A tooth abscess is a buildup of infected material (pus) in the center of a tooth. It is an infection caused by bacteria.
A tooth abscess may form if there is tooth decay. It may also occur when a tooth is broken, chipped, or injured in other ways. Openings in the tooth enamel allow bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (the pulp). Infection may spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth.
Infection results in a buildup of pus and tissue swelling within the tooth. This causes a toothache. The toothache may stop if pressure is relieved. But the infection can remain active and continue to spread. This can cause more pain and can destroy tissue.
The main symptom is a severe toothache. The pain is continuous. It does not stop. It can be described as gnawing, sharp, shooting, or throbbing. Other symptoms may include:
·Bitter taste in the mouth
·General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
·Pain when chewing
·Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
·Swelling of the gum over the infected tooth, which may look like a pimple
·Swollen glands of the neck
·Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw, which is a very serious symptom
Exams and Tests
Your dentist will closely look at your teeth, mouth, and gums. It may hurt when the dentist taps the tooth. Biting or closing your mouth tightly also increases the pain. Your gums may be swollen and red, and may drain thick material.
Dental x-rays and other tests can help your dentist determine which tooth or teeth are causing the problem.
The goals of treatment are to cure the infection, save the tooth, and prevent complications.
Your dentist might prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection. Warm saltwater rinses may help ease the pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers may relieve your toothache and fever.
Do NOT place aspirin directly on your tooth or gums. This increases irritation of the tissues and can result in mouth ulcers.
A root canal may be recommended in an attempt to save the tooth.
If you have a severe infection, your tooth may be removed, or you may need surgery to drain the abscess. Some people may need to be admitted to the hospital.
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Success is the expected outcome after root canal treatment (RCT), regardless of the clinical conditions.
However, predicting success usually requires adopting a referential or criteria, and presupposes that the patient is healthy. It is estimated that RCT should be considered completed when the tooth is permanently restored and in function.
RCT clinical success can be analyzed based on different points of view, with specific values that involve the dentist, the patient or the tooth itself. References for the dentist are the value of symptom (clinical silence - absence of pain), the value of image (root canal space completely filled with no evidence of periapical inflammation), and the value of clinical condition (a well-restored and functioning tooth).
The dentist's skills are crucial to interpret correctly the radiographic features and establish a diagnostic hypothesis. For the patient, the value of symptom (no pain) is essential. Apart from this, RCT success is associated with predictive aspects that eliminate the need of interventions and establishes treatment conclusion. The success for the tooth itself is associated with absence of disease (root canal infection or periapical inflammation).
The life of an endodontically treated tooth implies understanding that biological and mechanical events have a multifactorial nature and cannot be viewed separately. Ideally, it is expected to preserve the largest possible number of teeth until the end of life. Successful RCT prevents pain, apical periodontitis (AP) and tooth loss, but it is a real challenge because several clinical conditions can contribute, alone or in combination, for a poor prognosis, namely root canal perforation, overfilling, endodontic and periodontal lesion, root fracture, periapical biofilm, traumatic dental injury, fracture of instrument, AP, root resorption, etc.
Systemic and periodontal conditions should be carefully examined before RCT. Preoperative diagnosis of dental pulp and/or periapical tissues is an important reference to establish case prognosis. The dentist's health represents a human aspect that is frequently neglected and can also be a risk factor for the occurrence of intraoperative procedural errors. Human error may be associated with stress, working conditions, and lack of attention, adequate planning and sufficient knowledge of new technologies. Renouard and Charrier (2) discussed some human factors that could induce accidents and reported that as far as the interactions between the individual and the working environment, errors could be related to other people (life ware), technology (hardware), documentation (software) and environment.
By: Pamela Babcock
No one likes to hear it, but it's worse not to know it: You have bad breath.
Bad breath (also known as halitosis or malodor) can be embarrassing and tough on those around you. Some people don't realize their breath could peel paint because people are afraid to tell them.
"Certainly bad breath can ruin relationships," says John Woodall, DDS, a dentist with Woodall and McNeill in Raleigh, N.C.
