Tooth abscess – what is it, why is it dangerous, how to treat a pus

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The infection causes an inflammatory process in the soft and hard tissues. If not treated adequately and under the influence of high temperatures (especially with hot drinkers or in the summer heat), a tooth abscess is likely. To avoid complications, it is important to see a doctor in time.

What is an abscess

Dental abscess – Acute inflammation in the tooth root area with subsequent suppuration accompanied by severe throbbing pain.

It is not only dangerous for the affected tooth, but also for the body as a whole. It is possible when the pus bursts, the infection enters the bloodstream and begins sepsis.

Symptoms of a tooth abscess

The inflammatory process in the tissues of the tooth and gum proceeds in stages, accompanied by different symptoms:

  • Discomfort, mild swelling, possible gingival bleeding during tooth brushing, sensitive soreness on pressure.
  • In later stages, swelling increases, there is a reaction to hot and cold food. Long-lasting pain and an unpleasant odor occur. In addition to local changes, the abscess is accompanied by an increase in lymph nodes in the neck, an increase in body temperature, general malaise.

A bitter aftertaste is palpable in the mouth, and the tooth body may change its color. It is important to remember: the symptoms of a gum abscess can manifest themselves differently – Everyone has a different threshold of pain sensitivity, perceives signals subjectively. Therefore, you should not wait for an acute condition, a prudent step – Visit a dental clinic at the first unexplained sensations.

What may be the complications

Even if the pain is dulled and symptoms are less severe, do not postpone going to the dentist. Such a situation can be a signal that the root is dying off and further spreading the infection to the organs of the head or neck.

Do not heat the area. This approach will bring short-term relief, but will accelerate fistula formation and stimulate the release of pus.

Possible serious complications: brain inflammation, pneumonia. Risk of sepsis, osteomyelitis, damage to the sinuses or brain membranes.

Causes of dental inflammation

The main causes that cause an abscess of the gum of the tooth, infection of the pulp:

  • Advanced tooth decay with lesions of the root apex. Inflammation develops against the background of periodontitis.
  • Untreated gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease). Often develops as a post-traumatic complication: pathogenic microflora accumulates in the periodontal pockets.
  • Weakened immunity after diseases (flu, sore throat, others).
  • Iatrogenic factors – Bacteria got in after using non-sterile instruments during treatment, injections, improper tooth extraction.

The development of the inflammatory process may be preceded by damage to the oral mucosa, the formation of boils.

Examples of work:

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Types and treatment of abscess

The nature of treatment depends on the cause of the gum inflammation, the size of the pus, its localization. The extraction of a unit is very rare today – Only in cases when it is too late to address the problem and the tooth can no longer be saved. Exception – Baby teeth, recent «Wise» Molars. After the surgery, the hole is cleaned and disinfected, and the healing process is monitored.

When choosing the method of intervention, the type of inflammation is taken into account. Distinguished:

  • Periodontal abscess . Develops in the pulp of the tooth, spreads to nearby areas. The goal of the dentist – Save the dental unit and restore the dental tissues. After cleaning, the canals are treated with modern antibacterial and antiseptic compositions to prevent reinfection. Only after that, a filling is made.
  • Periapical abscess . Pockets between the teeth and gums allow pathogenic microflora to multiply. A pus is formed, which is treated by opening, removing the contents. The pocket is cleaned and disinfected to prevent a recurrence.

Opening of the abscess with appropriate anesthesia – A small incision is made, pus is cleaned and the wound is rinsed with antiseptics. In case of severe suppuration, drainage of the mass is necessary, recovery therapy is required. Antibiotics, analgesics can be taken in parallel, under the doctor’s control, according to the doctor’s prescription. A comprehensive approach is important if the gum hurts and inflammation is detected.

Stages of treatment of a tooth abscess:

  • Make an appointment.
  • Diagnostics, X-ray examination to locate the nidus.
  • Formulation of a treatment plan, performance of procedures without pain under anesthesia.

Next, the doctor appoints the time of the visit for examination. And the patient will have healthy teeth and gums after healing. In general, the treatment of a gingival abscess consists of ensuring the outflow of purulent substance, eliminating the source of infection.

Abscess prevention

Tooth and gum inflammation – direct consequence of untimely treatment, delayed visit to the doctor. Therefore, the best way to prevent the disease – Pay attention to all daily hygiene procedures, professional cleaning at the dentist’s office and visit the dentist for preventive examinations once every six months.

Rational nutrition, avoiding bad habits, taking nutritional supplements of good quality are also important. Keep your smile beautiful and be healthy.

Antibiotics and COVID-19

Antibiotics for COVID-19: An easy way to hurt yourself

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Antibiotics and COVID-19

Antibiotics work only against bacteria, not viruses. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, and therefore antibiotics should not be used for prevention or treatment. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters#virus

Patients are often asked to prescribe some kind of “magic pill” that will cure them of coronavirus infection. And when the doctor refuses to write a prescription for them: they show articles in the media written by so-called “specialists” – about what should be treated. Or they tell the stories of relatives and friends who allegedly recovered thanks to one or another magic pill.

