What Is A Dental Abscess?
A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that is caused by a bacterial infection. An abscessed tooth can cause moderate to severe oral or facial pain. This pain can sometimes be felt by your ear or neck.
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Different Types Of Dental Abscesses
This occurs at the tip of a tooth’s root.
This occurs on the gum next to the root of a tooth. It might also spread to the surrounding tissue and bone.
Who Is Most At Risk For Tooth Infections?
- Smoke – Smokers are significantly more likely than non-smokers to have tooth infections.
- Have dry mouth – Saliva can help protect against infection, hydration is important!
- Have poor dental care– Brushing, flossing, and regular checkups greatly reduce bacterial buildup.
- Have a weakened immune system – Diseases or medications can lower your immune response, making it harder to fight off germs.
What Causes A Tooth Abscess?
Tooth decay is the breakdown of the hard surfaces on your tooth. Decay happens when bacteria digest sugars in your food and drink, this creates acid that will attack your enamel.
Any opening may allow bacteria to enter the tooth which will eventually attack the pulp.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection?
- Gnawing or throbbing.
- Sharp or shooting.
- Continuous or only when chewing.
- Radiating to the jawbone, neck or ear.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- Don’t delay: See a dental professional as soon as possible.
- Don’t stop your oral hygiene routine: Continue to brush and floss.
- Don’t be fooled if your dental abscess stops hurting: Pain associated with a dental abscess may go away if the tooth root has died.
- If left untreated, the abscess may spread to your brain or spinal cord. It should be treated immediately, please seek medical attention from a dentist.
It can take 1-2 weeks after treatment, but it depends entirely on the person’s own response to the treatment.
Antibiotics will not cure an abscessed tooth. The best thing to do is always talk to a dentist.
You should avoid the following:
- Hard foods
- Chewey foods
- Sugary foods like candy
- Food or drink that is overly hot, or cold.