Fortunately, this problem is often easy to fix. What helps: Good oral hygiene, regular visits to your dentist, and ruling out any underlying conditions or other factors (such as some medications, diets, and foods) that could make your breath less than pleasant.
Bad breath is often caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth that causes inflammation and gives off noxious odors or gases that smell like sulfur -- or worse.
Everybody has nasty breath at some point, like when you get out of bed in the morning.
Not sure if your breath is bad? The best way to find out is to ask a trusted friend or your significant other, "'Does my breath smell?' Because it's really hard to tell on your own," Tina Frangella, DDS, a dentist with Frangella Dental in New York, tells.
There's another way to know. It may seem a bit gross, but look at and smell your dental floss after you use it.
"If your floss smells or there is blood on it, then there are foul odors in your mouth," Woodall says.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are no statistics on what percentage of the population has bad breath. That's because studies usually rely on someone reporting whether or not they think they have bad breath and may not be accurate.
But studies show that about 80% of bad breath comes from an oral source. For instance, cavities or gum disease can lead to bad breath, as can tonsils that have trapped food particles; cracked fillings, and less-than-clean dentures.
Several internal medical conditions also can cause your breath to go downhill fast. They include diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis. You'll want to see your doctor to rule out things like acid reflux, postnasal drip, and other causes of chronic dry mouth (xerostomia).
Woodall recalls a 30-year-old patient who had chronic bad breath, though her teeth were "immaculate" and her tongue was very clean. Her doctor tested her for acid reflux and other stomach conditions, "gave her some medicine, and her bad breath went away," Woodall says.
Click on Video, here are 5 things that can help:
By: Lisa Bendall
In the back of the mouth, the tongue is anchored into the hyoid bone. The tongue is vital for mastication, taste, deglutition, articulation and oral cleansing. But oral health is about more than your teeth and gums. Your tongue also needs daily care and checkups.
Quick! Stick out your tongue and say…yuck? No one ever said tongues were pretty. And maybe that’s why they’re sometimes neglected when it comes to oral health. But your tongue is an important part of your mouth, and you should always include it in your hygiene routine. Here are four things you should know about keeping your tongue healthy:
1. Tongues need cleaning
Far from smooth, your tongue is covered in tiny bumps, called papillae. “The surface of the tongue can harbour a lot of bacteria,” says Dr. Euan Swan, dental programs manager at the Canadian Dental Association in Ottawa. In fact, a study at the University of Michigan’s School of Medicine discovered that about a third of the bacteria species found on people’s tongues weren’t growing on any other surfaces in their mouths.
Trapped germs on the tongue can lead to bad breath and affect your sense of taste, and the bacteria can travel to other parts of your mouth. Overgrowth of bacteria can turn your tongue yellow, white or even black and hairy-looking.
Make it a habit to thoroughly clean your tongue every time you brush your teeth. You can use a tongue cleaner, a small tool designed to scrape the tongue; it comes in various shapes and sizes. Your regular toothbrush will also do the job. Try to reach right to the back. If this triggers your gag reflex, keep trying. Eventually, your reflex will ease up. You might also find that a tongue cleaner doesn’t trigger the reflex as easily as a toothbrush does.
2. Some tongues deserve extra care
If a tongue hasn’t had much attention, it may be coated and crusty. People who have problems with physical dexterity or rely on others for oral care, are mouth breathers or take medications that dry the mouth may be more likely to have a coated tongue.
If your tongue is too dry and crusty when you scrape it, you risk damaging the tissue. Try brushing it after cleaning your teeth, while the mouth is still moist. You can also cover your tongue with a mouth-moisturizing spray or gel and wait 10 to 15 minutes, then brushing it.
3. Tongues can get cancer
About 2,400 Canadians will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, often only after it’s advanced. That’s because many oral cancers are missed in their early stages. A regular tongue inspection-say, once a week-can help to screen for oral cancer. “Stick your tongue out in the mirror and look around,” says Swan. Check the top, bottom and sides. Look for any skin changes, cuts or white or red patches that aren’t healing after a week or two.
