What is an abscess tooth?

Abscesses of the gums and teeth (bone) is a severe and sometimes painful condition which left unchecked can even be life threatening. Today, abscesses are a common occurrence and even though it’s a severe condition that requires immediate treatment, many people continue to neglect the urgency of the condition until it’s too late. Often the main discerning factor is a fear of dentists, but the good news is abscesses are easy to treat and while they are painful, dentists can remedy the situation with antibiotics and other treatments.

Abscesses happen because of a build-up of bacteria which eventually creates an infection in an enclosed part of the mouth. This infection slowly develops and eventually, it becomes visible and uncomfortable. For sufferers, often the abscess will appear as a swelling which is painful, or with pain in the surrounding area. Depending on the size and the location, the abscess itself may be extremely painful.

Signs that you have an abscess include when you experience swelling on the gums which is extremely painful to touch. The pain is normally localized to the specific area, or it my slowly spread to other parts of the jaw / face as the abscess drains or spreads. Left untreated, the abscess may become even more enlarged and painful.

There are two main kinds, tooth abscesses and gum abscesses. Tooth abscesses normally occur due to injury or decay, whereas gum abscesses are normally the result of periodontal disease or something similar. Both will present as what appears to be a blister or a swelling, and both must be treated as soon as possible.

It’s possible to get an abscess tooth, and to get one even in the jawbone where it seems impossible. Because abscesses are the result of a bacterial infection, they can spread and appear just about anywhere in the body. Once found, they require drainage and treatment with antibiotics as they have the same risks associated with any other infection.

Treatment for an abscess to relieve pain is pretty straightforward. Because an abscess is basically swollen tissue and pus, it creates pressure which needs to be relieved. If the abscess is present in the tooth, then either extraction or root canal therapy will be required in order to drain the abscess.

Dealing with abscesses quickly is essential due to the fact that they can actually spread. This is a bacterial infection which left untreated runs the risk of developing into something more severe and perhaps even life threatening. Treatments may involve extraction or in some cases complex surgery as abscesses of the bone and periodontal tissues can be hard to access.

Regardless, abscesses are something that must be treated by a professional as early as possible. Many people think that an abscess will go away of its own accord and while in some cases this might be true, an abscess tooth is something that needs treatment not only to eliminate pain, but to ensure that the underlying conditions, whether they be tooth damage, periodontal disease or something else are taken care of to present recurring infection.

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