It is the collection of pus that forms in the teeth and spreads to the surrounding tissues mainly as a result of bacterial infections. It is also called Dentoalveolar Abscess, Root Abscess or Tooth Abscess.
Types of Gum Abscesses
There are two main types of gum abscesses that are explained hereunder:
It is chiefly caused by bacterial infections and mainly develops under the teeth.
It is caused primarily by gum diseases such as Periodontitis or Gingivitis mainly as a result of the damage of gums, smoking, and substance abuse e.t.c.
Causes of Gum Abscesses
Poor Oral Hygiene
Failure to observe basic oral hygiene practices such as regular brushing of teeth and flossing leads to the build-up of plaque and bacteria which ultimately contributes to the development of the condition.
Diets that are rich in sugar such as sweets, fizzy drinks, starchy foods, chocolates, pretzels, biscuits, jam, and white bread e.t.c contribute to the growth and proliferation of bacteria in the mouth which ultimately trigger the development of the condition.
Weak Immune Systems
This encourages the development of the condition due to the inability of the body to forestall it.
Diseases of the gums such as Gingivitis or Periodontitis also contribute to the development of the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Abscesses
The main signs and symptoms of the disorder include the following:
-Oral fevers (extremely high temperatures in the mouth)
-Interrupted sleeping patterns
-Difficulty in swallowing of food
-Difficulty in opening the mouth
-General feelings of un-wellness
-Unpleasant tastes in the mouth
-Bad breath (Halitosis)
-Extra sensitivity to extremely hot or cold foods and drinks
-Tenderness of the teeth and the surrounding areas
Diagnosis of Gum Abscesses
The condition can mainly be diagnosed by use of two main
approaches described hereunder:
This entails the use of imaging techniques chief among them the X-ray in order to assess the growth, spread and severity of the infections.
This entails the examinations of the gums for any swollen, red or inflamed signs.
Treatments and Preventions of Gum Abscesses
The condition can mainly be treated or prevented in the following ways:
The Use of Painkillers
It is the usage of common over-the-counter painkillers such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen. It is important to follow the instructions to the letter while exploring this avenue to avoid any side effects.
This is the adoption of certain practices or lifestyles that can help to reduce the pains that are associated with the condition. These include avoiding extremely hot or cold foods, lying propped up rather than flat, and placing cooled water crushed ice next to the area e.t.c.
These are strategies adopted by dentists that are designed to mitigate the impacts of the condition such as removing the affected tooth, surgeries, and root canal treatments.
The Use of Antibiotics
In case of severe infections, when the infection is spreading rapidly, and in the event of high risks of infections, antibiotics can be used. The most recommended ones are Amoxicilli, Phenoxymethylpenicillin, Clarithromycin, and Penicillin e.t.c.
General Dental Hygiene
This entails the observance of standard dental hygiene practices such as regular brushing of teeth, avoidance of sugary foods, and regular flossing among others.
It involves regular visits to the dentist for check-ups and advice.
Potential Complications of Gum Abscesses
If left unchecked, the condition can give rise to the following complications:
-The loss of the affected teeth
-Sinusitis i.e. the infection of the air-filled cavities
inside the skull
-Osteomyelitis or bone infections
-Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis i.e. the clotting of blood inside
the brain’s blood vessels
-Ludwig’s Angina i.e. the infection of the oral tissues
Being a serious complication, adequate measures should be
taken to forestall the growth and development of Gum Abscesses.