A gum abscess is simply infected tissues in the gums. There are good and bad bacteria that reside in the mouth and gums. If the harmful bacteria build up, they create tartar and plaque, causing tooth decay.

In addition, harmful bacteria can cause an infection if they find their way into an open tissue. When this happens, the body fights back by sending white blood cells, which cause swelling as it tries to eliminate the bacteria. The reaction results in a swollen, painful pocket of pus called an abscess.

Types of Gum Abscess

There’re two types of gum abscesses:

Gingival abscesses. These solely occur in the gum tissue and don’t touch the teeth.

Periodontal abscesses. These occur in the spaces between the gums and the teeth. Although common in people with periodontal disease, this abscess may develop due to food sticking between the gums and teeth.

Symptoms of Gum Abscess

Gum abscesses are known to cause pain and swelling. In addition, you may also notice a bulge or lump around the affected area that causes pressure and pain.

Other symptoms include bad breath, bleeding gums, gum and teeth sensitivity, a bad taste in the mouth, pus discharge, receding gum line, and fever.

Causes of Gum Abscess

As we’ve aforementioned, gum abscesses are caused by a buildup of harmful bacteria in an open tissue between the gums and the teeth. So, what causes bacterial infection to occur?

· Periodontitis and poor oral hygiene. Gum abscesses tend to be more common in people with poor oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene is linked to periodontal gum disease, which often creates open tissues in the mouth where bacteria can live and multiply, potentially resulting in abscesses. Other factors that can cause periodontal disease include diabetes, hepatitis C, hormonal changes in women, genetics, heart diseases, arthritis, obesity, and some medications

· A weak immune system may also cause gum abscesses as the body will have difficulty fighting off infections. People living with chronic conditions such as HIV may have difficulty fighting off bacteria that cause abscesses.

How to Treat Gum Abscess

There’re several ways of treating gum abscesses:

Dental procedures

A dentist can drain the abscess and remove the contaminants that cause the situation to worsen. The dentist may also recommend you undergo a specialized cleaning procedure to help remove tartar and plaque buildup. After the procedure, your dentist may order an X-ray to confirm the abscess has not caused a breakdown of the bone. If there’s severe bone loss, the dentist may recommend you undergo a bone repair procedure.

When gum abscesses have affected the tooth’s inner pulp, you may need a root canal or even extraction of the tooth next to the abscess.

Using antibiotics

Your dentist may also recommend medication using antibiotics to treat gum abscesses. Oral antibiotics kill harmful bacteria, preventing the infection from spreading to other parts. Remember that antibiotics will not cure gum abscesses – they’ll just be meant to prevent re-infecting the area and reduce pain and swelling.

When Should You See a Dentist?

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. The affected tooth area will need thorough treatment that involves draining the pocket pus and administering antibiotics.

We would happily assist you if you’d love to see a dentist. Give HPS Dental a call today! We are located in Shelby Township, Michigan, and can be reached at 248-652-0024. We hope to hear from you soon!