Reasons to Stress Dental Abscesses

Dental abscesses might be something you’ve heard about through the grapevine. Maybe someone you know took a visit to the emergency room and told you about them after the fact. In reality, hundreds of thousands of Americans visit the emergency room each year with dental abscesses, many of these patients needing hospital admittance for treatment.

An abscess occurs when the inside of your mouth gets injured or irritated. Bacteria can enter and infect both the gums and teeth. Painful swelling can occur, resulting in abrasions with thick, yellowish pus inside. If this fluid can’t drain, the surrounding area and structure swells and becomes more painful. A dental abscess forms a barrier around the infection as a way of keeping the bacterial infection from spreading.

Abscesses form quickly and easily. Sometimes they can show their ugly heads one or two days after infection occurs.

Two Dental Abscess Types:

  • Gum abscess — (periodontal abscess) caused by an infection in the space between the tooth and gum. Food gets trapped between the gum and tooth and can cause infection. In severe periodontal disease, bacteria can accumulate under the gum and penetrate into the bone.
  • Tooth-related abscess — (periapical abscess) occurs inside the tooth. This occurs when the tooth nerve is dead or in the process of dying. An abscess occurs at the tip of the tooth’s root, spreading to surrounding bone.

If a dental abscess is not treated, it can do some serious damage to surrounding bone and teeth. A hollow tunnel can sometimes form through the bone and skin to allow pus to drain, looking almost like a pimple. The buildup of pressure causes pain to an abscess, so draining the abscess through a fistula might reduce the pressure and alleviate pain. But infection will still need to be treated.

An abscess left untreated can also form a cyst (fluid-filled bubble) in the jaw bone. Depending on tooth condition, the cyst can be removed during tooth extraction, or through a root canal to remove the infected nerve. Surgery might also be necessary to remove a dental abscess.

Call today to learn more about how Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center can help treat dental abscesses. Hooman Adamous, DMD, is board-certified in oral and maxillofacial surgery. His expertise ranges from corrective jaw surgery to tooth extraction and implant placement.  He has unique skills in diagnosing and treating facial trauma and infection. We can treat cysts and tumors of the jaws. We can also handle complex bone grafting and sleep apnea. Contact Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center today to schedule your initial consultation.