Dental Abscess Overview, Causes And Prevention

A dental abscess is an infection of your face, jaw, mouth or throat that starts out as a cavity or tooth infection. An abscess can be very painful if not treated, and you may not even realize you have one until you start to experience pain and discomfort. This article will give you an overview on why you may have an abscess, and what you can do to prevent one in the future. 

What Is a Dental Abscess? 

A dental abscess is an infection usually caused by poor dental health. If you lack timely and proper dental care, you may also suffer from an abscess, especially if you have other underlying medical conditions, such as a weak immune system. A dental abscess can also be brought on by trauma in your mouth.

An abscess happens when bacteria from a cavity gets into your cheek, throat, or gums, and can be painful when the tissues in your mouth swell up due to the pressure inside the abscess. A gingival or gum abscess is the due to trauma or an infection that happens beneath the surface of your gum tissue. A periodontal abscess is the result of an infection that has moved beyond its original location deep into your gums. Lastly, a periapical abscess is when your tooth has an infection within its pulp. 

How Does an Abscess Form?

An abscess if formed by a collection of pus at the infection sight. The condition of the abscess will become progressively worse and more painful, eventually draining on its own, needing to be surgically drained, or rupturing completely. While rare, the infection can progress to the point where the swelling is enough to block your airway, which can make it difficult to breath. Dental abscesses can make you sick with chills, nausea, or sweating.

If you do find yourself with extreme pain because of an abscess, you should seek emergency dental care at your earliest opportunity. 

How Can You Prevent An Abscess?

You can prevent an abscess from forming by making sure you take good care of your mouth. Brush and floss daily, and see your dentist twice a year. If you suffer from frequent abscesses, you may need to be evaluated by a medical professional to determine if there is an underlying condition causing these infections in your mouth.  Avoid tobacco, and make sure any cavities are treated as soon as possible. For more information, contact a local dental clinic like Children's Dentistry of Lake County