An oral abscess is an infection at the root of the tooth or between the gum and the tooth. It’s a result of tooth decay and erosion, which is caused by cavities or poor oral health habits. An abscess creates a pocket of pus on the inside of the teeth, gums, or throat.
Oral abscesses are caused by bacterial infections that have accumulated in the soft pulp of the tooth. The soft pulp of the tooth contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue.
The main symptom of a dental abscess is pain. This pain can be intolerable and frequently gets worse with time. Pain may radiate to your ear, jawbone, and neck.
Oral abscesses do not go away without professional dental intervention. They can spread, leading to more serious conditions such as sinus tracts, cysts, and sepsis. Bacteria from your mouth spreads to other parts of the body.
Your dentists will assess the severity of your abscess by probing the teeth, taking X-rays, and examining your gums and jawline. Treatments include draining pus from the abscess. This is the only way to remove the infection and prevent further complications. First, a procedure called scaling and root planing will occur to remove any plaque and tartar from above and beneath the gum line. Depending on how severe the abscess is, your dentist may have to perform a root canal or tooth extraction.
With early detection, treatments for oral abscesses are effective. If you do not get this treated, abscesses can lead to potentially life-threatening infections.