As a Fairhope dentist we want you to know that a dental abscess is a collection of pus either in or near a particular tooth, and is normally caused by a bacterial infection.
Did you know there are two types of dental abscesses?
The first is a periapical abscess. This is where the abscess starts in the center of the tooth (dental pulp). If you are not looking after your teeth, soon you could have tooth decay, where your tooth looses its protective layer of enamel. If you have tooth decay it is much easier for bacteria to get into the center of the tooth and cause an infection which could then lead onto having an periapical abscess.
The second is a periodontal abscess, they can start in the areas around the teeth that support them, such as periodontium (between tooth and gum) and they can also follow on from gum disease. Gum disease is a swelling of tissues around the teeth which can cause the gum to come away from the tooth, therefore causing pockets to appear which bacteria can get into and potentially causing a periodontal abscess. If this is the case you will probably find you will have a swelling / inflammation next to that particular infected tooth. This type of abscess may also be caused by heavy of fast brushing to the teeth, if you do not brush your teeth gently you can risk damaging the gum or the periodontium.
To prevent against dental abscesses take advice from your Fairhope dentist and start looking after your teeth, good dental hygiene is the key. Brush your teeth twice a day for 2-3 minutes with a good toothpaste and brush, regularly floss, use mouthwash and get checked out by the dentist twice a year (every six months) Also think about cutting down or quitting smoking and look at what things you eat, the more sugary stuff you eat or drink the more chance there is of having tooth decay.
The signs of a dental abscess are toothaches, swelling of the gum or face, loose or tender teeth, feeling unwell, having a temperature and trouble with swallowing . If you feel you have an abscess in your mouth, you need to visit your dentist asap. He / She will drain the pus which can often relieve the pain, they will then advise you on any further measures you need to take. If left you are putting the health of your teeth and even yourself at risk, abscesses need treatment.