Tooth Abscess – Everything You Need to Know

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It’s no secret a toothache is one of the worst pain ever. It is characterized by being incredibly intense, persistent and sharp. And, until it is cured, it has a significant role in the life of the person who suffers it. Toothache can respond to different reasons. Most often, it is due to the appearance of wisdom teeth -also called wisdom teeth- or to the existence of an infection. In this article, we are going to focus on toothache caused by infection. In turn, the conditions we refer to can occur in any molar, including wisdom teeth.

BUT WHY DOES A TOOTH GET INFECTED?

The infection of teeth, or any of our teeth, is due to a bacterial problem that can have, in turn, different causes:

#1. CAVITIES

If tooth decay is not treated, it progresses, and your prognosis is complicated. That is, the bacteria penetrate inside the tooth (pulp) and even affect the nerve. In the event of nerve involvement, the solution to treat a cavity is no longer a dental filling -which would be the usual- but a root canal or root canal treatment.

#2. PERIODONTAL DISEASE (GINGIVITIS AND PERIODONTITIS)

When gingivitis is not treated, it turns into periodontitis, which is a pathology that requires more complex treatment. If, in turn, we do not put ourselves in the hands of a dentist specialized in Periodontology, periodontitis will advance. This disease will lead to the destruction of the jaw bone -which causes the loss of teeth- and what we know as periodontal pockets. These are deposits that form on the gums and get bigger and bigger to accumulate more bacteria.

#3. TRAUMA

When a tooth is broken or chipped from a blow, it also becomes vulnerable to bacteria. This happens because a crack or hole is created in the tooth that allows contamination of external agents. That is, this opening facilitates the entry of bacteria.

#4. SHARPS INJURY

Sometimes it is customary to use chopsticks or nibble on pens. However, these types of bad dental habits – often unconscious – can damage the mouth’s health. If we injure ourselves, the area is exposed, and bacteria can contact our oral cavity. Treatment to cure an infected tooth is usually to eliminate the infection with antibiotics, perform a root canal or resort to an extraction (if it is a wisdom tooth)

 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF AN INFECTION?

The infection of a tooth manifests itself with an abscess (inflammation and accumulation of pus) in the area where the tooth is located. Coupled with this, the person experiences sharp, persistent and stabbing pain. But, in addition to these consequences, which are shared in all cases, infected molars give rise to the following symptoms:

  • Pain when chewing
  • Gum bleeding
  • Toothache and ear pain
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Halitosis or bad breath
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity of teeth to heat and/or cold
  • Throat pain
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Swollen jaw (if it is a lower arch molar)
  • Swollen cheek (if it is a molar of the upper arch)

 

TREATMENT: HOW TO CURE TOOTHACHE INFECTION?

A dental abscess is an emergency for which you must go quickly to your dentist despite the confinement. However, while you wait for your dentist to attend you, you can use one of these home remedies.

#1. CLOVE OIL

Eugenol, the active ingredient in clove oil, has proper anesthetic and antibacterial properties. Applying a small amount of clove essential oil to the site of a tooth abscess can temporarily numb the area, relieving pain.

#2. MINT TEA BAGS

Some claim that placing cool, wet peppermint tea bags on an abscessed tooth will help relieve pain. While putting a cold tea bag on an abscess won’t hurt, it isn’t very likely to help either. The cool temperature of the tea bag can be somewhat relaxing. If you have some tea bags on hand, you can try this home remedy.

#3. SALTWATER RINSE

A saltwater rinse can help remove bacteria and pus from an abscess, and saltwater can also soothe discomfort. While rinsing can provide relief when you have an abscess, be mindful that saltwater alone will not be enough to clear the infection.

#4. DON’T USE ALCOHOL

A popular but ineffective home remedy has people soak a cotton ball in alcohol (often whiskey or vodka) and apply the cotton to the abscessed area. While alcohol may temporarily numb the pain, it will not clear the infection. Any relief will be temporary, and this method is obviously not recommended for kids with dental pain. While alcohol can reduce pain, using alcohol as a pain reliever can be incredibly dangerous, as it often takes a lot of alcohol for numbing effects. You better give this home remedy a pass. In addition to trying natural home remedies to treat an abscessed tooth, people often turn to over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. While pain medication can help improve your comfort, it is also a temporary measure. It would be best to visit your dentist to remove the source of the infection and heal the tooth or gums.

 

HOW YOUR DENTIST CAN TREAT AN ABSCESS

Your dentist may use a variety of treatments to heal an abscessed tooth. In some cases, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to kill bacteria. They can also clean the area around the tooth to remove debris, pus, and bacteria or perform a root canal if there has been significant damage to the tooth’s pulp. Even though a home remedy can provide some relief, don’t put off your visit to a dentist. For all your general dentistry needs, don’t hesitate to contact the specialists at Dandenong Denture Clinic! They provide a wide range of dental care, including check-ups, exams, cleaning and teeth whitening for perfect oral health.

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