Tooth abscesses are surprisingly common and will affect most people at one time or another over the course of their lifetime. The good news is they are easily diagnosed and generally easy to treat. The abscess itself is best described as a small balloon of pus, think of an external blister inside your mouth for context but one that needs treatment to fully go away. If you visit your dentist early enough, you will usually be examined and treated in a matter of minutes.
Symptoms to Look Out for
There are few signs you can look out for that may indicate a tooth abscess. In the vast majority of cases, you will need to make an appoint with your dentist as soon as possible. Generally speaking, in normal cases, you may not need to utilise the out of hours services of an emergency dentist Robina locals rely on unless you think the symptoms really warrant it. If you do have any of symptoms detailed below, you should make an appointment with your regular dentist. If you mention you think you have an abscess, many dental practices will try and find you an early booking. Symptoms that may be present in the event of a tooth abscess include but are not limited to:
- Facial swelling
- Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Painful or swollen lymph nodes around the neck or jaw
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Sudden foul liquid in mouth
You may experience one or two of the symptoms detailed above, some more likely to display in more serious cases. Many people can actually feel the abscess in their mouth without experiencing any of the symptoms detailed above, particularly an abscess directly above the teeth on the gumline.
Causes of Tooth Abscesses and Risk Factors
An abscess occurs when bacteria enters the dental pulp through a cavity, cracked tooth and causes swelling and inflammation at the tip of the root.
Unsurprisingly, the root cause (no pun intended) of many dental abscesses is substandard dental hygiene. Irregular brushing and flossing can lead to many dental conditions in addition to abscesses including tooth decay and gum disease. Diets that are high in sugar are also a contributory factor in the occurrences of tooth abscesses. The message is clear, if you want to minimise your chances of getting a tooth abscess, watch your diet and maintain a regular oral care routine.
A tooth abscess will not disappear on its own, some medical or dental intervention will be needed. A smaller abscess may come and go. You may feel it rupture and drain inside your mouth, but it will come back again. Your dentist will probably prescribe you a course of antibiotics and advice as to how to avoid them in future. He might even recommend some type of root canal treatment to fix the issue permanently if it keeps reoccurring, you can’t take antibiotics indefinitely.