Very often antibiotics pretend to be a “magic pill”. In the minds of patients, these are medicines that help almost everything: a runny nose, pain, bring down the temperature, and so on.

At the same time, the purpose of antibiotics is to kill bacteria that are the cause of a particular disease. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses at all, so it is simply impossible to cure COVID-19 with them. Just as there is no point in treating flu, measles, chickenpox, viral hepatitis or any other viral diseases with them.

Coronavirus belongs to the category of acute respiratory infections and, in treatment, requires only auxiliary agents, and not the use of potent drugs (hormonal and antibiotics). Side effects can even be fatal!

Pneumonia is different

In part, patients are misled by the diagnosis of pneumonia, which often occurs as a complication of COVID-19. If we talk about ordinary pneumonia, then it is not only possible, but also necessary to be treated with antibiotics, because it is caused by pneumococci and some other bacteria. But there are pneumonias that are called atypical because they are caused by other pathogens – for example, the influenza virus or SARS-CoV-2 and other microorganisms.

The overwhelming majority of patients do not know how to distinguish such pneumonias from “common” ones, how they develop and how they should be treated. But it should be admitted that not all doctors are good at doing this.

“Patients often prescribe computed tomography for themselves. At the onset of the disease, they see that 10% of their lungs are affected, and therefore prescribe antibiotics for themselves. A few weeks later, CT shows that 25% of the lungs are already affected. “So, we need more antibiotics,” the patient believes and continues to self-medicate, ”says the independent doctor.

According to the doctor, such patients, after taking two or three types of antibiotics that could not help, are often diagnosed with drug-induced hepatitis. That is, one more problem is added to the problems that have already existed.

It makes them stronger.

But misuse of antibiotics has far worse consequences than drug-induced hepatitis and other complications. It is about antibiotic resistance. In simple terms, among bacteria well known to us, there are strains (varieties) that are insensitive to antibiotics, with which they were successfully treated before. Sometimes this means that they are not affected by any of the known antibiotics.

Already, at least 700,000 people worldwide die from diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year. We are not talking about some exotic diagnoses, but about well-known tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections, the same pneumonia and the like.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are projected to kill 10 million people every year by 2050. WHO considers the problem of antimicrobial resistance (which includes antibiotics) as one of ten global health threats.

Our misconceptions

Several years ago, commissioned by WHO, a study was conducted in several countries to find out how well people understand what antibiotic resistance is.

64% of study participants believe that colds and flu can be treated with antibiotics (although these are viral diseases).

Almost a third of people believe that if they feel better after taking antibiotics for a few days, then treatment should be stopped. But this is how we “select” resistant bacteria that are least vulnerable to antibiotics.

And another two-thirds of the respondents believe that people who take antibiotics correctly do not face the problem of antibiotic resistance.

But this is a dangerous delusion. The fact is that resistance is not something that arises in the body of a person, but something that characterizes bacteria. If such bacteria have arisen in the body of one person, then another person can become infected with them, who did not violate any doctor’s prescriptions.

In other words, whether or not to take antibiotics and how to take them is by no means “everyone’s personal business.” If we do not change our practice of using antibiotics, then the world will go back a hundred years – to the period when people were dying from common pneumonia and other diseases caused by bacteria.

Science will save us, but not soon

Is it possible to somehow avoid such a prospect?

The study just mentioned found that 64% of participants believe that doctors will solve the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria before it gets too serious.

The truth is that humanity really needs new antibiotics, without which it will not be possible to defeat resistant bacteria. But, according to the WHO, among the antibiotics that pharmaceutical companies are developing today, very few are truly innovative. Most of them differ little from those already on the market.

True, drugs are at the stage of preclinical trials, on which great hopes are pinned. But even in the best case, the first of them will be available to patients in about 10 years. This means that scientists and doctors themselves will not solve this problem.

How everyone can contain resistant bacteria

Much depends on how responsibly each of us treats the use of antibiotics.

In particular, WHO recommends that the following rules be followed:

  • take antibiotics only if prescribed by a qualified doctor;
  • never demand antibiotics from the doctor if he says that this time they are not needed;
  • always follow your doctor’s recommendations for antibiotic use; in particular, this means that the course of treatment should last no less and no longer than prescribed by the doctor;
  • you cannot transfer your antibiotics for use to other people for whom they are not prescribed by a doctor.

There are other important rules that do not apply to taking antibiotics, but help prevent the emergence of resistant bacteria. They are designed to protect against bacterial infections – so that the need for antibiotics does not even arise. These recommendations include regular hand washing, safe sex, and timely vaccinations to prevent diseases, including bacterial ones.