A dental abscess can appear within your gum tissue or at the root tip of a dying tooth. As the infection worsens, the abscess swells, and the pain intensifies. However, the pain is the least of your worries. Abscesses; no matter where they occur in your body, are dangerous to your health if not treated quickly by a dentist.
What Do Abscesses Contain?
Bacteria are the cause of abscesses, both dental and otherwise. For example, in terms of your mouth, bacteria can invade a tooth damaged by tooth decay. They can also penetrate your gum tissue via wounds or spaces left by missing teeth or erupting wisdom teeth.
As bacteria invade the healthy tissues of your mouth, those tissues begin to die. When healthy tissue dies in this manner, it leaves behind a pocket that then gradually fills with more bacteria and infected cells. Once the white blood cells respond to the infection, they take up even more of the already small space, causing the abscess to grow. The result is a boil-like lump filled with pus.
Untreated Abscesses Can be Toxic
If you experience an abscess, seek dental treatment immediately. In the early stages of an abscess, the infection has yet to spread. However, the longer you leave a dental abscess untreated, the worse the damage will be. Although abscesses may sometimes burst on their own or are absorbed by the body, the infection doesn't go away.
When left to spread, the toxic material within an abscess begins to erode your jawbone and the periodontal ligaments that hold your teeth in place. However, the most serious risk stems from the possibility that the infection could spread elsewhere. For example, the infection could affect your ability to breathe and even cause necrotising fasciitis, a condition that damages the tissues beneath the skin.
You Can Prevent Serious Infection
Before antibiotics, dental abscesses were very serious in the world of dentistry. However, while dental abscesses should still be taken seriously, antibiotics can stop a dental abscess in its tracks. However, you shouldn't wait until the dental abscess grows before acting. If you suspect a dental abscess may be forming, see a dentist as soon as you can.
Your dentist can provide you with antibiotics to kill the infection. However, you then need a root canal to clean out the entirety of the infected tissue should the abscess occur within a tooth. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before the infection returns.
Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.