How To Recognize a Tooth Abscess

Analyzing the Abscess

Most people may have experienced a tooth absence. It’s something that’s not forgettable, because most times it can be very painful. An abscess is a pocket of pus, a localized area of dead tissue accumulated after a bacterial infection there. Abscesses can form in many other parts of the body. They are a natural defense mechanism, they block the infection from reaching other sites. It can start like a little pimple.

When you understand tooth abscess symptoms, causes, and seeking professional treatment as soon as possible, there’s a great chance to reduce further infection and complications.

Three Types of Dental Abscess

There are 3 main types of dental abscess. They can be gingival in location, forming on the gum tissue, There’s periodontal abscess, occurring deeper into the gum pockets and if it doesn’t get drained, can spread into the surrounding tissue and jaw bone. Periapical abscess begins as decay in the tooth pulp that goes into the roots and out the root tips. Again unable to drain, it collects at the apices causing encroaching into nearby nerves, vessels and bone.

What causes tooth abscess? Because the mouth naturally harbors bacteria and if oral hygiene is poor or deficient, plaque starts to decay the teeth or gums. Abscess can start with rough toothbrushing, a cracked tooth, food debris stuck between teeth and gums, gingivitis, trauma, and complications from implants, root canal treatment and extractions. Poor oral hygiene is a risk factor, and so is a weakened immune system.

How would you know you’ve got a dental abscess? Pain is a usual initial sign – continuous or throbbing pain, when tooth is tapped, if loose or discolored, when biting or chewing, when there’s hot or cold stimuli. There can be swelling and reddening of the face or gum or bleeding from the gums. Another sign is a foul, bitter taste in the mouth (from draining pus) or a bad smell in the mouth from the infection. Sometimes a dental abscess can already have complications – there can be fever, nausea, headache, diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes, inability to open mouth or to speak, and general fatigue.

Even if the pain is bearable, visit a dentist as soon as possible to avoid further damage and complications, otherwise, seek emergency treatment.

Accessible to Abscess Treatment

Visit us immediately at our downtown Seattle location and talk to Dr. Jaime Lee if you recognize these signs and symptoms of a dental abscess. The condition is quite common and accessible to treatment.

Teeth-Whitening Tips: Dentist-Approved

Whitening Teeth The Safe Way

Teeth-whitening has become one of the most popular, if not the most popular, of cosmetic treatments in the dental office. With the proliferation of teeth-whitening products in the market today, so readily available and highly advertised, most of us are tempted to do our own whitening on our own time. Safety is a prime concern as in-office whitening is not only an aseptic surrounding but measured proportions are used for maximal and the safest results in a time-bound sense.

Some dentists can be forthright in giving helpful tips to help achieve this end, in lieu of in-office whitening, suggesting ways that are both safe and sound. You can ask your own dentist about the best options available. Let your dentist first examine your teeth and provide a tooth color analysis based on your unique situation. If you are well-guided, your home care routine can be as effective as that done in-office.

Upon your dentist’s recommendations, some over-the-counter products can be suitable to your specific needs. Because these products are available in different concentrations, your dentist will tell you which would be appropriate, and that you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions, including their suggested frequencies. Note that some teeth-whitening manufacturers use supposedly natural ingredients – like strawberries, coconut oil and charcoal. They may remove surface stains but will not change tooth color any whiter.

Tooth sensitivity and gum irritation are the two major adverse effects reported with tooth whitening. Whether the treatment is a home remedy or done in-office, consult your dentist when these events happen. If you have sensitive teeth before you start bleaching, your dentist may have to desensitize your teeth for a couple of weeks first.

Teeth-whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes are safe to use as maintenance. And while you are under treatment and immediately after, it is best to avoid high-colored and very acidic foods and drinks. The effects of the treatment can last up to three years. However, over time, discoloration may accumulate slowly. To maintain the whiteness and prevent relapse, touch-ups are recommended.

Opting for Safer and Effective Teeth-Whitening

Know more helpful tips for teeth-whitening from your dentist in Downtown Seattle. Consult with us when you opt for a safer, faster and more effective whitening treatment at Smile Art in Seattle.

Aging Gracefully With Your Teeth and Gums

Oral Changes in The Older Patient

Growing older signals a myriad of changes in your body that one can naturally expect. Many of us observe our thinning hair, fine lines appearing everywhere, not being able to see or read well without glasses, joints becoming stiff, a little memory loss here and there. Your mouth and all its structures undergo simultaneous changes as well, and knowing them should prepare you to better manage oral issues through the years.

While the teeth are some of the strongest structures in the body, they, too, undergo ageing. With constant chewing, biting, gnawing, they will inevitably show signs of wear and tear. Teeth grinding surfaces will smoothen out, flattening with time. The hard outer layer of enamel will thin, and perhaps from time to time you will experience tooth sensitivity. Thinning enamel can make you prone to tooth chipping or breakage, so it is advisable to be conscious when biting on hard foods. Teeth often become darker with age, also due to the loss of enamel.

Teeth, however, become generally less sensitive with age. Nerves found in the root and the gums seem to have more pain tolerance. Might be a good thing, but the situation can lead to cavities forming and other dental issues that can be far gone before detection and more difficult to treat. This makes dental visits more important for them. They may also manifest increased sensitivity to drugs used in dentistry, including local anesthetics and analgesics. Nonetheless, expert dental care can handle these situations.

Gum Health is Important too

The same is true with an older person’s gum health. A mild gingivitis can easily lead to its more severe form – periodontitis – if not treated early. It is more common for older people to have bad breath, bleeding and receding gums, and tooth lost as aftermath of severe gum disease.

Dry mouth is another common symptom of ageing. Mouths often get drier beyond middle age, so drinking plenty of water is helpful to avoid caries and mouth infections. Multiple medications, highly common in the elderly, can cause dry mouth, a side-effect of many drugs. While these are essential for treatment of medical conditions, the older patient must be mindful of keeping the mouth properly hydrated.

Diabetes, hypertension, depression, among others, are common among older folks and have a direct impact on oral health. While good oral hygiene is key, a tandem of doctor and dentist can very well co-manage the patient enjoying a better quality of life while gracefully aging.

Caring for Patients of All Ages in Downtown Seattle

Our team at Smile Art in Seattle understand the oral changes going on in our patients advancing in years. While we provide the same quality of care for all, there are special populations with individualized needs.