Your dentist or dental hygienist should be examining your tongue during regular appointments, especially if you’re over 40. In a study in India, when tens of thousands of people were screened for mouth cancer, the death rate from this disease dropped by more than a third. If your dental care professional isn’t already giving your tongue a once-over, make a point of asking her to have a look.
4. Tongue jewellery hurts your mouth
Any body piercing carries a risk of infection. But according to the Canadian Dental Association, the risk of infection with tongue piercings is higher because our mouths are already loaded with bacteria. Plus, the metal in tongue jewellery can badly damage your teeth and gums, wearing away enamel, loosening gums and cracking teeth. Even the tongue-piercing procedure itself has been known to damage nerves, cause permanent drooling or alter the sense of taste.
Dentists generally do not encourage tongue piercings. But if you’re keen to go ahead, make sure you use an experienced artist and that you’re well informed about possible complications and how to manage them.
Make your appointment on Dental Endo. We want you to have the best experience during your oral treatment. Just give us a call: 713 572 5005.
With developments in orthodontics in recent years, more and more adults are seeking treatment for oral difficulties they've been experiencing since childhood. There are significant differences between adult orthodontics and that of children and teens, however, it's worth knowing what they are before making a decision to pursue treatment. Here are the key differences between orthodontics for adults and for younger patients:
Adult patients often have conditions younger patients don't often suffer from, such as insufficient bone between the roots for adequate blood supply, mild gingivitis infections and marginal bone loss. The bones are also harder and no longer growing, per the Journal of Oral Health and Community Dentistry, and the aging of tissue often causes them to take longer to adjust to your teeth's new positions. These are known as biomechanical limitations, which can make tooth realignment a more involved process in adults than in younger patients.
Bite Correction Concerns
One of the primary reasons patients require orthodontic treatment is to correct a malocclusion, or improper bite. In an adult patient with a deep overbite, according to Kokich Orthodontics, there is often not enough room in the mouth to create space for the teeth to move back without extracting one or more teeth. By adulthood, a patient might also have worn some of his teeth down, which can make the overbite worse. Orthodontists refer to these problems as perio-restorative issues, and typically focus on making the adult patient's bite functional rather than perfect.
Tooth Extraction Issues
Many adults have had one or more teeth extracted in the past, and this can present a problem for the orthodontist. Old extraction sites may not be suitable locations for teeth to move into, unless these are restored by adding sections of prosthetic bone to the area. Closing gaps between the teeth caused by extractions – and keeping them closed – is also difficult, because adult bone doesn't respond to pressure in the same way as growing bone.
Many orthodontic appliances are bonded to your teeth using dental cement, particularly for less visible options such as lingual braces. This makes it vital for the patient to maintain strict oral hygiene during the process.
Patients undergoing adult orthodontics treatment have a higher risk for root resorption than children. This occurs when your body reabsorbs the root of a tooth, leaving the tooth without anchorage. Factors that play a role in this include family history, oral habits and the type of roots you have, according to Dr. Barry McArdle.
If you are susceptible to root resorption and the treatment causes friction that affects your roots, the teeth may simply become loose and fall out over time. By monitoring your teeth closely, the orthodontist can watch for signs of resorption. But if it isn't caught early, it's generally untreatable.
Adult patients also have a greater risk for temporomandibular disorder (TMD), and symptoms can develop during conventional orthodontic treatment, explains Dr. Duane Keller. It's important for the orthodontist to carefully assess your risk for TMD before recommending personal treatment.
There are a number of psychological and social factors that affect adults interested in treatment. These include higher levels of:
- Treatment expectations
- Concern with appearance
- Discomfort from wearing appliances
- Willingness to cooperate with orthodontic instructions
Adult patients obviously want the best results, in the shortest amount of time and with the lowest level of discomfort or inconvenience. They also want to know more about what the orthodontist is doing and why, and may look for more information about the cost breakdown of each portion of treatment.
With adults now comprising up to 50 percent of patients, some practices are focusing their attention on the specifics of adult orthodontics. If you're considering some corrective treatment, consider the issues that can affect you.
Contact us for your dental care on Dental Endo. Call us at (713) 572-5005 We are members of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, The Greater Houston Dental Society, Hispanic Dental Association and associates members of the American Association of Endodontics.