What is a Gum Abscess?
Did you wake up to find a small pocket of pus growing on your swollen gums? If so, there’s a high chance you might have developed a gum abscess. Fear not, though, because although it might look terrifying, it’s not life-threatening. Nonetheless, in some cases, an abscess that has been festering for too long can become a dental emergency.
A gum abscess is usually formed when your tooth begins to rot. It’s more of a side effect of tooth decay than a serious case of oral complication. However, that isn’t to say that the gum abscess stages aren’t painful in nature.
A Gum Abscess is also known as Periodontal Abscess. You can easily detect them due to their round shape. Plus, it’s pretty hard not to notice when your gums are all red and swollen.
What Causes a Gum Abscess?
There are more than a few causes that can trigger an abscess to pop up on your gums. Mostly though, gum abscesses form due to an underlying gum disease, which can lead to your gums separating from the roots of your teeth. As a result, bacteria can nestle into these openings and grow over time. To protect the rest of your mouth, the affected area increases in size and causes swelling. This way, the bacteria doesn’t spread further along. Nonetheless, here are some of the common reasons your gums can become abscessed:
- Neglecting Oral Hygiene
- Weak Immune System
- Decaying Tooth
- Wisdom Tooth Halfway out
- Underlying Health Issues
Gum Abscess Stages
Believe it or not, an abscess doesn’t just evolve overnight. It actually builds up over time by finding openings between your gums and creating a new home for itself. These are the stages a gum abscess goes through to fully develop:
Stage One: Plaque Buildup
Due to poor oral health, plaque and tartar can find a way to settle between your teeth. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that coats your mouth. The only way you can clean it out is when you brush or floss your teeth. So when left unattended, it can cause the bacteria to grow and get stronger.
Stage Two: Bacteria Finds an Opening
If left for too long, the bacteria in your mouth will find small openings to settle down in. This can be due to weakened gums or an untreated cavity in a tooth.
Stage Three: Bacteria Multiplies
Once the bacteria finds its home, the next step is to multiply. It grows in number and steadily tries to expand its reach. This is what causes the base for pus to evolve.
Stage Four: Body’s Response
As a crisis control, your body instantly sends its fighter cells to combat the bacteria. However, these fighter cells create a barrier to keep things in control, so everything stays in place. This is essentially what causes the swelling and tenderness in your gums.
Stage Five: Abscess Formation
The last stage is when everything gets contained in the shape of an abscess on your gums. By this time, the pus accumulated inside the abscess begins to grow. This is a sign to get the abscess professionally drained once and for all.
How to Prevent a Gum Abscess?
If you want to keep your gums safe from bacteria and abscess formation, then make sure you maintain good dental hygiene. Brush your teeth two times every day and floss in-between every meal. Take pain relief medication if the gum abscess stage is in its initial phase and if it’s nothing bigger than a tiny bump. Lastly, in the case that your gums get stretched out in the process and pull away from your teeth, you can schedule an appointment with Cinco Ranch Family Dentistry for a Gum Reduction Treatment. Just dial (281)-407-5442, and we’ll be there with you every step of the way.