About Me

Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

My intense love for candy, cakes, and everything in between started as a child. I simply couldn't go one day without something sweet to eat. But my love for all things sweet took a toll on my teeth. My dentist diagnosed me with seven cavities, each one a different size and depth. After sitting through four long dental appointments, I decided to make a change. I now monitor my diet and only eat things that benefit my oral health. I'm here to help you take better care of your teeth. My blog offers tips on how to improve your diet, maintain good oral hygiene, and many other topics. Hopefully, you can learn to overcome your bad habits just as I did. Good luck with your future dental health.


Latest Posts

Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

Dental Abscesses: Types, Symptoms, And Treatment

by Eric Bailey

A dental abscess is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss, sinusitis, and more dangerous problems. Because of this, it is important to pay attention to the signs and symptoms of a dental abscess so you can have it treated as soon as possible. Here is some information about dental abscesses to help you be more prepared if you ever face this dental problem.

Types of Dental Abscesses

Dental abscesses are classified based on where the bacterial infection originated in or around your tooth. The most common type is a periapical abscess, where the infection begins in the pulp of the tooth. Periapical abscesses occur when severe cavities or a failed root canal allow bacteria to access the tooth pulp.

Dental abscesses that originate in the periodontal ligament, cementum, or other supporting tissues of a tooth are known as periodontal abscesses. While a periapical abscess normally kills the affected tooth by destroying the pulp, teeth suffering from periodontal abscesses are typically still alive and easier to save.

Signs and Symptoms

In most cases, the most noticeable symptom of a dental abscess will be sudden, intense pain. The pain may be localized to the affected tooth in the early stages of the abscess, but over time may spread to the jawbone, ear, and even the neck. You will likely find that the pain is worse when you touch the tooth or bite down, and will have greater sensitivity to hot and cold foods.

In addition to pain, you may notice a foul taste in your mouth, or may experience halitosis (bad breath). In advanced cases, you may develop a fever and suffer from full-body aches and pains. If at all possible, you should see your dentist such as Milan Simanek DDS before the infection progresses to this stage.

Home Remedies and Pain Management

Even though you should consider an abscess a dental emergency, you may not always be able to see a dentist as soon as the pain starts. There are a few common home remedies that you can use to manage your symptoms until you can have the abscess professionally treated.

Over-the-counter pain medications can provide limited relief from dental abscess pain, but you will usually fare better by using methods that soothe the tooth directly. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can dull pain, and can also rinse out pus if a sore around the abscess bursts. You can also try applying clove oil or a topical ointment to the tooth to reduce sensitivity.


The dentist will use different methods to treat your dental abscess depending on whether it is a periapical abscess or a periodontal abscess. In both cases, he will first use a local anesthetic to numb the area. For periapical abscesses, the dentist will perform a root canal to remove infection and dead pulp. The dentist will then refill the tooth with gutta-percha, a rubbery, bacteria-resistant material that will reduce the chance of a future infection.

For periodontal abscesses, the dentist will make a small incision in the gums to drain the pus from the abscess. After the pocket is free of pus, the dentist will use metal tools to scale and plane the root of the tooth to remove bacteria that is clinging to the root.

If these initial surgeries are not effective and the abscess returns, the dentist will schedule an appointment for you with an oral surgeon. The surgeon will extract the affected tooth, and may also reshape the gum or remove the dental socket in the case of a periodontal abscess.

Dental abscesses can be dangerous if left to develop, but are easily treated if you see a dentist in a timely manner. If you have sudden, severe tooth pain and you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, consider seeing a 24-hour dentist if your family dentist is out of office.