Dental abscess ( )
A tooth abscess often results from a bacterial infection in the tooth. It is a cavern of pus (abscess) in the center of the tooth (dental pulp) or in the gum next to the tooth. It may cause bad oral odor, pain and even fever. A good oral hygiene can avoid tooth abscess. It is recommended to visit a dentist as early as possible to prevent a further damage to the teeth and a spreading of the infection.
A tooth abscess often results from a bacterial infection in the tooth. Due to the infection, pus can form in the dental pulp. Also teeth decay and periodontal diseases can favor an infection which can lead to a tooth abscess.
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The cause of a tooth abscess is a bacterial infection. Once there is damage on the surface of a tooth (enamel), bacteria can enter through the dentine into the center of the tooth (pulp). Eventually the infection inside the dental pulp will lead to the formation of pus. People with a tooth abscess may feel toothache and pain near the affected area. Furthermore swollen gingiva (gum), sensitivity to temperature, bad oral odor or even fever are common signs. If the infection gets worse, it may continue to spread to other parts of the body such as the jaw, the throat, the brain and the meninges.
The treatment of a tooth abscess aims to cure the infection and avoid further damage of the tooth. Antibiotics and oral lavage will be used to treat the infection and painkillers can help to reduce the toothache. For severe cases, a dental surgical procedure such as incision of the abscess, treatment of root canal or removal of tooth will be necessary. A good oral hygiene can decrease the risk of getting a tooth abscess significantly.