, also known as dental abscess and root abscess, is a condition in which pus is collected in the tissues surrounding a tooth, due to a bacterial infection. It usually occurs in the tissues around a decayed tooth or due to a failed root canal. Tooth abscess is of three types - a periodontal abscess, a gingival abscess and a periapical abscess. A gingival abscess occurs in the gum tissue without affecting the tooth, a periapical abscess occurs in the dental pulp or the root of a tooth, and a periodontal abscess occurs in the tissues and bones of a tooth.
With good oral hygiene, it is unlikely that a person will have tooth abscesses. Normally a tooth abscess occurs on it's own - that is, an infection of one tooth. However, if that tooth infection goes unchecked, other teeth may become compromised by the infection as well.
Tooth abscess causes
A tooth abscess is caused due to tooth decay or a bacterial infection in the tissues surrounding a tooth. Bacteria enters the dental pulp and weakens it. It is caused due to the destruction of the tooth enamel and the dentin, in a decayed tooth. Also, if an infected dental nerve is not treated on time, the bone around the root of the infected tooth weakens and allows bacteria to enter, causing pus to collect and form an abscess.
Common Causes of tooth abscess
- The infection was there when the tooth had dental work performed on it; such as a crown, or root canal, or filling. Normally the tooth had been compromised by infection through a cavity in the tooth. The germ, that would later go on to form the tooth abscess, was NOT completely killed off when the tooth was repaired. Secondly
, the cause of a tooth abscess may be time delayed. If it has been a while since the tooth had work on it - then, for some reason the tooth abscess germ, which was there, is now out of control and has now formed a tooth abscess - this loss of control of the infection is put down to a degraded or weakened immune system at that time the infection took hold. For some reason the immune system just isn't up to keeping the germ in check - that's the theory of it anyway. Thirdly
, the cause of tooth abscess may be age related: A weakness in the tooth develops as it ages, such as a microscopic crack, which allows the infection to enter the tooth, or the gum withdrawing from the tooth, allowing a germ to enter more easily. Being aged also can mean a degraded immune system is more common. Fourthly
, the cause of the tooth abscess may be a cavity that has allowed a germ to enter the soft pulp part of the tooth, which is upsetting the nerve.
Treatment for Tooth Abscess - Tooth Abscess Antibiotics
Since tooth abscess is caused by bacterial infections, the best treatment for it would be consuming antibiotics that cure the infections. The antibiotics prescribed reduce the infection and prevent it from spreading by penetrating deep into the pus cavities and the tooth bone. Analgesics can be consumed along with antibiotics to relieve the pain. Antibiotics of the penicillin group are administered as a tooth abscess remedy.
Tooth abscess antibiotics - typically penicillin ones - are normally prescribed by the dentist, after the dentist has taken X-rays to confirm the presence of the infection. Tooth abscess antibiotics normally control the tooth abscess extremely well, with most of the tooth abscess symptoms being alleviated within two or so days. the tooth abscess healed in about a five day course of antibiotics. The problem in using tooth abscess antibiotics, is that they are unable to penetrate into the tooth - the blood supply is through such small blood vessels that antibiotics are too big and are unable to travel along them. So the antibiotics used for tooth abscess often only has limited success, with later episodes of tooth abscess occurring as the infection gains a foot hold again - for me this means a recurring tooth abscess roughly every year or so. In other words, the tooth abscess germ once it gets into the tooth, can live there and breed there, but antibiotics cannot touch them in there. This later problem in using tooth abscess antibiotics, only exists if the germ has entered the tooth.
The following tooth abscess antibiotics can be helpful.
Amoxicillin: It is used to cure and prevent infections, that can be caused or are caused by bacteria. They do not kill the bacteria, but stop them from multiplying by destroying their cell wall. Amoxicillin is available under various brand names like Amoxil, Dispermox and Trimox, in the form of tablets, capsules, chewable tablets and powder and tablets for suspension. It may cause some side effects like diarrhea, vomiting, itching and abdominal pain.
Metronidazole: It is used in the treatment of infections caused by susceptible bacteria, like anaerobic bacteria. It blocks a few of the functions of the infection causing bacteria within their cells which causes their death. Metronidazole is available under the brand name Flagyl, which is marketed by Pfizer in the form of tablets, capsules and injections. It may have a few side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, headaches, etc.
Clindamycin: This is prescribed for those allergic to antibiotics of the penicillin group. It prevents and eliminates infection, by stopping bacterial growth. It is available under the brand name Cleocin, in the form of tablets. It should be taken at equal intervals and for the prescribed duration, as stopping consumption early can cause the bacteria to grow again. It may have some side effects like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Co-amoxiclav: This is an antibiotic containing a combination of potassium clavulanate and amoxicillin trihydrate. It is available under the brand names of Exclav, Augmentin, Synermox, etc. It may have minor side effects like diarrhea or nausea.