Tooth abscess or a dental abscess is the formation of pus inside the teeth or gums. The typical cause is a bacterial infection that has accumulated in the soft pulp of the tooth tissue.
What is Tooth Abscess
Bacteria exist in dental plaque, which is formed when food, saliva, and mouth bacteria interact. It sticks to the teeth and damages them as well as the gums. The only way to remove the plaque is regular brushing and flossing otherwise, the bacteria will spread inside the soft tissue of the tooth or gums. This condition if left untreated can end up as abscess
Prevention of Tooth Abscess
Prevention is always better than cure, goes the oft-quoted line. The dental structure is our first line of defense against external invasion through the esophageal canal.
Here are our few recommendations for strengthening our defense.
Give preference to Herbal toothpaste over traditional ones as they prevent complications such as ingested fluorides and reduced enamels( Cause: “whitening toothpaste”).
Once a week try mixing a little salt with mustard oil, and rub it on your teeth and gum, using your forefinger as a brush. Rinse your mouth with warm water afterward.
Nature has given a perfect and durable body. Unfortunately, our modern style is based on the drift from nature. Processed foods, excessive sugar (as in sweets and cakes) commence their attack on our natural health by weakening our dental structure.
In Indian villages, it is not uncommon to come across aged individuals with a perfect set of teeth, who have never used a toothbrush. They rely on natural products such as Neem (Azadirachta indica) to take care of their dental hygiene.
Types of dental abscess
- There are primarily three types of dental abscess, namely Gingival, periodontal and lastly periapical.
- Gingival abscess: As the name implies, the abscess is confined only to the gum tissue surrounding the tooth.
- Periodontal abscess: Periodontal ligaments bind the tooth to the underlying bone socket when the abscess effects the said ligaments.
- Periapical abscess: this abscess commences in the tissue surrounding the apex of the tooth.
- As dental abscesses are caused by bacterial infection, proper dental care is required, which can include root canal surgery.
- Use a softer toothbrush and reduce consumption of hot and cold beverages to minimize pain.
Symptoms of Tooth Abscess
Pain is the main symptom of a dental abscess. Signs and symptoms of a dental abscess include:
- Pain in the dental region, swollen gums,
- Hyper sensitivity to cold or hot food and liquids
- pain in the affected area when biting or when touching the affected area
- a foul taste in the mouth
- a generally unwell feeling
- difficulties opening the mouth
- swallowing difficulties
- The initial symptom would be a pain in the dental region. It might be throbbing or continues. It will worsen as the time progresses and could radiate outside of the mouth.
Tooth Abscess Treatment
Specialized care is required if the above-mentioned symptoms appear, A visit to a dentist should be first on the cards.
In case of swallowing and breathing problems, emergency department should be directly approached. In case of a dentist is not readily available, a visit to family doctor is recommended as he can prescribe a course of antibiotics and pain management medication.
- Treatment for Gingival abscess: Incision performed by a dentist and applied under local anesthetic would drain away from the pus formed, Thus clearing the local gum tissue from infection.
- Treating a periapical abscess: The Root canal treatment will drain the pus and the bacteria from the surrounding tissue. In the RCT treatment, a drill is used to create a tiny hole in the tooth tissue. The pus and the bacteria are drained along with any dead tissue. Medication is inserted in to destroy any leftover bacteria Once the innards of the teeth are cleared of infection, the tooth is again sealed.
- Treating a periodontal abscess: Since this abscess impacts the deepest part of the bone tissue The abscess will be drained and the periodontal pocket cleaned. Another deeper procedure called scaling, and root planning may be performed to clear the debris from below the gum line.
People with a periapical and periodontal abscess can have a recurring attack In such a case they may have to have the peripheral tissue of the periodontal pocket surgically removed. Even the tooth may also have to be removed after the reoccurrence.
Over the counter (OTC) painkillers may help reduce the pain while an individual is waiting for treatment. Remember the primary purpose of the pain killer is temporary comfort; it is not a permanent solution.
Also Read :- Helpful Ingredients from Kitchen as Toothache Remedy
However, care should be taken while using medications like Aspirin, ibuprofen and Tylenol. Asthama and Ulcer patients are forbidden from taking inuprofen. Aspirin is not prescribed for children, during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Antibiotics would be prescribed and they will do what they are good at i.e. fighting bacterial infection, but they will not cure the underlying abscess thus formed. The solution will require a visit to the local dentist and if needed minor surgery.
A dental abscess occurs when the bacteria from the plaques surrounding the tooth penetrate through the protective layer of tooth enamel into the body of the tooth or affect the surrounding gum tissue..
The outer layer of the tooth is covered by strongest substance in the body calld enamel. It protects the internal soft tissue called dentine. Over the years and caused by poor dental care bacteria from outside enter through enamel breakthrough dentine and eventually penetrate the soft inner pulp of the tooth. As the disease progresses, the bone surrounding the tooth called alveolar bone becomes infected and this causes a periapical abscess.
In a slightly different scenario, the gums are infected by the bacteria leading to their inflammation The tissue surrounding the roots of the tooth separate from the base of the tooth. A tiny pocket is formed when the periodontal ligament separates from the root. This pocket is prone to infection and when it is infected the periodontal abscess results.
The other reasons for periodontal abscess range from dental procedure which inadvertently has created a periodontal pocket Gum damage and use of antibiotics may also cause the said abscess.
Home remedies for Tooth Abscess
There are actions you can take at home to relieve the pain.
- Avoid food and drink that is either too hot or too cold.
- Chewing on the side of your mouth without an abscess will probably be less painful
- Do not floss around the affected area.
- Use a very soft toothbrush.
- Gargle with warm sesame oil .
- Use a tongue scraper.
- Use a herbal toothpaste
- Chew on Licorice roots
- Eat Sesame seeds.
While home remedies can help make a person more comfortable while they wait for treatment, it is important to visit a healthcare professional for treatment to avoid any of the complications of a dental abscess.
Complications in Tooth Abscess
Complications are rare once proper treatment is provided, absence of proper treatment can lead to the mentioned complications, whose severity can range from moderate to extremely serious.
Dental cysts: If the problem is left untreated, it can lead to the creation of a fluid filled cavity called dental cyst. If this cyst is allowed to grow, it can lead to complications which could only be treated with a surgical procedure.
Osteomyelitis: The bacteria in the abscess can get into the bloodstream infecting the associated bones. Infection in the bloodstream will lead to increased body temperature, nausea and severe discomfort. The treatment would be application of antibiotics both orally and intravenously.
Cavernous sinus thrombosis; a very serious but rare condition leads to the formation of a clot at the base of the brain. It is treated with antibiotics and at times surgery.
Ludwig’s angina: This is an infection when the dental abscess bacteria spread to impact other parts of the mouth, particularly its flor. This can cause intense pain under the tongue spreading towards the throat region. It may also cause difficulty in breathing. Such a situation demands immediate medical care. Antibiotics are often prescribed as a remedy to the said disease, although exact cause of the disease may be masked by other factors.
Maxillary sinusitis: The bacteria infect the area called maxillary sinuses ( small vacant area in the cheekbones)small spaces behind the cheekbones. The problem is often easily diagnosed and easily treated.
Our mouth is the source of so much of pleasure activities like talking eating, kissing, laughing. It is also our first custodian of our body. It is often kept is in a good shape with small activities like brushing, flossing, gargling etc. A few natural remedies can go along to keep it even healthier. Once this organ is healthy even serious maladies like heart disease, infections and even cancer can be kept at bay.