A dental abscess is a collection of bacteria and their metabolic product accumulated as pus around the teeth or surrounding gums. Food particles getting stuck in the gums, the resultant poor dental hygiene and grossly decayed tooth are the main reasons attributed to the formation of a dental abscess. There are different types of a dental abscess based on where they are formed. The other reasons for a dental abscess, the symptoms, the diagnosis and treatment are discussed below.
Other Reasons of Dental Abscess
- A cracked tooth can accumulate bacteria and can result in the formation of a dental abscess.
- If a root canal treatment fails, then the infection still present in the root canal can cause a dental abscess.
- A dental filling if done too close to the nerve where the decay has proceeded too deep can also cause a dental abscess.
The four Types of Dental Abscess
- Periapical abscess – The abscess occurs at the tip of the root of the teeth. This is the most common type of a dental abscess. This type of abscess is due to a grossly decayed tooth, or due to a long-standing root canal treated tooth.
- Pericoronal abscess – If the abscess occurs with non-erupted teeth, the dental abscess is termed as a Pericoronal abscess. They usually happen with yet-to-erupt wisdom teeth. This type of abscess happens primarily due to the impacted wisdom tooth.
- Gingival abscess – If the gum alone develops and gets affected with an abscess around the tooth, then it is termed as a Gingival abscess. This abscess type is seen in both adults or kids. The abscess type happens due to gingival infection or injury.
- Periodontal abscess – If a dental abscess happens due to the infection in the gums and bones, then the dental abscess formed is termed as a Periodontal abscess. This type of abscess happens due to an advanced gum disease that has affected both the gum and the bone.
Symptoms of Dental Abscess
- Discomfort in the teeth area that has a dental abscess.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold food.
- Swelling in the area where a dental abscess has formed.
- If a dental abscess has affected the bone, the swelling has pus discharge.
- Extraoral or face swelling can also happen
Diagnosis of Dental Abscess
- The dentist might ask few questions to understand the nature of the pain and the discomfort.
- Intraoral examination of the swelling. The dentist would check the nature of the dental abscess and check for any visible signs of any pus dischrd from the swelling. The gums would be checked by your dentist to ascertain their health.
- Extra oral examination of lymph nodes may be done by the dentist.
- The dentist might do the tapping test (individually on the suspected tooth) to find out where the dental abscess is located exactly.
- In case a periodontal tooth is mobile (associated mobility).
- The dentist might recommend an X-ray to confirm the precise location, size and nature of the dental abscess.