Your oral health should be a top priority. It’s the best way to avoid dental problems. Poor dental hygiene can contribute to the development of a tooth abscess.
This is a dental infection that can occur near the tooth. You don’t want to get one as it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. The pain can be so severe that it can cause some people to go to the ER to undergo treatment.
There are tooth abscess stages that you need to know about. You should need to know about the types of treatments available for this dental problem.
Read on to learn more about tooth abscesses.
What is a Tooth Abscess?
A tooth abscess is a pocket with pus. It can occur near the teeth throughout various areas of the mouth. This periapical infection affects the tip of the root.
A tooth abscess can result in several signs and symptoms. Tooth pain is one of the classic symptoms. The pain can arise with hot and cold temperatures.
The pressure of chewing and biting can also cause pain. Discomfort can also accompany the pain.
A person with a tooth abscess can experience swollen gums. The swelling can affect the face, cheek, and even neck. In some cases, it can affect a person’s ability to swallow and even breathe.
Fever is another common symptom. A severe, constant toothache can also arise. It can spread to other parts of the body like the neck and ears.
A foul odor is a sign of this issue. If the abscess ruptures, it can cause a rush of foul-tasting fluid to come out of the person’s mouth. The latter is a form of pain relief.
Causes and Risk Factors
A bacterial infection causes a tooth abscess. The bacteria can invade the dental pulp, which is inside the tooth. This is where blood vessels and nerves are located.
Bacteria will take advantage and enter a tooth through a chip or crack. It can also do the same through a dental cavity. Once it enters, the bacteria can spread down into the root.
There are various risk factors that can contribute to the onset of a tooth abscess. One is poor dental habits. Not brushing your teeth or flossing will increase the risk of a tooth abscess.
It’s best to consume a diet that’s low in sugar. Too much sugar can contribute to dental cavities. The cavities can then turn into abscesses.
Tooth Abscess Stages
A tooth abscess develops gradually. Keep in mind that there are a series of dental problems that have to occur before one can happen.
The first stage is enamel decay. Plaque can build up if brushing isn’t done frequently. The plaque can lead to the buildup of bacteria which leads to the presence of pus and finally a dental abscess.
The second stage is dentin decay. This decay occurs when the bacteria makes its way through the enamel and into the dentin which is the middle layer of the tooth.
Next comes the tooth pulp infection. This occurs when the bacteria destroys the dentin and makes its way into the inner pulp of the tooth. This causes the tooth’s nerves to die.
The body’s immune system will start to attack the infection. Think of it as the body’s natural defense mechanism. Pus will then develop around the dying roots and cause the dental abscess.
As the tooth decays, the bacteria will enter the pulp of the tooth. It can even make its way into the gums or jawbone. This is when pain can occur.
Gum redness and swelling can also arise. If the tooth abscess is severe, a fever can arise as well.
The final stage is tooth loss. This stage is often accompanied by throbbing pain and a lot of discomfort. This is the time when one should go to a dentist for treatment.
This is the most critical point of the tooth abscess stages. If left untreated, the abscess can do more damage. It can erode the bone which can lead to tooth loss.
The best policy is to seek treatment as soon as you start to experience symptoms. Don’t wait too long as you don’t want to face complications.
The dentist’s goal is to rid the infection. The process will depend on the stage the abscess is in.
The dentist can decide to drain the abscess by making a small cut into it. This will allow the pus to drain out. After all the pus comes out, the dentist may wash the area with saline.
A root canal may be appropriate if the dentist can save the tooth. This involves drilling into the tooth to remove the diseased central tissue.
The dentist will then drain the abscess. Once that’s done, the dentist will fill and seal the tooth’s pulp chamber. A dental crown can be used to cap it.
Tooth removal is an option if the tooth can’t be saved. This involves extracting the tooth and then draining the abscess. The latter will help get rid of the infection.
If the infection has spread to other areas, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics. It’s important to take it as directed so that it can stop the infection from spreading to other areas.
Addressing a Tooth Abscess
The last thing you want to experience is an infected tooth. It’s a horrible feeling! If you do experience any of these symptoms, the chances are that you have a tooth abscess.
Knowing the tooth abscess stages is important. Identifying this issue in its early stages helps lead to a better prognosis.
Do you have a tooth abscess you need to treat? Contact us now to schedule an appointment.