See a Dentist Right Away to Get Treatment for an Abscess

treatment-for-abscessIf the inside of your mouth gets irritated or injured, bacteria can cause an infection. The area may fill with thick, yellowish pus. If the pus is not able to drain out, the area can become swollen and painful and can develop an abscess. The abscess forms a barrier around the inflamed area and is the body’s way of trying to prevent the infection from spreading. An abscess often forms soon after an infection starts. If the infection is not treated, it can last a long time and can damage the bone and teeth in the surrounding area.

Types of Abscesses

Two types of abscesses can form. A gum abscess, or periodontal abscess, is caused by an infection between the tooth and the gums and can develop if food gets trapped there. Gum abscesses usually heal quickly if the area is thoroughly cleaned, the pus is drained, and the infection is treated. If you have periodontal disease, bacteria can build up under the gums and in the jawbone. The periodontal disease will need to be treated.

A tooth-related abscess, or periapical abscess, is found inside the tooth where the nerve is dead or dying. An abscess begins at the tip of the tooth’s root and can spread to the bone.

An Abscess Can Be Painful

When pressure builds up, it can cause pain. An abscess is usually painful, but sometimes the infection does not cause any pain.

A hollow tunnel called a fistula or sinus tract may form through the bone and skin to let the pus drain. This opening looks like a pimple and might be visible on the inside of the mouth. It can produce an unusual taste in the mouth. When pus drains through a fistula, it relieves pain, but the infection is still present. If you have a swollen area that looks like a pimple on the inside of your mouth, you should rinse your mouth with saltwater several times a day to draw out the pus and relieve the pressure.

If a fistula has formed, your dentist will find the source of the infection by inserting a flexible piece of material into it. The fistula should close on its own after the dentist cleans out the infection.

A Root Canal May Be Necessary to Treat an Abscess

If the abscess is not treated, a fluid-filled bubble called a cyst can form in the jawbone. If the tooth is extracted, the cyst may come out. The tooth might be able to be saved with a root canal. If a root canal does not heal the cyst, surgery may be needed to remove it. In some cases, the infection can spread and lead to serious health problems.

If the infection is inside a tooth, the dentist will make a small hole in the tooth to drain the abscess. A root canal will be necessary, followed by a filling or crown. If the abscess is large or the damage to the tooth is severe, it may be necessary to extract the tooth. The dentist will make a hole in the gums through the jaw to allow the pus to drain and prevent the infection from spreading. The dentist may prescribe antibiotics and painkillers.

Make an Appointment at Fried Dentistry to Have Your Abscess Treated

If you have pain in your mouth and believe you may have an abscess, you should make an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut as soon as possible. You may need to have the abscess drained, have a root canal, and get antibiotics to treat the infection. Make an appointment today, before the infection spreads and the pain gets worse.

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Are You a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?

teeth-whiteningTeeth can become discolored for several reasons. Some of the most common causes of discoloration are eating and drinking foods and beverages that stain the teeth, smoking, and trauma to a tooth. If your teeth are yellow, you may be a good candidate for teeth whitening, but the procedure is not for everyone. In some cases, you may not get the results you want. Here is some information to help you decide whether you are a good candidate for teeth whitening.

Get a Dental Exam and Have Necessary Work Done before You Whiten Your Teeth

Before you get your teeth whitened, you should have a dental exam that includes x-rays. This will help your dentist figure out what is causing your tooth discoloration. If you have an abscessed tooth or cavities or need a root canal, you should have that work done before you consider whitening your teeth. Bleaching your teeth may lighten them temporarily, but it will not solve the underlying problem.

Who Is Not a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?

There may also be aesthetic reasons why you are not a good candidate for teeth whitening. If you have short teeth and a gummy smile, lightening your teeth will accentuate the appearance of your gums. If the roots are exposed, they will not be lightened by bleaching.

Bleaching will not lighten the color of restorations such as fillings, crowns, and veneers. If you have restorations and get your teeth whitened, your natural teeth may be whiter than the restorations.

If you have one tooth that is darker than the rest, you may be able to have it lightened. If the tooth needs a root canal, you may be able to have it bleached from the inside out by making a small opening in the tooth. If the tooth does not need a root canal, your dentist may be able to bleach the single tooth to make it match the rest of your teeth.

Good Candidates for Teeth Whitening

If your natural teeth do not have any restorations and your teeth are discolored because of the foods you eat or the beverages you drink, you are probably a good candidate for teeth whitening. Your dentist may be able to lighten your teeth several shades to give you a brighter smile.

Results May Vary

Not all teeth can reach the same degree of whiteness. Each tooth has a maximum level of whiteness that is possible. Teeth usually get more opaque after bleaching, but a translucent tooth can look more translucent and may not whiten at all. A tooth-colored composite can be used to improve the appearance of the tooth.

Make an Appointment for a Consultation

Teeth whitening can give you a brighter smile, but it is not right for everyone. The best way to decide if whitening is right for you is to discuss it with your dentist. Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut offers Zoom whitening that can give you a brighter smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation to figure out if whitening is the right choice for you.

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Common Oral Health Problems Seniors Face

senior-citizens-oral-healthAs people get older, they tend to develop more health problems. Oral health conditions are also a cause of concern among senior citizens. Other medical conditions and the medications used to treat them can have an effect on oral health.

Oral Health Problems That Seniors Face

About 75 percent of people over the age of 60 are missing at least some of their natural teeth. Severe gum disease is a problem in many older adults, which can lead to tooth loss. Poor oral health increases the risk of developing other conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Gum disease occurs when the gum tissues become infected because of plaque. The first stage, gingivitis, causes red, swollen, or bleeding gums. Gingivitis is a problem for many older adults, but it can be reversed with treatment.

Older adults can develop tooth decay or root decay if they have receding gums. This can be prevented with proper tooth brushing and flossing. A hygienist can clean below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar.

Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva in the mouth. It is a common side effect of some medications. Dry mouth can lead to tooth and root decay.

Sensitivity to cold and hot foods and beverages affects many senior citizens. Sensitivity can be caused by brushing too hard or by using a hard-bristled toothbrush. It can also be a result of worn tooth enamel or a cracked or fractured tooth. Sensitivity can be reduced by brushing properly and using a desensitizing toothpaste.

Other Medical Problems Can Affect Oral Health

Alzheimer’s disease causes a decline in cognitive function that can affect thinking, memory, and behavior. Many seniors with Alzheimer’s disease forget to do everyday tasks, such as brushing their teeth. Caregivers and family members need to remind them and may need to help them do it effectively.

Osteoporosis causes a decline in bone density, which makes fractures more likely. It is most common in women who have gone through menopause. Declining bone density can cause teeth to become loose. Some medications used to treat osteoporosis can cause osteonecrosis, a condition that causes damage to the jawbone.

How Seniors Can Prevent Oral Health Problems

If you are a senior citizen, you should be concerned about your oral health and take steps to prevent these problems. Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. Use an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce plaque. Limit your consumption of sugary foods and beverages. Do not use tobacco because it worsens the risk of mouth and throat cancer, as well as other problems. If your medication causes dry mouth, ask your doctor if you can switch to a different one. If that is not possible, drink plenty of water, chew sugar-free gum, and avoid alcohol that can dry out your mouth.

If you are due for a dental exam and cleaning, make an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut. We will examine your teeth and gums and discuss any concerns you have and ways to improve your oral health. Schedule your appointment today.

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