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Periodontal abscess – Details and Treatment

An abscess happening in the gums and jawbones due to infection is referred to as a periodontal abscess. The abscess more precisely happens in the tissues of periodontium (surrounding the tooth) and it does not arise from the tooth pulp. Only when the gum disease has advanced and has affected the gum and the bone alike, a periodontal abscess occurs. Along with periodontal abscess, many other forms of a dental abscess also occur. This article specifically discusses periodontal abscess, the details and its treatment.

How Periodontal Abscess presents itself

  • The affected area is red and swollen.
  • Pain in the affected area. The pain is intense if the abscess is acute as it has formed suddenly. The pain is more dull and persistent if the abscess is chronic and is present for quite some time.
  • The tooth near the affected area may show symptoms of mobility.
  • In both acute and chronic periodontal abscess, the bone loss may be pronounced and acute.
  • Blood and pus might drain from the periodontal abscess.
  • Usually, a periodontal abscess forms only if there is a pre-existing periodontitis which may not have been reported.

Periodontal Pockets

The surface of the root of the teeth has the colony of bacteria in lumps that cause the infection. This colony cluster of bacteria is referred to as periodontal pockets. The draining from the periodontal abscess (blood and pus) need not essentially emanate from the periodontal pocket. It may be from some other areas also. However, these periodontal pockets play an important role in the development of periodontal abscess and the worsening of periodontitis.

Acute Periodontal Abscess

  • If an abscess is formed in a short period of time, say within a few days or few weeks, the type of periodontal abscess may be classified as acute.
  • A biting pain ensues.
  • The gum region becomes swollen and red.
  • In the early stages, the acute periodontal abscess may not be draining blood or pus, but as days go by, it might.
  • Sometimes the infection may lead to fever.

Chronic Periodontal Abscess

  • If an abscess is present and has developed over a long period, the type of periodontal abscess is classified as chronic.
  • A dull pain is observed.
  • The gum region becomes swollen and red.
  • The abscess may be draining blood or pus.

Treatment of Periodontal Abscess

  • Draining of the abscess is the first step towards getting rid of the abscess.
  • The tooth surface is then cleaned and scaled. Usually, a deep scaling is done to get rid of the infections.
  • If the periodontal pocket harbours any foreign body, it is removed during the drainage process.
  • The oral region is fully washed with antibiotic solution.
  • The dentist then prescribes antibiotic medicines. The patient has to diligently take the antibiotics prescribed.
  • The patient might be called after 1 or 2 days to assess the progress.
  • The dentist then suggests ways and methods involved to get rid of peridontitis completely. The steps might include gum surgery or laser gum treatments. Everything depends on the intensity of the periodontitis condition the patient is suffering from.

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