An abscess is a collection of pus caused by infection or decay. An abscess looks ‘pimple-like’ at the area of infection. There are three types of dental abscess. These includes:
Gingival abscess is caused from trauma (i.e. aggressive tooth brushing or hot food/drinks) with infection occurring on the surface of the gum. This is of no concern as it will subside naturally with care and saline rinses.
Periodontal abscess is caused when bacteria or food is trapped in the pockets between the gum and the teeth at a deeper level. A periodontal abscess is visible on the gum as swelling, redness and extreme pain around the affected area. This is treated by the dentist/hygienist thoroughly cleaning the area of debris and releasing of trapped infections. Antiseptic products may be recommended for management of this abscess.
Also known as Periapical abscess occurs when the nerve in a tooth is dying or maybe dead from infection/decay. This may present with swelling around affected tooth as well as the face, head and neck. Pain is continuous and can be described as throbbing and sharp – it will likely keep you up at night! The tooth will be tender to chew on, sensitivity to hot and/or cold. In some cases, an ice pack may alleviate some of the pain, but you will need to see a dentist as soon as possible to get you out of pain. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the infection is severe.
If the tooth is saveable, our dentists will perform the first stages of Root Canal Therapy and place antibiotics inside the tooth to fight the infection. At worse-case scenario or if decided by you, the tooth may be extracted and our dentists can provide options in replacing the tooth.