A gum abscess is caused by an infection between the tooth and the gum. Extremely painful to deal with, it can also cause irreparable damage to the tooth.
If not tackled immediately, the infection can last for months at an end. Furthermore, the abscess needs to be treated because the infection will not disappear or heal on its own. In some cases, the infection can even spread to other parts of the body.
When left untreated, a gum abscess can harm both bone and teeth. A fistula can sometimes form through the bone and skin so that the pus can drain from the abscess. It closely resembles a pimple in appearance and can be visibly seen or felt inside the mouth. An abscess can be drained through the fistula, however the infection might still linger, necessitating medical attention.
Alternately, an untreated abscess can turn in to a cyst (fluid filled bubble), in the jaw bone.
As soon as you notice any of the following symptoms, it is important to consult a dentist immediately.
- A throbbing or stabbing pain in the mouth is usually the first indication of an abscess. This can manifest as a toothache as well.
- Sensitivity when chewing and pain that is caused when brushing teeth are additional signs that you may have an abscess on your gum.
- Swollen lymph nodes that make it painful to chew or swallow.
- Pressure in the sinuses is another peripheral symptom to watch out for.
- Fever usually accompanied by one more or more of the above symptoms is a strong indication of an infected dental abscess.
The treatment of a gum abscess involves three simple stages, which are deployed in conjunction for maximum efficacy by a dental practitioner. The infected area or the abscess must be thoroughly cleaned. The pus will be drained and the infection will be medically treated.
If you happen to notice a dental abscess, it is important to find some immediate relief. Gargling with warm water with salt for 60 seconds can help you feel a little better. This will help you until you can visit the dentist for a consultation.
An abscess might seem to be a simple problem, but it can cause long term damage to your oral health. It is advisable to take prompt and immediate action, as even the slightest delay can hamper the healing process.