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Abscess Advice

As well as often being very painful, a dental abscess can be very unsightly and can cause inflammation and secondary infection. On occasions, the spread of infection from an Abscess can have a major detrimental effect on general health.


A dental abscess is a localised collection of pus in the tooth or surrounding tissue related to the structure of the tooth. The symptoms include;

* Pain which can often be severe
* Swelling and tenderness of the gum.
* Swelling of the face and jaw.
* Tenderness and sometimes loosening of the affected tooth.
* Fever and nausea.
* In severe cases, spasm of the jaw muscles.

Dental abscesses can be classified into 2 main categories depending upon the root cause. A Periapical Abscess is caused by tooth decay deteriorating the enamel and Dentine within a tooth and allowing bacteria to invade, infect and inflame the pulp at the centre of the tooth. This can then create a pus filled blister, accompanying pain and swelling around the general area. This is the most common form of dental abscess and one of the main causes of toothache.

The second category of dental abscess is called a periodontal Abscess or as it's often known, a Gum Boil. Gum Boils are usually associated with gum disease where bacteria infect the soft tissue around the teeth, causing inflammation and detachment of gums from the teeth.

Where the gums detach then bacteria can take hold in pockets, causing a dental abscess. Periodontal abscesses can also be caused by injury to the gum tissue. In both instances, dental treatment should be sought as soon as possible.

The treatment of an Abscess will involve draining of the pus and administration of antibiotics where appropriate.

The best way to prevent dental abscesses is to maintain an effective oral health regime of regular brushing, flossing and twice yearly checkups.

As with other conditions, if infection, pain or swelling is severe or worrying you then Emergency Dentist treatment is the best option.


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