A tooth abscess is a potentially serious and severe infection which generally results from untreated tooth decay. Your mouth is full of many types of bacteria. When a tooth becomes abscessed, the pulp beneath the tooth is infected. The abscess usually fills with pus and can become quite painful. As with any infection in your body, a common symptom is a general malaise or feeling unwell. The abscess will most likely need to be drained and antibiotics administered in an attempt to save your tooth. In some cases, this won’t be possible. Test your knowledge on abscesses with a true or false quiz.
Q1. True or false – Dental abscesses only involve a tooth but no other tissues.
Q2. True or false – P. Gingivalis is the clinical name for the bacteria which cause cavities.
Q3. True or false – A dental abscess can begin as an injured tooth.
A1. FALSE – There are several different types of dental abscesses. Your face, mouth, throat, and jaw, can all be severely infected from what begins as simple tooth decay. When the infection from an abscess is allowed to progress without treatment, you are at risk for swelling in other areas which could possibly even make it difficult to breathe. This is why dentists recommend regular six month checkups, so cavities can be caught early and you can avoid this level of infection.
A2. FALSE – Streptococcus mutans is actually the name of the bacteria which cause tooth decay. When S. mutans are given regular diet of sugar through a poor diet, lactic acid is produced from the germ’s digestion. This acid will soften your tooth enamel and leave you vulnerable to cavities. Once you have tooth decay, you need to get checked by a dentist swiftly so you won’t become in danger of an abscess over time.
A3. TRUE – While many abscesses do result from decay, if you sustain a dental injury and end up with a chipped, broken, or cracked tooth, you are also at risk for exposing the roots of your teeth to infection. Think of traumatic dental injuries as being equivalent to tooth decay. A damaged tooth which does not receive examination and possible treatment can result in a dangerous abscess.
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Are you in need of any comprehensive dentistry services? Whether you live or work in West Allis or the general Milwaukee area, please contact us today at (414) 292-9744 to get started toward better oral health, teeth that feel great, and a super smile!