Often painful dental abscesses present with swollen gums, fever and difficulties in chewing. In case of high fever and feeding problems, you should immediately consult your dentist or even go to the emergency room. This article will give you some advice about how to treat a tooth abscess and what to do if one develops.
Tooth abscess: Symptoms
The tooth abscess is a bacterial infection that can be of two types. The periodontal abscess results from the gum and it is usually experienced by people who suffer from gum resorption. You can also suffer it in wisdom teeth before or after extraction.
The periapical or dento -alveolar abscess is associated with chewing and pain and can be caused by a broken tooth, deep decay or a diseased tooth. Bacteria proliferates at the level of the nerves of the tooth.
The abscess is represented by swollen gums and redness, warmth and bleeding that create chewing problems accompanied by fever and tiredness. Three or four days later, pus may appear. You should not to be confused with a purely inflammatory reaction caused for example, by a food trapped between teeth. You can get further information first, or by talking with your specialist by telephone or email. It is better to get professional advice rather than doing a self-diagnosis on a website.
It is especially important to brush despite the bleeding and pain, taking acetaminophen and seeing a specialist soon if the symptoms continue. It is important not to burst or puncture the abscess with a needle or blade, and you have to avoid taking anti-inflammatory type of Volitaren or Ibuprofen because this could increase the spread of infection while you are masking its evolution to intervene only in pain. You need to know that in children, the spread of infection is usually much faster. If you are sure that you have a dental abscess then you can get antibiotic treatment here. Many dentists recommend this website as they need the infection to clear before they perform surgery.
Go to the dentist
If you have inflammation on the cheek, you must go to the emergency room without delay or find a dentist. If the infection persists and the pain is severe and not relieved by painkillers without a prescription, you have to see a dentist immediately. However, sometimes the root of the affected tooth dies from infection and the pain stops. The goals of treatment are to remove all the infection, preserving the tooth and preventing complications. To achieve them, maybe you need other therapies such as a root canal or treatment of root canals (which involves removing the pulp of the tooth that contains the nerve and its vessels and conduit seals) in order to save the tooth, or if it is not possible, sometimes the extraction of the damaged tooth is required.
In any case, it is essential that you seek medical help as soon as possible. If it does not completely eliminate the pus, and the infection spreads to the lower part of the mouth or neck it can affects the airway and breathing difficult but it is not a threat for your life.
Serious and even fatal complications
If you left the tooth untreated, a tooth abscess can lead to serious complications. In a more advanced stage , the swelling will be externally ganglia, and may become apparent in the jaw, the infection can spread to the soft tissues such as the cheeks, skin or muscles. We talk about infectious cellulitis. The pus makes its way through the tissues and make an exit hole or fistula leading to the gums or sometimes outside (cheek or chin). Complications of tooth abscess include:
Tooth loss: the abscess can infect the bone supporting the tooth and destroy it (periodontitis ). In 90 % of advanced cases the infected tooth is extracted .
A unilateral sinus infection: the roots of the upper molars are located near the sinuses. These can be filled with pus generated by the dental abscess causing pain at the base of the cheekbones or when the head is tilted forward, unilateral purulent discharge and odor inside the nose.
Bacterial endocarditis: dental abscess bacteria reach the heart through blood vessels. These bacteria can infect the valves and have life-threatening consequences.
Very extreme, brain abscess: infection could spread from the teeth to the brain through the veins. An infection of the brain can lead to a coma.
In patients with a compromised immune system (such as uncontrolled diabetes), cellulitis may extend from the cheek to the neck and chest causing necrosis of all tissues and causing septicemia. Even with medical treatment, the prognosis for life is reserved.
Ludwig's angina: this serious infection is sometimes fatal. It affects the parts located under the tongue. The risk is that the airways become blocked and the death occurs from asphyxiation. In that case emergency tracheostomy should be performed.