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Dental Abscess

What is a Dental Abscess?

Dental Abscess PainA dental abscess, tooth abscess or root abscess is a collection or accumulation of pus (infected material) due to a bacterial infection in the center of a tooth.  There are three types of dental abscesses, a gingival abscess (infected gums), a periodontal abscess (infected bone), or a periapical abscess (infected tooth). A gingival abscess (infected gums) is an abscess is in the gums and doesn’t affect the tooth.  A periodontal abscess (infected bone) is an abscess in the bone tissue and structures of the teeth. A periapical abscess (infected tooth) is an abscess that begins in the soft pulp of the tooth.

What Causes a Dental Abscess?

  • Dental abscesses often occur in people who have not seen a dentist for many years because they are afraid to go to the dentist.
  • Bad oral hygiene practices (not brushing your teeth)
  • Trauma to the mouth or teeth (if you get hit in the face and mouth area and a tooth becomes loosened or chipped)
  • Obstructions in the salivary glands

Signs and Symptoms of a Dental Abscess:

  • Pain when biting on that tooth
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids
  • Swelling or redness of the gums (swollen mouth or swollen gums)
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Gingivitis – a bad odor coming from your mouth
  • Fever
  • Hard to open or close your mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulties sleeping

Risk Factors of a Dental Abscess:

 

  • Avoiding the dentist and bad oral hygiene practices
  • Not seeking dental help if there has been trauma to the mouth or teeth
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Age

 

 

Caring For Your Dental Abscess

  • Avoid very hot or cold food and drink
  • Eat cool, soft foods using the opposite side of your mouth from the abscess
  • Use a soft toothbrush and avoid flossing around the affected tooth

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