A tooth abscess is a collection of pus that occurs in teeth, gums or in the bone that holds the teeth in place. It is caused by a bacterial infection. Tooth abscess can occur in different regions:
- Periapical abscess occurs at the end of a tooth or root tip.
- Periodontal abscess occurs in the gum at the side of a tooth.
Tooth abscess occurs when bacteria gets into your teeth, gums and invades your dental pulp.
Symptoms of tooth abscess include:
- Severe, throbbing pain in the affected tooth or gum that occurs suddenly and worsens gradually
- Pain that gets worse when lying down and may affect sleep
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Pain that radiates to ear, jaw and neck on the same side as the affected tooth or gum
- Redness and swelling on face or cheek
- Red and swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Unpleasant taste in mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes under jaw or neck
- Discoloured or loose tooth
- Difficulty while chewing, biting or eating
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Diagnosis of tooth abscess includes:
- Dental exam
- Dental X-ray
- CT scan might be recommended
Keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Measures include:
- Avoid tooth decay.
- Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Use dental floss.
- Avoid or limit consumption of sugar and starch.
- Eat healthy food.
- Replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
- Have regular dental checkups.
Tooth abscess is treated by removing the source of infection and draining away the pus. Treatment methods include:
- Tooth extraction to remove the affected tooth.
- Root canal treatment: it is a procedure done to remove abscess from the root of an affected tooth before filling and sealing it.
- Incision and drainage: a small cut or incision is made in the gum to drain the abs
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