A dental abscess sounds scary and, well, frankly, it is. Without proper treatment, this oral health problem can threaten your overall health and wellness and the damage can travel beyond your mouth. The treatment for an abscess, though, is easy, as long as you are diagnosed immediately and treated right away. The goal, of course, is always to prevent a dental abscess so you don’t suffer unnecessarily.
What Is a Dental Abscess?
A dental abscess is a tooth infection that is caused by bacteria. It is usually due to untreated tooth decay, but a mouth injury or deteriorating dental work can also be the cause. Any of these circumstances allow bacteria to enter a tooth and cause oral health problems.
The infection forms inside the tooth pulp and spread to the root. As the bacteria continues to multiple, an abscess – a puffy, swollen area of pus built-up under the gum – eventually forms. Though an abscess is easy to diagnose, its symptoms like pain, tenderness, redness, and sensitivity can mimic other oral health problems, which makes it doubly important to see your dentist right away and get the right diagnosis and the right treatment.
Ways to Prevent a Dental Abscess
A dental abscess is not difficult to prevent – neither are cavities or other dental infections. You simply must make dental care a priority:
- Take good care of your teeth: Everyone should brush their teeth twice a day and floss at least once. These simple measures – that take no more than about three minutes to complete – minimize the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and, of course, a dental abscess.
- See your dentist regularly: It’s recommended that people of every age see their dentist every six months for a professional teeth cleaning and dental exam. This also allows your dentist to look over your oral health and recognize any problems that might be developing so they can be stopped before they get out of control.
- Keep the sugar to a minimum: If you frequently eat or drink sugar-rich foods, you are contributing to a sugar bath for your teeth which increases the risk of developing cavities or a tooth abscess.
- Keep your mouth hydrated: Dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay and abscess, and it’s often a side effects of medications or aging. If you have this problem, talk to your dentist about improving saliva production – drinking water is great, but it isn’t always enough to curb the issue.
Can I Get Rid of a Dental Abscess on My Own?
A dental abscess may rupture before you get to your dentist for help, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about the problem anymore. The pain may have decreased significantly with the rupture, but that doesn’t mean the abscess has fully drained. You still need dental treatment to make sure the infection is not spreading to your jaw or other areas of your head and neck. It is incredibly important to see your dentist at the first sign of a dental abscess, especially if you have a fever or swelling.
Get Help for a Dental Abscess at Hampton, NH, Dentist Near Me
At Smiles by the Sea in Hampton, NH, we are proud to offer emergency dental care to our patients in their time of need. A dental abscess is a serious situation that requires immediate care. Contact us right away to be seen as soon as possible.