Stages of Tooth Abscess:
Understanding the exact infection stage can help to deal with the tooth abscess effectively. Let us see a detailed description and stages of tooth abscess here.
Tooth is a calcified structure which contains three layers – enamel, dentin and pulp. Enamel is the hardest and protective layer surrounding the tooth. Beneath the enamel, dentin consists of living tissue and tubules which communicate with the teeth nerve. Pulp is the innermost layer of the tooth which contains nerves, blood vessels and pulp cells.
Stage 1 – (Enamel Decay): Though enamel is the hardest part of the tooth, it can chip, crack and wear away. Accidents, acid refluxes, excessive soft drink consumption and alcohol consumption can lead to enamel erosion. When food particles or foreign substances enter in to the enamel, cavity is informed. You can observe discoloration of the tooth in this stage. Proper hygiene, balanced diet and topical healing applications can help you restore to tooth.
Stage 2 – (Dentin Decay): The cavity tunnels its way in to the tooth and reach the inner dentine layer. At this level, tooth becomes sensitive to the cold and hot temperatures. At this stage doctor suggests restoration that includes drilling, cleaning and filling with composite.
Stage 3 – (Pulp Decay): Further to the dentin layer, the cavity now reaches its way into the pulp causing infection. The blood vessels, nerves and pulp cells slowly die. In this stage the pain becomes severe and constant. At this stage doctor suggests a root canal treatment.
Stage 4 – (Infected Pulp or Tooth Abscess): When the pulp is completely destroyed, the body defense mechanism develops pus to trap the infection from spreading into the blood stream. This pus filled swelling is referred as tooth abscess. The pain becomes severe and you can observe swelling and redness on the jaw and neck. At this stage a dentist recommends a tooth extraction.
If tooth abscess is neglected or ignored, the infection spreads to the bone and jaw which can cause serious life threatening complications.
Preventing Tooth Decay with Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is the first defense you can create to prevent tooth decay. A regular dental routine to maintain a good oral hygiene includes brushing, flossing and rinsing. Apart from dental routine, it is also important to choose toothpaste with some natural ingredients.
Brushing: It is recommended to brush twice in day (in the morning and night) for 2 minutes. Below are few tips you should follow while brushing.
- It is recommended to use a tooth brush with soft bristles. Brushing with hard bristles can lead to enamel erosion.
- It is very important to change your tooth brush once in 2 – 3 months as they wear out quickly and become less effective in removing tartar or plague on the teeth.
- Brushing your teeth in circular motions is the best cleaning practice which ensures maximum clean up.
- On an average, tooth decay is mostly observed in molars (grinding teeth) so clean them with extra care.
- Don’t consume anything till 30 minutes after brushing.
- Don’t brush immediately after consuming carbonated drinks because the alkaline level in the mouth will be increased. The saliva needs sometime to reduce the alkaline level, so it better brush after 30 minutes of consumption.
- Brushing your tongue not only refreshes your breath but also cleans the bacteria present on it.
- It doesn’t really matter whether you use a manual or electric tooth brush. Depending on your convenience you can use any of the two.
Flossing: Flossing is an important regimen of oral hygiene. It helps in removing the food particles and plague under the gum line and between your teeth. It is advised to floss your teeth at least once in a day ideally night time. Below is the detailed description of how to floss your teeth.
- Use about 18 inches of floss.
- Slide the floss gently in the area between teeth and gum.
- Gently stroke 8 to 10 times, up and down to dislodge the food and plaque.
- Avoid snapping the floss in between the gums.
If you have teeth very close to each other and find it difficult to slide the dental floss or not fan of dental flossing then you can use interdental brushes.
Mouth Rinse –
Rinsing will help you remove food particles and debris from your mouth. Yet it is not alternative for brushing and flossing. There are many mouthwash products available in the market. It is good to choose alcohol free mouthwash with fluoride. If you want to avoid chemicals based mouthwashes then salt water is the perfect, safe and most effective alternative. Apart from rinsing, salt water also heals sore throat and gum sores.
How Does Weak Immune System Result Tooth Decay
An imbalance in hormones leads to a weak immune system. When the endocrine glands (hormone secreting glands) function improperly, hormone gets imbalanced. Due to improper diet, stressful lifestyles and less physical exercise will make endocrine glands function inappropriately. Understand which foods affect the functioning of endocrine glands. Below is the detailed description of which glands and how they affect tooth decay.
Pituitary Gland: Pituitary gland is also known as master gland, has two sections – anterior pituitary gland and posterior pituitary gland. The main role of posterior pituitary gland is to work with pancreas to control blood sugar. Imbalanced blood sugar levels can lead to tooth decay. If the posterior pituitary gland cannot regulate blood sugar properly, an imbalance takes place and phosphorous will be pulled out from bones and teeth. The main reason behind the imbalance in functioning of posterior pituitary gland is white sugar. The posterior pituitary gland can be brought back to normal by reducing sugar consumption.
Thyroid Gland: The thyroid gland works with anterior pituitary gland to maintain the calcium levels in the blood. If it does not work properly then blood calcium levels get imbalanced. To maintain the balance, calcium from boned and teeth are drawn out which leaves them weak.
Sex Glands: When testosterone and estrogen levels increase, phosphorous levels in the blood also increase. This results in inflamed gums.
Hypothalamus: Hypothalamus works with parotid gland (largest salivary gland present in the jaw). When hypothalamus communicates with parotid gland, it generates parotid hormone. This parotid hormone triggers a moment mineral rich fluid. This mineral rich fluid is transported to teeth through dental lymph (microscopic channels) in our teeth. This mineral rich fluid is responsible for remineralization of the tooth. Remineralization makes teeth stay strong and defend it from external damaging properties. If the hypothalamus stops signaling parotid gland to release the hormone, the mineral rich fluid will not generated and transported to the teeth. Over the time, teeth get weak and lose its capacity to defend itself, thus leads to tooth decay.
Glands can be brought to proper health by consuming proper diet. With proper working glands, one can even reverse tooth decay.
This Guest Post credit goes to Greenvale Dental Group. They are Greenvale VIC based dental group who are committed to providing an affordable, positive dental experience for ALL age groups.