A tooth abscess is a critical infection that starts from either a tooth or the gums around a tooth. If the abscess comes from the tooth itself, then it would have originated from a cavity that grew slowly and eventually reached the dental pulp (centre of the tooth) where the nerves and blood vessels are located. If the infection comes from the gums, the abscess would have followed advanced gum disease which cause is mostly tartar and plaque that have irritated and inflated the gums.

Such an infection can be very uncomfortable, painful, and cause serious problems to a person’s health. The treatment for an abscessed tooth depends on the severity of the infection, and whether it came from the gum or the tooth:

  • In most cases, if the abscess is of significant size, taking antibiotics is necessary before any treatment. Antibiotics do not heal the infection; they decrease it enough for the swelling and the pain to be reduced, and to make proper treatment accessible.
  • If the abscess comes from the tooth, a root canal should be done on that tooth by cleaning all of the infection inside and sealing the canals of the tooth. Eventually placing a crown allows a proper treatment.
  • If the abscess comes from the gums instead of the tooth, drainage and curettage may be needed.

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.

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