Tooth swelling, often referred to as tooth abscess, is an indication of inner infection of the tissues in your teeth. Tooth swelling results from an infection of the areas around the root of the tooth or the root itself. The swelling occurs when there is damage to the tooth pulp, a soft tissue located in the root canal.
A tooth abscess is easy to identify because the inflammation of the pulp cavity leads to swelling of the gum tissue at the base of the affected tooth. The gum tissue is the visible pink tissue lining the base of your teeth. Upon damage, the inner pulp tissue swells and causes the gum tissue at the base of the tooth to expand.
The swollen gum tissue may be painful or painless. However, you should see a dentist as soon as you notice any swelling.
What causes tooth swelling?
There are several risk factors that increase the chances of suffering from tooth swelling. The first one is tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the tip of the tooth is eaten away by bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria form a thin destructive film called plaque and they often originate from what you eat and drink.
Tooth decay creates a hole in the tip of the teeth, and the hole extends beyond the white tip exposing the inner tissues such as the pulp cavity. As the inner tissues become exposed, there is a risk of bacterial infection that can cause tooth swelling.
Furthermore, other tooth infections can also lead tooth swelling. A good example is periodontal disease, which damages the gum tissue and exposes the inner tissues of the tooth. This elevates the risk of tooth swelling. In addition, physical damage to the teeth, such as those caused by accidental hits, can also lead to tooth swelling.
How can you be treated?
In case you develop a tooth abscess, a root canal procedure can be performed to restore the normal functioning and condition of the tooth.
The root canal procedure is performed because of the damaged pulp cavity or nerves in the tooth. During the procedure, the dentist removes the infected pulp cavity, cleans the cavity, and seals it temporarily to allow healing. After the first session, you will visit the dentist again after a few days for tooth crowning. Here, the dentist fits a protective layer over the tooth to enable it to function like the other teeth.
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