Gingival abscess is the ultimate consequence of neglected gingivitis. In gingivitis, in periodontal pockets between the swollen gums and the base of the tooth a dental plaque is accumulated, as well as the hard substance called the dental calculus.
The plaque contains bacteriae that eventually penetrate into the bone that surrounds and firms the tooth.
The periodontal pockets between the gum and the tooth are gradually deepening. The plaque in the pockets is unpleasant in taste. With the progression of the disease, the teeth become loose, so by tapping them a different sound (than in normal healthy tooth) can be heard. Gradually, more cementum (sensitive tissue that covers the root of the tooth) is exposed. When exposed to hot, very cold or sweet food, cementom can cause a strong pain. Sometimes, deep in the pocket, an abscess that ”penetrates” the jaw is created.
Adults lose more teeth for this disease than from dental caries. According to British statistics, two-thirds of people aged between 16 and 35 suffer from this disease to a greater or lesser extent. Frequency is even greater among middle-aged people.
If you do not pay much attention, you will lose all your teeth and you will need a denture; in that case, you will have problems with the denture. Abscess that spreads also causes problems (see tooth abscess article).
What to do?
The progression of the disease can be stopped long before it reaches large proportions – therefore, go to the dentist if you notice some of the mentioned symptoms. In order to determine the degree of disease, the dentist will usually assess the depth of the pockets and, with X-rays, determine the condition of the bone in which the tooth (or teeth) is located.
Self-help: take care of tooth and gum hygiene.
Professional help: if the disease is in the initial stage, the dentist will be able to suppress it (only if you thoroughly clean your teeth), curing any possible disturbances that result in the formation and retention of plaque plaque on the teeth.
If your pockets are very deep you will need a different treatment, and this is usually a surgical procedure on the gum. For example, gingivectomy – a minor surgery performed in a dental ambulance or dental clinic – removes the part of the gums to reduce the depth of the pockets.
After gingivectomy, the gums are usually protected with clove oil, zinc oxide and wool. The protective layer must remain on the gums for one or two weeks until the gums are cured. With this protection you can eat and drink normally.
Some procedures can also be taken by a dentist in his office. Sensitive tooth parts, that have been exposed due to permanent brush cleaning in only one direction, can be covered with a plastic material which is applied to the tooth to protect the cementum. Very sensitive cementum can be covered with a protective layer of fluoride lacquer, and the dentist can also recommend the toothpaste that will achieve the same goal. Loose teeth can be fixed with a device called a periodontal drip – a plastic or gold base extending along several teeth.