Our teeth have 3 layers. The outer layer is enamel, which protects the tooth. The second layer is dentin, which has nerves. The inner most layer is dental pulp, which has blood vessels and nerves. When the teeth are not kept clean bacteria grow in the plaque which forms as a result of leftover food debris. This enables the bacteria to release acids that dissolve the teeth and cause cavities.
At your regular dental cleaning visit your dentist will look at your cavity detecting x-rays. It is recommended to get the cavities taken care of with dental fillings as soon as they are diagnosed to avoid more expensive treatments. If the dental cavities have progressed passed the enamel to the inner lay of dental pulp causing a dental infection this might result in a dental abscess.
Dental Abscess occurs when the nerve of the tooth is infected forming pus. This dental infection sometimes goes beyond the tooth causing the pus to spread to the jaw bone or to the tissue around it resulting in swelling. It is very important to consult your family dentist as soon as possible because sometimes these dental related swellings and abscesses can be life-threatening.
Do not place hot packs on dental abscess/swelling as it will worsen. The heat will enable the infection to spread faster and more extensively. Your general dentist will prescribe you antibiotics to take care of the infection and it is very important to follow through with the recommended dental treatment.
Dental abscesses are very painful and may require root canal treatment or a dental extraction. Sometimes the dental abscess may need to be drained by the general dentist or oral surgeon to relieve the pressure in the area. Dental abscess are not contagious but may be harder to treat in immune compromised adults. It is very important to take your child to a pediatric dentist or general dentist in case of dental swelling and infection because of their fragile constitution.
At Carrollton Smiles, Dr. Sirisha Bhandaru offers same day dental emergency appointments. Call Carrollton Smiles at (972) 635-0637 or book an online appointment at carrollton-smiles.com.