A gum abscess is an indication that the immune system is warding off bacterial infection occurring within the gums, preventing it from spreading any further. People with abscessed gums feel a sudden and excruciating pain that lasts for a few hours and sometimes, for a couple of days. The condition also makes the gums swell, reddish and tender to the touch. The affected individuals may also notice some white spots in the gums due to pus accumulation.
Treatment for gum abscess should be immediately considered in order to prevent it from getting worse, as it may result to a life-threatening condition. The doctor will determine the best treatment method based on the condition of the individual. The cure rate for gum abscess is higher once it is diagnosed and treated early.
Gum abscess causes
Gum abscess develops when the pus is contained in a small space without a free way to drain. Pus is formed when the body’s defense mechanism tries to contain the bacterial infection, preventing it from affecting other areas. As the body tries to eradicate the bacteria that are causing the infection, this results to fluid build-up comprising of dead and living white blood cells, watery dead tissue, as well as bacteria, both dead and alive. There are several reasons why gum abscess occurs, and these are:
- Tooth decay
- Trauma as a result of tooth injury or embedded residual substances
- Periodontal disease
- Cracked tooth
- Certain illness
- Family history
- Reactions to certain medications
- Unrepaired dental fillings
- Heavy smoking
Gum abscess diagnosis, treatment
Anyone can be affected by gum abscess, but studies have shown that adults are highly affected by the condition, especially those with poor oral hygiene. This condition is diagnosed by physical and visual examination of the oral cavity. The dentist usually performs a series of tests, including pulp test and X-ray, to determine the current condition of the tooth.
The first step in gum abscess treatment is draining the pus to remove the infection. After which, the dentist will try to save the tooth by root canal if the root has been damaged. The patient may have to take antibiotics to totally get rid of the infection. For persistent bouts of gum abscess, surgical procedure may be undertaken to completely remove the infection.
Gum abscess pictures