Abscess treatment in areas of the mouth and jaw
The occurrence of an abscess often needs to be dealt with quickly and a precise evaluation of the risk of spreading is of the highest importance. An appointment with a dentist as soon as possible is imperative. Untreated abscesses can develop into life-threatening inflammations such as meningitis. This is incredibly painful.
An abscess is an encapsulated collection of pus in the jawbone – the causes of which can be varied. Most of the time, however, they are caused by a bacterial infection, whereby inflammation of the root tip or the gingival pockets of a diseased tooth spread freely. The bone around the root tip dissolves and becomes a pus-filled cavity. The collection of pus is lined with an abscess membrane and separated from the surrounding tissue.
Resolving tenderness and healing
The only way to deal with an abscess is to open this membrane (make an incision) under local anaesthesia. After removing the pus, the area is thoroughly cleaned with an antibacterial solution. The pressure then recedes and tenderness and soreness in the area can abate. Gauze strips with healing, anti-inflammatory ointment are inserted into the cavity. For more serious cases we prescribe antibiotics for the patient.
This kind of abscess (the typical "fat cheek") can be avoided with regular dental cleanings and x-rays in combination with basic oral hygiene. As a simple rule: The earlier that an abscess is treated, the lower the risk of complication. After an acute case, the cause of the abscess must be treated as well. If, for example, a dead tooth is responsible for the abscess, then a root canal is needed.
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