When you hear (or read in this case) the word abscess, all that people can think about is pain! Although an abscess can occur without being sore, it can sometimes become a very painful experience!
A tooth abscess is an infection caused by bacteria and other harmful microbes. It can either originate from the tooth itself, or from the gums around it. Either way the infection must first be treated by either being drained or by taking antibiotics.
If the infection originates from the tooth itself, the main cause would have been either tooth decay, a fracture or a trauma on that tooth that may have occurred recently or many years before. If the tooth can be fixed, it would first need a root canal to remove all the irritated tissue from its pulp (centre of the tooth where the nerve is located). That tooth will probably later need a crown. But if the cavity is too extensive, or if the fracture causing the abscess is too deep in the root, the dentist might recommend extracting the tooth.
If the abscess comes from the gums, then the infection should be controlled around that area. Gum disease is mainly caused by bacteria from plaque and tartar that remain throughout teeth for a long time. After the antibiotics treatment, you might need deep root scaling or even gum surgery to get rid of all the infection in the gums.
An abscess in the mouth should be cared for urgently. If left untreated, the infection can reach other parts of the body and cause serious illnesses to other organs, including the heart.
The information above should be used as a reference only. Any medical decision should not be taken before consulting a health care professional.
The masculine gender may have been more used in the article, but without prejudice, to make reading easier.
Category: questions and answers
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- Will taking antibiotics make the colour of your teeth darker?