Oral abscesses develop in the mouth. There are two main types: periapical abscesses and periodontal abscesses. Periapical abscess develop beneath the tooth, while periodontal abscesses, which are not as common, form in the gums and bone structure.
About dental abscesses
Dental abscesses are pus-filled sores that tend to be very painful. They are caused by bacteria collecting in the mouth. The most common sign of a dental abscess is severe throbbing pain, which comes on suddenly and usually gets worse with time. If you think you may have a dental abscess, you should arrange to see your dentist urgently. Other symptoms to look out for include swelling (which may affect the whole of the side of the face), tenderness and sensitivity. Some people also suffer a high temperature and generally feel unwell when they have an abscess.
Dental abscesses are usually caused by poor oral hygiene, which results in bacteria collecting in the mouth. Your diet can also increase the risk of oral infections, especially if you consume a lot of sweet or starchy foods. The best ways to prevent a dental abscess are to practice good oral hygiene at home, eat a healthy, balanced diet, stick to the recommended daily sugar intake and visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
Treating a dental abscess
Unlike other types of abscess, dental abscesses must be treated by a dentist rather than a doctor. To treat an abscess, it needs to be drained and removed. Occasionally, antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce symptoms. Dental abscesses don’t get better with time and for this reason they should be treated as a dental emergency.