If you think you have a dental abscess, you probably do! The pain is hard to miss. While the best way to identify and treat a dental abscess is to visit your dentist, it is still nice to know some information about dental abscesses before your visit. After you have set up an appointment at the dentist, here are some things you may want to know:
First and foremost, what is it? According to dentaly.org, it is “a pocket of pus that accumulates when a bacterial infection breaks down tissue.” This is a general definition as you can get abscesses all over your body. Abscesses form when your body is trying to protect itself from infection. When an abscess forms in your mouth, it can be both painful for you and harmful for your oral health.
The first thing your dentist will do after identifying the abscess is determine what type of abscess it is.
- There are gingival abscesses, also known as gum abscessed that can be found on the gingiva or gum line of your teeth.
- Then, there are periodontal abscesses that are more serious because they occur deep into the actual gum pockets leaving nowhere for the pus to drain.
- Finally, there is periapical abscesses found in the soft tooth pulp. This abscess is normally the result of decay inside the tooth.
While all abscesses are painful, and quite frankly no fun, some are much more serious then others. The best thing you can do is practice good oral health as a preventative measure. This means brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.
Practicing good oral health will also help you if you do get an abscess. The earlier you identify it, the easier it will be to treat. Also, catching it early will decrease the likelihood of it progressing into something worse and causing significant oral damage. If you are concerned you have a dental abscess, make sure to see your dentist right away.