Causes, Risk Factors and Complications of Periapical Tooth Abscess

Periapical tooth abscess is quite common dental problem, which occurs due to accumulation of pus (due to bacterial infection) in the periapical area of a tooth. The cause of periapical tooth abscess is bacterial infection of the innermost part of a tooth (and covered by hard part of tooth known as enamel) that is known as pulp of tooth and contain blood vessels, nerve fibers and connective tissue. The infecting bacteria may enter through a dental cavity (common route of entry) or via crack or a chip in the affected tooth and lead in infection of dental pulp, which lead to inflammation and accumulation of pus and swelling in the periapical area of tooth.

What are the risk factors of periapical tooth abscess?

The risk factors include:

  • Poor dental hygiene: this is the most common cause of periapical tooth abscess. If your dental hygiene is poor and you do not take care of your teeth and gums, you are at greater risk of periapical tooth abscess, in compare to a person with good dental hygiene. For proper care of teeth and gums, you need to brush after every meal with suitable tooth brush and floss your teeth daily. If your dental hygiene is poor, it may lead to tooth decay (dental cavity), gum disease, tooth abscess, and other dental and mouth problems. Make it a habit of brushing teeth after every meal.
  • Eating too much sugar: excess sugar and soda in diet for long duration can lead to dental cavity, which is one of the leading cause of periapical tooth abscess.

What are possible complications of periapical tooth abscess?

A periapical tooth abscess will never get cured without treatment and if left untreated, it may lead to complications. Although, sometimes, the abscess may burst/rupture (and there is draining of pus), which provide temporary relief from pain, but still you need treatment for your tooth abscess. If there is not rupture of the tooth abscess, the infection may spread to adjoining areas such as jaw, and nearby areas of head and neck. Eventually if appropriate treatment with appropriate antibiotics and other dental treatment is not initiated, it may lead to development of sepsis, which is presence of bacteria in blood and which is a potentially life-threatening medical condition. If your immunity is not normal (low) the risk of sepsis and other complications from periapical tooth abscess is even higher. Hence, never ignore tooth abscess and do not leave tooth abscess untreated and get treatment done adequately and in time.

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