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A dental abscess is a localized, circumscribed purulent area of inflammation in the tissues surrounding the teeth.

There are three types of dental abscesses:

  •        Gingival
  •        Periodontal
  •        Periapical

These dental abscesses may resemble each other from a clinical standpoint, differ only in point of origin and the specific path of infection.

Gingival abscess:

It develops through a break as the gingival tissue surface as a result of an acute injury or localized infection of the gum. It is a response to irritation caused by foreign materials such as toothbrush bristles and toothpicks being forced into the gum it can also develop as a result of food impaction, poor oral hygiene, dental treatment or a localized infection of the gingival (gum).

dental abscess

In its beginning, stages the abscess will appear as a localized area of swelling, with a red, smooth surface through a fistulous tract. Gingival abscesses are usually confined to the marginal gum or interdental papilla. The gingival abscess is treatable by the use of antibiotics and incision to permit drainage.

Periodontal abscess:

It is confined to periodontal tissues. It may be acute or chronic.

The symptoms of a periodontal abscess include:

  • Surrounding gingivae is enlarged, red, tender, and painful with smooth shiny
  • surface.
  • There may be an increase in tooth mobility.
  • The tooth is sensitive to percussion.
  •  Pus may be discharged from the opening of the socket.
  • Systemic effects such as malaise, fever and node swelling. Face and lip may be swollen.
  • Dull, throbbing pain is present.

Periapical abscess:

  • It is associated with the apex of the tooth. A periapical abscess is characterized by abscess surrounding the apex of the tooth.

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