Tooth Abscess

Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess is the formation of a pus-filled pocket or lump on the tooth. Tooth abscess is caused by a bacterial infection. This condition can appear around the root of the tooth or in the gums.

Bacterial infections that cause tooth abscesses generally occur in people with poor dental hygiene and health. The pus that collects in the lump will gradually worsen the pain.

Tooth abscesses are divided into several types, namely:

  • Periapical abscess, which is an abscess that appears at the tip of the root of the tooth
  • Periodontal abscess, which is an abscess that appears on the gum next to the tooth root and can spread to the surrounding tissue and bone
  • Gingival abscess, which is an abscess that appears on the gums

Causes and Risk Factors of Dental Abscess

Tooth abscess occurs due to the development of bacteria in the oral cavity. Bacteria can enter the tooth through holes or cracks in the patient's tooth, causing swelling and inflammation at the root tip.

This bacterial infection will be more prone to occur in someone with the following conditions:

  • Unclean teeth
    Not taking care of teeth and gums properly can increase the risk of dental and oral diseases, including dental abscesses.
  • Foods high in sugar
    Frequent consumption of foods and drinks with high sugar content can cause cavities and develop into dental abscesses.
  • Dry
    mouth Dry mouth can also interfere with dental health to cause infection and tooth abscess.

Symptoms of Tooth Abscess

The main symptom of a tooth abscess is the appearance of pain in the tooth or gums that can come on suddenly and get worse. Other symptoms that can appear in people with tooth abscess are:

  • Fever
  • Swollen gums
  • Pain when chewing and biting
  • Toothache that spreads to the ears, jaw and neck
  • Teeth change color
  • Sensitive to hot or cold food
  • Bad breath
  • Redness and swelling of the face
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck or under the jaw
  • Hard to breathe

When to go to the dentist

It is advisable to immediately consult a doctor when symptoms appear so that the tooth abscess does not get worse. Tooth abscess can cause dangerous complications for the sufferer, namely infection that spreads deeper into the jaw, head, and neck.

Immediately go to the emergency room at the nearest hospital if symptoms of a tooth abscess appear accompanied by swelling of the gums and lymph nodes, especially if there are complaints of shortness of breath.

Dental and oral health checks need to be done regularly to the dentist . This aims to maintain the health of the oral cavity, as well as prevent or detect early when disease appears. It is recommended to visit the dentist every 6 months.

Dental Abscess Diagnosis

At the initial stage of the examination, the dentist will ask the patient's complaints and symptoms. The doctor will also perform a physical examination, such as the teeth and oral cavity as a whole.

On physical examination, the doctor will knock on the patient's teeth. The goal is to find out if the tooth is more sensitive to touch and pressure, as is common in people with dental abscesses.

Next, the doctor will carry out supporting examinations which include:

  • X -rays X-
    rays of teeth are done to find out how widespread the infection is and whether it has spread to other parts.
  • CT scan
    CT scan aims to detect the possibility of infection has spread to other areas that are more distant, for example to the neck area.

Dental Abscess Treatment

To get rid of the infection and pus, the dentist can perform the following actions:

1. Pus discharge

The doctor will make a small incision in the abscess lump and drain the pus. Once the pus is drained and the tooth area is cleaned with salt water, the swelling will decrease.

2. Administration of antibiotics

Antibiotics are actually not needed when the act of removing pus has been carried out. New antibiotics are given when the infection has spread.

3. Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment can help clear the infection. The doctor will drill down to the bottom of the tooth to remove the soft tissue that is the center of the infection and drain the pus. After that, the tooth that has been perforated will be put on a dental crown .

4. Tooth Extraction

If the abscessed tooth cannot be saved, the doctor will remove the tooth  . After that, the pus will be drained to remove the infection.

While still in the healing stage, the patient will be advised to undergo treatment at home to relieve pain, namely by gargling with salt water and taking pain medication.

Complications of Tooth Abscess

Patients with untreated tooth abscess are at risk for several complications such as:

  • Tooth cyst
  • Sinusitis
  • Osteomyelitis or bone infection
  • Ludwig's angina or phlegmon of the floor of the mouth
  • Sepsis or a lethal immune system reaction due to an infection that spreads throughout the body

Tooth Abscess Prevention

The most important way to prevent tooth abscess is to prevent tooth decay. Some steps you can take are:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Use dental floss or dental floss to clean between your teeth every day
  • Change your toothbrush regularly every 3 months
  • Avoid using mouthwash after brushing your teeth, because it can eliminate the benefits of toothpaste
  • Reduce consumption of foods and drinks that contain sugar and flour, especially between meals or before bed
  • Regularly check your dental health to the dentist every 6-12 months
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