Posted on Nov 4, 2019

Pensacola Endodontics

What is an abscess and what causes them?

Bacteria from a cavity can extend into the gums, the cheek, the throat, beneath the tongue, or even into the jaw or facial bones. A dental abscess can become very painful when tissues become inflamed

Pus collects at the site of the infection and will become progressively more painful until it either ruptures and drains on its own or is drained surgically.

An infected tooth that has not received appropriate dental care can cause a dental abscess to form. Poor oral hygiene (such as not brushing, flossing, or rinsing properly or often enough), smoking, alcohol, poor diet, and certain medical conditions and medications can increase risk of cavities to form in your teeth. The infection then may spread to the gums and adjacent areas and become a painful dental abscess.

Exams and Tests for a Dental Abscess

A doctor or dentist often can determine by a physical exam if you have a drainable abscess. X-rays of the teeth may be necessary to show small abscesses that are at the deepest part of the tooth.

Medical Treatment for a Dental Abscess

The doctor may decide to cut open the abscess and allow the pus to drain. It can also be drained through the infected tooth at the start of a root canal procedure. Unless the abscess ruptures on its own, these are usually the only ways that the infection can be cured. People with dental abscesses are typically prescribed pain relievers and, at the discretion of the doctor, antibiotics.

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