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Friday, 07 December 2012 13:39

Watch out for dental abscess !

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A dental abscess is a collection of pus that forms in your teeth or gums as a result of a bacterial infection. More about this with Dr Krish Surnam, dental surgeon.
“The infection starts after a dental fracture, a periodontal disease (infection of the gums), or very often due to tooth decay. This bacterial infection often attacks the root of the tooth, causing acute pain,” explains Dr Surnam.

There are two types of dental abscess:
  • periapical abscess - where bacteria infect the inside of the tooth (this is the most common type of  dental abscess) and;
  • periodontal abscess - where bacteria infect the gums
Both types of dental abscess are caused when bacteria builds up inside the mouth. This usually occurs due to a combination of poor dental hygiene and the consumption of lots of sugary or starchy food and drinks.
The main symptom of a dental abscess is a severe, throbbing pain at the site of the abscess. The pain usually comes on suddenly and gradually gets worse over a few hours or a few days. The gum becomes red due to inflammation. Fever and tiredness also manifest progressively.

Complications of dental abscesses
Dental abscess can cause complications and if not treated properly, it can attack the nearby bone. This results in health complications and turn out to be fatal. There may be tooth loss or cause a infection of the sinus, the roots of molars being near the sinus.

  • daily dental hygiene (brushing the teeth twice or thrice a day)
  • regular visits to the dentist (twice a year)
  • regular scaling and scraping of the teeth
  • reduce cigarette smoking

Diabetes and mouth care
Diabetic patients should give particular attention to their dental health since they are more prone to infections. The main complications are infection and a dry mouth. Together, they can cause tooth decay, gum infection and can also cause delay in the treatment after a surgery. If treatment is delayed for too long, changes due to the disease can be irreversible.

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