If you have pain, reddening, and localised swelling in your gum, and you find that one of your teeth is painful to bite on, you may have an acute periodontal abscess. But what causes this problem and how can your dentist help to get rid of it?
Read on for more information.
Periodontal gum abscesses
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth that attack the gums. The cause is can be hereditary but is more often due to poor oral hygiene.
A periodontal abscess is a pus-filled sac that forms in the gum and is the result of longstanding, chronic periodontal disease. Life events that result in stress, or underlying diseases, such as diabetes, can also predispose people to developing periodontal abscesses. Sometimes, a simple common cold or a bout of flu can precipitate the development of an abscess.
Treatment of periodontal gum abscesses
If you think you have developed an abscess in your gum, it's essential that you seek the advice of your dentist without delay.
The dentist will first numb the affected area on your gum with local anaesthetic and will then burst the abscess so that the pus can be drained from it. It will then be necessary to flush out the infected tooth root surfaces to get rid of any bacteria. The area around the abscess may also be irrigated with a salt water solution or with an antibacterial solution to get rid of any localised bacterial contamination.
Your dentist will probably prescribe a course of antibiotics, together with a non-steroidal medication, such as ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce any inflammation and pain.
As soon as the abscess has burst, the pain and swelling should subside immediately. The area should heal completely within a few days to a week. However, you must take steps to treat the underlying periodontal disease so that the problem doesn't occur again in the future.
As part of the evaluation of the problem, your dentist may recommend that you attend your family doctor for a general health check to rule out any systemic health condition that might be contributing to the gum problem.
If you find that you have developed a periodontal abscess or if you have red or swollen gums, you should see your dentist without delay. Prompt attention could prevent future damage to your teeth, as well as treating the periodontal disease which caused the problem in the first place.Share