Tooth pain can be a very excruciating pain that you experience in your life. It can even cause you fever and migraines. Dental or tooth abscess is a bacterial infection resulting from the formation of pus in different parts of the tooth. 

The pain caused by tooth abscess ranges from moderate to severe and it sometimes radiates to your neck, ear, and head. There are three types of tooth abscess — gingival abscess, periodontal abscess, and periapical abscess. A gingival abscess is the type of tooth abscess wherein the pus affects only the gum tissue. Periodontal abscess, on the other hand, happens when the abscess affects the tissues in the bone structure of the teeth. Periapical abscess affects the soft pulp of the tooth. 

What are the symptoms of a tooth abscess?

Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess may include the following:

  • Throbbing pain in the affected gums which gets worse when you lie down
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Inflammation in the affected gums and cheeks
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Rustic taste in the mouth
  • Tender lymph nodes in the neck or under the jaw
  • Fever

What are the causes of a tooth abscess?

The main cause of tooth abscess is the pus which is formed due to the bacteria from a dental cavity which has penetrated the dental pulp. A cracked tooth caused by dental trauma can also result in a tooth abscess.  Periodontal disease, a type of gum infection, can also cause a dental abscess.

Moreover, a tooth abscess can be caused by our lifestyle too. Having poor oral hygiene invites more bacteria in your mouth; thus, increasing the risk of oral problems such as tooth cavity, gum disease, and others that will result in abscess formation. The risk of tooth abscess gets higher if your diet is rich in sugar as bacteria thrive on it. A person with dry mouth also has a higher possibility of acquiring tooth abscess because your glands don’t make enough saliva to neutralize the acids and wash away the bacteria in your mouth. 

What are the treatments for tooth abscess?

A tooth abscess is very treatable. Your dentist can diagnose tooth abscess through the pus on your gums or during your routine dental exam. X-rays can also help your dentist spot tooth abscess especially if it affects the bone structure of the tooth. 

The goal of treating tooth abscess is to get rid of the bacterial infection. You may be prescribed an antibiotic to treat the infection and pain reliever to manage the pain. Extraction is another solution if the tooth can no longer be saved. Another popular treatment for tooth abscess is the root canal. It is a procedure wherein your dentist or an endodontist will drill into the affected tooth to remove the pus and clean the affected area. Your doctor will then fill the empty spaces with root filling and strengthen the tooth with a crown.