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Two kinds of abscesses are periapical abscess (abscess at the end of a tooth) and periodontal abscess (abscess in the gum).
Dental abscesses are often painful but not always. In both cases, they should be checked by a dentist.
It’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible because abscesses don’t go away on their own. They can spread to the other parts of your body and make you sick.
Dental Abscess: Causes
A periapical dental abscess occurs when bacteria infect the dental pulp — the deepest part of the tooth that has blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.
Bacteria is absorbed through either a dental cavity or a crack in the tooth and spreads down to the root.
The infection can cause swelling and inflammation at the tip of the root.
Symptoms of Dental Abscess
Aside from the visible formation of pus in the mouth, the following are the symptoms of a dental abscess:
- Severe, persistent, throbbing dental pain that can spread to the jawbone, neck or ear
- Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks
- Sensitivity to bite force
- Facial swelling
- Tender, swollen lymph nodes below your jaw or in your neck
- Bad breath
- Hard time breathing or swallowing
Types of Dental Abscess
Gingival abscess: The abscess is in the gum tissue and does not affect the tooth or the periodontal ligament.
Periodontal abscess: The abscess is in the supporting bone tissue structures of the teeth.
Periapical abscess: The abscess is in the soft pulp of the tooth.
The type of abscess determine tell the severity and location of symptoms.
When to see your Hoppers Crossing dentist
If you experience fever and facial swelling, go to your Hoppers Crossing dentist immediately. These signs may indicate that the infection has spread further into your jaw and surrounding tissue, or even to other parts of your body.
Dental Abscess: At-home Care and Treatment
If you feel something like a pimple on your gums or around your tooth, here’s what you can do:
- Prepare a saltwater solution by dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Use this to wash your mouth several times a day.
- Do not put aspirin on the affected area as this can lead to a chemical burn.
- If there is swelling in the face, apply a cold compress on the cheek.
- Visit your Hoppers Crossing dentist as soon as possible.
Depending on the site of the abscess and the severity of the infection, possible treatments include:
Root Canal Therapy – this procedure removes the abscess from the root of an affected tooth, before filling and sealing it.
Tooth Extraction – this may be required if root canal treatment isn’t possible.
Incision and Drainage – a small cut is made in the gum to drain the abscess.
Local anaesthesia will be administered to numb your mouth for these procedures. More advanced operations may be carried out under general anaesthesia.
Antibiotics aren’t routinely recommended for dental abscesses but may be taken if the infection spreads further or is particularly serious.
Same-Day Dental Emergency Appointment at Sayers Dental Aesthetics & Implants
If you’re suffering from dental pain and require immediate treatment, call our dental team for an emergency appointment.
Don’t postpone seeing the dentist if you are facing even a mild toothache. If untreated, the condition will escalate and may cause further nerve damage, abscesses, and spread the infection into the body.
For dental emergency care in Hoppers Crossing, call us on (03) 9749 1178 or visit us at 483 Sayers Road in Hoppers Crossing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dental abscesses be potentially dangerous?
Are dental abscesses contagious?
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