Abscesses are a common dental problem that can occur when bacteria and food particles become trapped inside tooth roots. If left untreated, abscesses can lead to tooth loss and even infection of the jawbone. Fortunately, they are often easily treated by dentists using root canal therapy and other procedures. This article will explain what an abscess is and how dentists treat them in their patients.
What are Abscesses?
Abscesses are collections of pus that form in the mouth, gums and other parts of the body. They can be caused by bacteria or virus, but they also occur as a result of trauma to a tooth.
What Are the Symptoms of Abscesses in Dentistry?
An abscess may be an isolated incident or multiple occurrences spread across the mouth. The symptoms of an abscess include pain, swelling and drainage, fever, soreness or tenderness at the site of infection. Nodule formation can also be a symptom of an abscess in dentistry.
Pain – There may be pain when you move your tooth or jaw, but this is not always present. You may notice a sore throat, swollen glands or a lump in your neck. The pain can be severe enough to make it difficult to eat or sleep comfortably.
Loss of appetite – You may not feel like eating or drinking because of the pain; however, you should still eat a balanced diet as usual to help manage any symptoms that are present at present.
Swollen lymph nodes – If there are swollen lymph nodes present, this could indicate an infection elsewhere in the body e.g., urinary tract.
How do Dentists Diagnose Abscesses?
Once you’ve made an appointment with your dentist, they will use one of three methods to diagnose your abscess:
A probe. Your dentist may use a small instrument called a periodontal probe to feel for a soft area or lump under the gums. This is usually done after X-rays and/or CT scans have been taken to determine whether other dental problems exist that may be contributing to the development of an abscess.
X-rays. Dental x-rays are used by dentists as well as other medical professionals for diagnosing medical conditions such as abscesses, bone diseases, oral cancer and tooth decay. The technique takes advantage of the fact that different tissues in our bodies absorb radiation differently bones absorb more radiation than muscles or organs allowing doctors and dentists alike to identify abnormalities within teeth or gums based on their appearance on film, x-ray.
How Do Dentists Fix Abscesses?
Dentists can fix abscesses in a number of ways. Some use antibiotics, others use CT scans to determine where the infection is located, and some even perform surgery to remove the infected tooth completely. The best treatment plan will be determined by your dentist based on factors like your age, overall health and how long you’ve had symptoms.
A root canal is a dental procedure used to save a tooth that has become infected or damaged. Root canal procedures are performed by dentists, who remove the pulp the center of the tooth and fill the empty space with a filling called gutta-percha. The gutta-percha helps prevent infection and protects against further damage, but it doesn’t restore your natural bite or make your teeth look better. In some cases, you can have porcelain crowns placed on top of your gutta-percha filled teeth to fix cosmetic problems created by years of wear and tear on your natural bite.
Dental crowns are also known as caps or copings. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is cemented over the tooth to protect it from further damage or decay. The dentist will make an impression of your teeth and send it to a dental laboratory where they will create a model of your mouth and the surrounding tissue before creating your new crown.
The dentist may choose to use porcelain, metal or a combination of both materials in the creation of a dental crown. Porcelain can be used for natural looking results while metal offers strength and durability over time. Many patients prefer porcelain because they look more realistic than metal caps, but some people may find that they don’t fit well with certain types of restorations.
Dental implants are a great option for replacing missing teeth. They’re a permanent solution that can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. This procedure is recommended for people who want to avoid dentures, and it provides many benefits to patients:
- They’re secure and stable
- They won’t slip out of place
- They won’t decay like natural teeth do over time
They can withstand the forces of eating and speaking with very little risk of dislocation or loosening. This means you’ll get years of use from your implant before you need another one installed, which is great news for your wallet.
The fourth option is a tooth extraction. This is the removal of a tooth that has become damaged or diseased, or when it causes pain. Sometimes, if the abscess and everything around it has been cleaned out properly, this will be the best course of action.
When an extraction is necessary, the dentist will usually choose to remove it under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis at their office called “simple” extraction, or they may refer you to an oral surgeon who can perform more complex procedures using general anesthesia. The whole process usually takes about 30 minutes.
Antibiotics are a type of medication that can be prescribed by your dentist to treat an abscess. Antibiotics are used to kill or prevent the growth of bacteria in your mouth, such as those that cause an abscess.
Abscesses in dentistry can be treated by several methods. Depending on the severity of the abscess, your dentist may recommend root canal therapy or dental implants. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your mouth and gums, visit your dentist to help get you out of pain quickly.