Dental Abscess

What is Dental Abscess?

Dental abscess is a medical condition caused by bacterial infection. In dental abscess, pus formation occurs inside teeth or gums, or in the bones that keeps the teeth in place. The types of absces...

Symptoms

Any individual suffering from dental abscess may notice shooting sharp dental pain which increases on putting pressure or applying hot throbs. At times the pain is accompanied by swelling, which subsides on applying ice packs. Common symptoms of a tooth or gum abscess include:

  • Intense shooting pain in the affected area and gradually may get worse.
  • Sharp pain that may extend towards the ear, jaw, and neck.
  • Redness and swelling on the face.
  • Tender, discolored or loose tooth.
  • Swollen gums.
  • Sensitivity for hot and/or cold food and drinks.
  • Bad /foul smelling breath.
  • Bad taste in the mouth. 

 

Causes

Some of the most probable causes include:

  • Not maintaining proper oral hygiene – plaque can build-up on the teeth.
  • Consumption of sticky and starchy foods that encourage growth of bacteria.
  • Spread of bacterial infection due to injury and other infection.
  • Weak immune system due to medications or recent illness.

 

Risks

If ignored or left untreated, a tooth abscess may grow to perforate the bone and can extend till the soft tissue turns into osteomyelitis and cellulitis in the long run. The infection may further grow affecting internally or externally. The location of the infected tooth also affects infection path. In majority of cases, the main risk factors are:

  • Dental cysts.
  • Osteomyelitis.
  • Maxillary sinusitis. 

Prevention

If ignored or left untreated, a tooth abscess may grow to perforate the bone and can extend till the soft tissue turns into osteomyelitis and cellulitis in the long run. The infection may further grow affecting internally or externally. The location of the infected tooth also affects infection path.

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, following are the techniques to diagnose this disease:

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How is it treated?

For the successful treatment of dental abscess, it is necessary to reduce and eliminate the infecting organism. Treatments may include courses of antibiotics and pus drainage.

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  • RCT or root canal treatment

    For tooth restoration, RCT or root canal treatment is recommended. Teeth that cannot be restored are extracted, followed by curettage of all apical soft tissues. RCT treated teeth should be examined regularly after 1 or 2 years interval to rule out lesional enlargement and ensure healing.

  • Pulling the affected tooth

    The dentist will extract the tooth and drain the abscess to relieve you of the infection.

  • Prescribing antibiotics

    If someone has a weakened immune system, or the infection spreads to nearby teeth, jaw, or other areas, antibiotics may be recommended.

  • Opening up or draining the abscess

    A small cut will be made into the abscess, to drain out the pus, and then washing off the area with salt water.

When do I contact the doctor?

If you begin to experience symptoms like loose tooth, swollen gums, foul smelling breath, and bad taste of the mouth, you should immediately consult a doctor. These symptoms will be treated just right with the help of our medical experts at Medanta. 

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