If 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.