The injury allows bacteria to enter the gums through a cavity. The body responds by developing a protective shield of pus, which can cause even more harm.
There are three kinds of abscesses. A gingival abscess only affects the gums and not the tooth structure. A periapical abscess occurs at the tip of the root, and a periodontal abscess occurs in the gums at the side of the root. Most dentists treat an abscess by draining it and treating the infection. A root canal may save the tooth, but in some cases, the tooth may need to be extracted. A dental abscess should always be treated in order to avoid life-threatening complications.
Can an abscess heal on its own?
A tooth infection doesn’t heal itself. If the pain goes away, it’s likely that the nerve is dead. However, the bacteria will continue to spread and damage the surrounding tissues. Therefore, seeking help from a dentist even when the symptoms are gone is the best option for treating the infection.
How is a dental abscess treated?
The goal is to eliminate the spread of infection and prevent further complications. Treatment options include:
– Incision and Drainage: A small incision is made in the abscess to drain the pus.
– Root Canal: A root canal can save the tooth. The infected inner pulp is removed, and the space is filled to prevent further infection. A crown may be needed to protect the restored tooth.
– Tooth Extraction: After Draining the pus from the socket, your dentist would pull or extract the tooth.
– Antibiotics: Medication alone will not get rid of the infection. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to eliminate the remaining bacteria.
Can an abscessed tooth be prevented?
Diligent oral hygiene is essential in reducing the risk of developing a tooth abscess. Regular dental check-ups and routine dental exams will help you identify the symptom of infection before it spreads. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day is essential to your oral health.
Avoid the growth of bacterial infection by contacting our dentist as soon as symptoms develop. And follow through with routine check-ups since prevention is always the key. For the best dental services at Castle Rock, contact Station Dental Group today.