What is a dental abscess, and how is it treated?

Unfortunately, dental abscesses are a pretty common occurrence for people with a variety of current dental problems. They form when an infection has spread to the root of a tooth and can’t be cleaned off by brushing or flossing. To address them, patients will need to work with an experienced dentist. Dr. Khaja Mohsinuddin of Total Health Dental in Aurora, Illinois, can describe to patients the symptoms of dental abscesses, their causes, and the best treatment options to treat them.

What is a dental abscess?

A dental abscess, or gingival abscess, is a pocket of infection that forms due to untreated tooth decay. When bacteria spread from the mouth to the root of a tooth, they can create an abscess which can cause many different symptoms. Signs of an abscessed tooth may include

  • Pain
  • Swelling and redness in the gums
  • Fever and chills
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Sore throat

If not treated quickly, these symptoms will continue to worsen until you begin treatment with your dentist.

What causes dental abscesses?

One common cause of developing a dental abscess is tooth decay that hasn’t been addressed by brushing, flossing or a filling from a dental provider. It’s just like any other wound: if it isn’t addressed, it can become infected until there’s no choice but to treat it. An untreated cavity, a large filling, or even a tiny crack in a tooth can lead to the development of an abscess. That is why routine dental visits are essential, as a dentist can spot signs of problems before they become a more serious issue.

How are dental abscesses treated?

Once a diagnosis has been made and Dr. Khaja Mohsinuddin has seen an abscess, he will likely prescribe one or more types of treatment. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen for the fever and chills, antibiotics if the infection is severe enough, and possibly surgery to drain pus from the abscess. These steps are needed to address the problem at the source and bring the smile back to health.

How can I prevent dental abscesses?

The best way to prevent this infection is by brushing and flossing as directed and visiting the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. If you have any questions about how often you should brush, call Dr. Mohsinuddin’s office for advice. The office is located in Aurora, IL, and can be reached by phone at (630) 822-9600.