Important Info on Abscessed TeethOne of the primary goals of several various areas of dental care is the reduction and elimination of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria are the cause of several significant dental issues, from cavities to tooth decay and several others as well. At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we can help you and the entire family control bacteria in the mouth. One significant bacteria-related tooth issue is called an abscess, or abscessed tooth – what is this, and why might it form? Let’s go over this general condition, the types and symptoms to watch for, and the treatments – possibly including a root canal – that can help with it.
Basics and TypesWhen bacteria is able to cause an infection in the gums and teeth, it can create a pus pocket that swells up and won’t drain. This is called the abscess, which creates a barrier around the infection – this barrier stops the infection from spreading, but this will only last for so long. With enough time, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth and even to other parts of the body. There are two primary types of abscesses in the mouth:
- Periodontal abscess: An infection located between a tooth and the gum. In most cases, periodontal abscesses are caused by food that’s trapped in this section of the mouth, plus is not properly removed by brushing and flossing. If this is left untreated, it can even affect the bone structure.
- Periapical abscess: This is an infection actually inside the pulp of the tooth, which can begin to die over time if it isn’t treated. This type can also spread to surrounding bone in some cases.
Symptoms to Watch ForSymptoms of abscessed teeth include:
- Pus-filled bumps visible in the gums
- Throbbing, sharp or shooting pain
- Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- Major sensitivity to extreme temperatures
- Open sores on the gums
- Pressure on the area
- Aches in the jawbone
- Non-mouth symptoms: Fever, illness, swollen neck glands