What is a Dental Abscess?

What is a Dental Abcesses?

A dental abscess is an infection of the mouth, face, jaw, or throat that begins as a tooth infection or cavity. These infections are common in people with poor dental health and result from lack of proper and timely dental care.

-Bacteria from a cavity can extend into the gums, the cheek, the throat, beneath the tongue, or even into the jaw or facial bones. A dental abscess can become very painful when tissues become inflamed.
-Pus collects at the site of the infection and will become progressively more painful until it either ruptures and drains on its own or is drained surgically.
-Sometimes the infection can progress to the point where swelling threatens to block the airway, causing difficulty breathing. Dental abscesses can also make you generally ill, with nausea, vomiting, fevers, chills, and sweats.

Causes of a Dental Abscess

The cause of these dental abscesses is direct growth of the bacteria from an existing cavity into the soft tissues and bones of the face and neck.

An infected tooth that has not received appropriate dental care can cause a dental abscess to form. Poor oral hygiene, (such as not brushing and flossing properly or often enough) can cause cavities to form in your teeth. The infection then may spread to the gums and adjacent areas and become a painful dental abscess.

Symptoms of a Dental Abscess

Symptoms of a dental abscess typically include pain, swelling ,redness of the mouth and face.

Symptoms of advanced infection may include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, diarrhea. Other signs of an abscess might include, but are not limited to cavities, gum inflammation, oral swelling, tenderness with touch, pus drainage, difficulty fully opening your mouth or swallowing.

A doctor or dentist can determine by a physical exam if you have a drainable abscess. X-rays of the teeth may be necessary to show small abscesses that are at the deepest part of the tooth.

Original Source: Web M.D.com

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