Periodontal Abscess: How to Prevent and Heal This Serious Dental Condition

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A dental abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms when an infection spreads to a specific area of the mouth. A periodontal abscess (also known as a lateral abscess) in this context is one that affects the teeth and other bone structures in the mouth. Rapid detection and treatment of periodontal abscesses provide the best chance of complete healing and no long-term problems from infection.

What causes periodontal abscess

The majority of periodontal abscesses are caused by a blockage or obstruction of a periodontal pocket. This can happen for a variety of causes, such as calculus buildup, dislodged calculus during debridement that is pushed into the soft tissues, or a foreign body impaction like dental floss or a toothpick.

Periodontal abscesses are an example of an opportunistic infection. As we know millions of microorganisms live in even healthy lips. This bacteria is capable of causing illness, but it requires a home. Bacteria enter the teeth most easily through microscopic fractures in the teeth.

These cracks could be caused by a number of things, such as

Clenching and grinding the teeth wears down the enamel and can create cracks.
A dental injury can develop cracks or holes in the teeth, allowing germs to enter.
dental Scaling or polishing: Periodontal abscess can occur in teeth that have previously had cavities filled or that have been treated with dental treatment such as a crown.

A weakened immune system might also contribute to a gum abscess since it is unable to fend off infections. Factors that may decrease your body’s defenses include being sleepy, stressed, or having a chronic condition.

Poor dental hygiene is still a significant risk factor for periodontal abscess. Bacteria can accumulate on teeth that are not frequently cleaned and flossed. Increased germs equals more chances of infection.

Types of dental abscess

Tooth abscess

Acute Periodontal abscess: The abscess appears quickly and lasts for a few days or a week. An acute abscess frequently manifests as a rapid start of discomfort while biting and a deep throbbing ache in a tooth that the patient has been clinching. The gingiva becomes large, red, and sensitive. There is no fluctuation or pus discharge in the early stages, but as the disease progresses, pus and discharge from the gingival crevice become visible. There may be associated lymph node hypertrophy.

Chronic periodontal abscess: Chronic abscess grows slowly and lasts for a long period. A bad taste and spontaneous bleeding may accompany pain in the chronic phases. The neighboring tooth is painful to bite on and is occasionally movable. Pus, as well as discharges from the gingival crevice or a sinus in the mucosa overlaying the afflicted root, may be present. Pain is typically mild in severity.

Are periodontal abscesses painful?

According to the length of the infection, pain is categorized as chronic or acute, with various symptoms. Pain, discomfort on palpation, and the appearance of pus are all indications of an acute periodontal abscess. A persistent abscess, on the other hand, is more commonly linked with a sinus tract and moderate or nonexistent pain.

These abscesses can produce continuous, intense discomfort in the afflicted region in chronic circumstances. If you open your mouth and look around, you may detect swelling and redness.

Is periodontal abscess common?

Periodontal abscesses are a common and painful dental emergency caused by bacterial growth or foreign body impaction in periodontal pockets. They impact both individuals with and without active periodontal disease and need both immediate and long-term care.

Periodontal abscesses are the third most prevalent kind of dental emergency, accounting for 6-14% of all dental emergencies.

Periodontal abscesses were the third most common acute orofacial infection (6 to 7%), after periapical abscesses (14 to 25%) and pericoronitis (10 to 11%), according to research conducted across general dentistry offices in the United Kingdom.

Can periodontal abscess spread?

A tooth abscess is treated by your dentist by draining it and removing the infection. A root canal therapy may be able to save your tooth. However, in certain circumstances, the tooth may need to be removed.

If the abscess does not drain properly, the infection may spread to your jaw and other parts of your head and neck. If the tooth is close to the maxillary sinuses, which are two huge areas beneath your eyes and behind your cheekbones, a hole between the tooth abscess and the sinus might form. A sinus infection might result from this. You might even get sepsis, a potentially fatal infection that can spread throughout your body.

Can periodontal abscess kill you?

While it is uncommon, a tooth infection can be fatal. Untreated tooth infections can spread to other tissues in your body and cause potentially life-threatening problems within weeks or months.

