What Is An Abscessed Tooth?

Bacterial infection can cause a lot of problems, especially when it comes to our teeth. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus and infection that occurs in one of a few areas of the tooth. It causes irritation and swelling and can lead to a bad smell or taste in your mouth. In this article, we will cover the causes of abscesses, symptoms, and treatment. Like any oral issue, the best way to prevent or treat the issue is with preventative care. A quick dental treatment can go a long way in protecting your teeth and gums long term. If you live in the Greater Boston area and need to make a dental appointment for yourself or a family member, please give us a call. 

What Types of Abscessed Teeth Exist?

As stated above, an abscess is a pocket of pus caused by bacterial infection. It can form in a few different areas around the tooth. There are three main categories of oral abscesses including:

  • Gingival: A gingival abscess forms in and around the gums and often doesn’t have any effect on the teeth or tooth structure. 
  • Periapical: A periapical abscess is an abscess that forms near the tooth root. This kind of abscess happens when bacteria and decay spread through the tooth pulp. Pulp is the innermost layer of a tooth where the blood vessels and nerves are. 
  • Periodontal: A periodontal abscess forms near the bone and tissues around the tooth. This is more common and also frequently caused by gum disease. 

What Causes Dental Abscesses?

One of the most common causes of an abscess is tobacco. Whether you smoke or chew tobacco, tobacco products quickly cause damage and vulnerability to your teeth and gums. This is one of many reasons to avoid smoking or quit smoking on top of all the other potential health-related concerns. Dry mouth is another common reason for a dental abscess. Dry mouth can be genetic or caused by certain medications. If you have issues with dry mouth you should consider discussing them with your dentist. Poor oral hygiene is another common cause of dental infection. Skipping brushing and flossing can lead to bacteria growth in your mouth.

How Are Abscesses Treated?

First, an abscess will need to be tested for either through an exam or through dental x-rays. Once an abscess is found it can be treated. One solution for an abscess is to drain it. The infected area is drained to remove the pus. If the tooth pulp and root are infected, a root canal might be necessary to save the tooth. The damaged section of the tooth is removed and cleaned, and the hole is then filled similar to a cavity filling. If an abscessed tooth is beyond repair, the tooth might need to be extracted and then replaced with either a bridge or other dental solution. 

Schedule A Dental Check-Up In Revere

If you live in the Revere Massachusetts area and are in need of a dentist, please give us a call. We would be happy to help with dental repair services, exams, and other dental procedures for you and your family. 

dental instruments

Learn More About Family Dentistry in Boston

What Causes Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones or tonsilloliths, are small usually white/yellow objects that get stuck to your tonsils. They are frequently associated with bad breath. Tonsil stones are usually

Read More »
Tap to Call: (781) 853 - 0111