If you have oral problems that are left untreated, you may be prone to an infection. When an infection occurs in your mouth, it can result in an abscess forming. An abscess is essentially a pocket of pus that stems from the infection not being treated. There are two main types of abscesses that occur in the mouth. The first kind, a gum abscess, is an abscess that originates in a gum pocket. The second kind of abscess occurs at the root of a tooth and is known as a tooth abscess.
A gum abscess typically comes from having a gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, comes from teeth that have plaque present. As the plaque remains on the teeth, the teeth and gums become damaged over time. To prevent gum disease, it’s important to always have good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and visiting your doctor regularly. If good oral hygiene isn’t practiced, gum disease can lead to abscesses, tooth loss, bleeding gums, bad breath, or loose teeth.
A tooth abscess can occur when a tooth has significant decay deep inside of the tooth. This decay happens when the enamel on the tooth has worn away allowing bacteria to move inside of the tooth. If you have a tooth abscess, the abscess is normally located near the roots of the tooth. This can cause the surrounding tissue to become painful and inflamed. Wisdom teeth get abscesses more commonly than other teeth as the back teeth tend to be more difficult to clean and end up with more cavities. A tooth abscess can occur when you have a cracked tooth, damage to a tooth, dental surgery, brush your teeth too hard, and not cleaning out food that may be stuck between your teeth.
An abscess in your mouth should not be left untreated as it can become increasingly serious. An untreated abscess can allow the infection to spread to other teeth, surrounding gums, and tissue near it. As the abscess tries to find a way to relieve pressure, it can damage teeth, tissues, and nerves. Untreated abscesses can lead to facial paralysis, vision loss, and even death. Luckily, there are a few ways you can work to prevent abscesses. Having good oral hygiene can help to significantly reduce your chances of having an abscess. The keys to good oral hygiene are brushing with fluoride two times per day, avoiding sugary drinks and snacks between meals or near bedtime, brushing after consuming something high in sugar, and visiting your dentist regularly. During your dentist visit, the dentist will be able to spot any problem areas and address them quickly. This can reduce the chances of your problems becoming major as they are taken care of promptly. The dentist will also be able to make suggestions about your oral hygiene to ensure that you’re cleaning your mouth as well as you can.
Having an abscess in your mouth can be stressful, painful, and scary. Be sure to visit your dentist if you think you may have an abscess present as complications from the abscess can be serious. To help keep abscesses away, make sure that you’re taking care of your mouth and visiting your dentist twice a year.