Plantation, Florida Dental Implant Specialist Dr. Mauricio Hervas

What is a dental abscess?

“I was watching TV and started feeling some discomfort in my mouth, later the same day I was at my son’s soccer game and felt it again, like a sharp pain in my mouth, the pain started to be so intense. What is it? The first thing I thought was… did I break my tooth?”

It could certainly be but there is also some other dental problems that may suddenly present especially if your dental history have had some gums infections, cavities, bone loss, it could also be related to a dental abscess.

Bacteria may have entered your teeth, gums or bone and it is causing an infection. Extensive cavities, old restorations, fracture teeth, ill-fitting margins of crowns, can be a door for bacteria to travel inside the tooth.

Most of the time that painful swelling may be filled with pus (a thick, yellowish fluid). If the pus can’t drain out, the area will get more swollen and even more painful. The abscess is a way of the body to try to fight against the infection. Like it wants to build a barrier around it, keeping the bacterial infection away from spreading.

A dental abscess can be presented in 2 different types:  A periapical abscess, which affects the root of the tooth; and a periodontal (gum) abscess, which affects the gums. Intense pain is the most relevant symptom. If this is the case, as a patient you might experience problems eating, chewing, sensitivity can also be present with hot and cold food and beverages. Sometimes you may also feel some swollen lymph nodes that are fighting the infection.

Most of the time, patients might be able to feel the abscess in their mouth. A small bump that looks like a pimple forms on the gum near a tooth abscess.

What Your Dentist Will Do for a Dental Abscess

For a speedy recovery, your dentist will have to:

  • Practice a deep cleaning of the area thoroughly. Sometimes with small surgery.
  • Help the infection (pus) able to escape. Drain the fistula.
  • Treat the infection.

If the abscess in the tooth looks really bad and the infection is strong, a fractured tooth might be suspected and you may need to have the tooth extracted. The removal of a tooth with an abscess will reduce the risk of further spread of the infection.

If there is no suspected fracture, a root canal treatment will be advised. Of course, only if the tooth is restorable.

How can I prevent a dental abscess?

A way to avoid them is to have regular check up (exams) and cleaning appointments. Perio patients are more prone to abscesses.

For more information about dental abscesses or any other dental treatment please contact Dr. Mauricio Hervas at Implantation Dental Center to 954.476.0770. Where we restore happiness with confidence!

(954) 476-0770