It is determined by the severity of the infection. An abscessed tooth can result in

Tooth loss, jaw bone deterioration:

Inflammation of the jaw bone can be caused by swelling inside the jaw bone. This might result in bone death in the affected region. If the bone that surrounds the tooth dies, the tooth loses its support and falls out. If the infection extends to the surrounding bone, the adjacent teeth may be lost.

Sinus involvement

Upper molar roots are frequently seen in the maxillary sinus. Because the sinus is filled with fluid when a tooth abscesses, it can become infected as well. The brain is situated near the tooth roots. Infection from a dental abscess can move to the brain via the veins, resulting in Septicemia or Sepsis.

Heart difficulties

A dental abscess can potentially lead to Endocarditis if left untreated. Endocarditis is an inflammation of the heart’s inner layer. If the germs cling to the interior of the heart and multiply, they can cause permanent cardiac damage. Also, if the germs penetrate the lungs and produce pneumonia, which is a potentially fatal condition.

How tooth abscess is treated

A periodontal abscess is often diagnosed based on the primary complaint and history of the presenting disease, clinical findings, and investigations based on tests.

Periodontal abscess care may be split into three stages: urgent management, initial management, and definitive therapy. Early detection and treatment of a periodontal abscess are critical since it might result in the loss of the afflicted tooth. 

Acute periodontal abscess with or without life-threatening infections requires immediate treatment. Life-threatening infections cause orofacial space infections or diffuse spreading infections (facial cellulites), which necessitate hospitalisation, supportive care, and IV antibiotic therapy. The clinical examination, tests, and early therapy may be postponed depending on the severity of the infection and local signs/symptoms.

In accute abscess Initial therapy is recommended for the management of residual lesion after systemic toxicity treatment.

Initial therapy includes saline or antiseptic irrigation of the abscessed pocket, removal of any foreign bodies, drainage through the pocket with a probe or mild scaling of the tooth surface, compression and debridement of the soft tissue wall, saline irrigation, and oral hygiene recommendations.

In the last stage, treatment is administered following a reassessment after initial therapy to restore function, and aesthetics, and enable the patient to maintain periodontal health in accordance with the patient’s treatment demands.

How to manage abscess at home

  • Consume more fiber foods, citrus (but sweet) fruits, and green leafy vegetables.
  • Rinse your mouth with an alum-water solution.
  • Make it a practice to rinse your mouth after each meal.
  • Increase the number of vitamin-rich foods you consume.

Chew some soft guava leaves.

Guava has a high antioxidant content due to its high vitamin C content. Furthermore, it is known to have antiplaque, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic characteristics that are beneficial in the treatment of periodontitis. Guava leaves’ periodontal health advantages are mostly related to two flavonoids, guaijaverin and quercetin. According to one study, guava leaves may be effective in suppressing the growth of periodontitis-causing bacteria.

Indian gooseberry powder.

Have 1 tablespoon of Indian gooseberry powder with honey in the morning, according to a study pyorrhea symptoms such as bleeding and pus development can be effectively controlled with gooseberry powder. The fruit of Emblica Officinalis has a variety of therapeutic qualities, including cytoprotective, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiresorptive, and anti-inflammatory action.

Gargle with holy basil water.

Boil 6 to 9 basil leaves in water for 10 minutes and gargle with this natural mouthwash at least 3 times a day. According to a study published in 2014 Holy basil helps to disinfect the mouth and cure a variety of periodontal issues caused by an excess of oral bacteria, such as bleeding gums, plaque, toothaches, pus, and gum discomfort.

Guggulu and turmeric

Guggulu and turmeric are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, making them excellent for compression and weak gums. Make a homogeneous combination of these, add a few drops of tea tree oil, and apply them to natural cloth strips. Attach them to the gums and allow for around 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

Chew Neem or Babool twigs.

Ayurveda suggests chewing sticks in the morning and after each meal to prevent gum loosening. Ayurveda requires the usage of herbal brushes that are nine inches long and the thickness of a little finger. The flavor of these herb sticks should be “kashaya” (astringent), “katu” (acrid), or “tikta” (bitter). To use, crush one end, chew it, and gently allow the herb liquid soak into the mouth.


We believe nature has provided all the health-related solutions to us and our ancestors knew about them. At rustic fix, we are revisiting our rural solutions, we break health myths & share natural ways to handle lifestyle problems.

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