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What is an abscess?

Posted by Streamside Dental on Dec 22 2020, 10:45 PM

What is an abscess?

An abscess is a pocket of pus that can generally form anywhere in the body. When it comes to the mouth, an abscess can form around the area surrounding the tooth or on the gums. In most cases, it develops due to gum disease, such as periodontitis, which is an action of the microbes releasing toxins while feeding on the food residues. It is vital to get immediate dental attention to have the condition treated, which otherwise can lead to more complicated concerns.

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is an inflammatory gum disease, which initially starts as gingivitis. If the patient doesn’t get the infection treated in the initial stages, it can turn severe and lead to periodontitis. It has symptoms such as deeper gum pockets, receding gum line, the decay of tissues, etc. It allows the microbes and food residues to enter the gum pockets, which can turn into breeding grounds for the oral bacteria. This is where the abscess starts to form.

What are its symptoms?

Individuals who have a healthy immune system may be less likely to develop an abscess. But, when the immune system isn’t unable to fight off infections, the abscess tends to grow and become more prominent. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • The gum tissues may turn tender
  • The teeth near the abscess may become increasingly sensitive to hot and cold foods
  • Bad breath and bad taste due to the discharge of pus
  • Loosening of the tooth from its socket
  • Pain and discomfort while biting or chewing food

How can the abscess be treated?

If you experience the above-stated symptoms or visually notice the abscess, please consult a dentist at the earliest to get it diagnosed. During the initial screening, the dentist will thoroughly screen the teeth and gums to check for signs of infection. These could be redness, the release of pus, bleeding gums, pain, swelling, inflammation, etc. An x-ray may be recommended to get a better view of the tissues and the root canal (dental pulp). Although an abscess may rupture and drain by itself, it wouldn’t fully heal. This would require dental treatment.

When we start the treatment, scaling and root planing would be the go-to solutions. They are performed to remove the plaque and tartar from the teeth and tooth roots and clear out the deep gum pockets. Numbing cream will be applied around the abscess, and a small incision will be made on it to drain out the pus. Antibiotic medication will be suggested to ensure the tissues around it heal well and to prevent the chances of reinfection. If you experience pain after the treatment, do reach out to us, and we’ll suggest suitable pain-relieving medication.

Please get in touch with us through online consultation or by calling us, and we’ll guide you further.


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