A tooth abscess is an infection of the tooth root or of the gum that has spread from the tooth to the surrounding tissues; usually, it can happen when a tooth cavity is left untreated, and the infection might reach the pulp of the tooth and then the jawbone or the gums: this is the periapical abscess, the most common type of dental abscesses, while other types are gum or gingival abscesses and periodontal abscesses.
The abscess is a collect of pus, which usually contains bacteria, dead immune cells, dead tissue cells and protein like fluids; the gums become swollen and painful when chewing. Other symptoms of a tooth abscess might be fever, sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold, bitter taste in the mouth, bad breath, general ill feeling.
Abscess tooth drainage. Cause.
A tooth abscess can be also caused by periodontal diseases, traumas, or sometimes even due to dental procedures such as extractions and implants, or previous dental procedures that are getting older.
Anyway, infections are also likely to have been caused by poor dental care. People with medical conditions that weaken the immune system may be more susceptible to developing a dental abscess.
Depending on the causes and the situation of the patient, a tooth abscess can be treated in different ways; in more severe cases the dentist must remove the tooth, otherwise, a root canal therapy might be necessary and a crown is placed to protect the tooth.
On the other hand, the main goal is usually to maintain the tooth, so drainage is one of the most common procedure to treat an abscess.
To perform a drainage, the dentist first anesthetizes the area, then practices a small incision in the gums with a small scalpel. The pus is drained and the site is irrigated with a sterile saline solution; by removing the pus which consists of bacteria, the tooth and gum tissues will start healing itself. Pain medications or antibiotic therapies are usually prescribed.
Tooth abscess drainage. The solution.
Drainage is considered a routine procedure for dental infections which has demonstrated excellent outcome for patients; anyway, further treatment might be necessary to eliminate the primary source of the infection and to prevent recurrence. The location of this primary source determines the definitive treatment, which may include root canal treatment, periodontal treatment, or extraction of the tooth.
To avoid these bad scenarios, dentists recommend to follow a strictly daily oral care and to visit the dentist at least two times a year.