Clearing of Infections
An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. It’s most commonly caused by severe tooth decay. Other causes of tooth abscess are trauma to the tooth, such as when it is broken or chipped, and gingivitis or gum disease.
These problems can cause openings in the tooth enamel, which allows bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (called the pulp). The infection may also spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth.
To eliminate infection, the abscess may need to be drained. Achieving drainage may be done through the tooth by a procedure known as a root canal. The tooth may also be extracted, allowing drainage through the socket. Finally, a third way to drain the abscess would be by incision into the swollen gum tissue.
Antibiotics are prescribed to help fight the infection. To relieve the pain and discomfort associated with an abscessed tooth, warm salt-water rinses and over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) can be used.