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How Does Bacteria Cause an Infection in the Mouth? From Plaque to Abscess

Posted by: Dr. Sirakian     Categories: Uncategorized

Plaque to abscess

Serious dental infections all start simply enough, bacteria lands on some food stuck to a tooth and starts eating. As the bacteria replicate they start forming a biofilm, a layer of bacteria, that we know as dental plaque.

As the bacteria continue to feast, they start producing acid as a byproduct. This acid starts eroding the outer layer of the tooth – the enamel. But the erosion doesn’t stop there. Once they break through the enamel they make their way through the second level of the tooth – the dentin.

After eating their way through the two layers of the tooth, the bacteria finally reach the center – the pulp. In the pulp the bacteria and the toxins they produce create a condition called pulpitis. At this point, left untreated, the pulp would need to be removed in a root canal procedure in order to save the tooth.

If a root canal is not used in order to save the tooth, the tooth will eventually reach a state of necrosis, essentially meaning that the tooth is now dead and beyond saving. At this point if the tooth is not pulled, the site of the dead tooth can be a source of infection. The body’s immune system will react against the bacteria trying to stop the spread. The result of the body’s reaction is an abscess full of pus.

This journey is a messy affair, but with regular dental visits you should be able to stop the damage before the abscess forms.

Sep
24

What Are Periodontal Pockets and Can You Keep Your Phone In One?

We’ll start off by making it clear that, no, you can’t keep anything in your periodontal pockets. In fact, the smaller they are the better. You may not notice it, but your gums are not completely attached to your teeth at the gum line. At first there’s actually a small gap between the tooth and […]

Sep
11

3 Signs Your Enamel May Be Eroding

As you may already know, enamel is the hard substance that makes up the surface of the tooth. This surface can erode if someone has an acidic mouth, grinds their teeth, or brushes too hard. But how would you even know if your teeth are eroding? Luckily there are several signs that can indicate that […]

Sep
3

What causes a gummy smile?

While a gummy smile can just be a result of having too much gums, there are a few other issues that could be going on that make a person’s smile appear gummy, such as: Improperly erupted teeth – If someone’s teeth erupt improperly, they could end up with only part of their teeth showing while […]

Aug
27

Can Dental Implants Get Diseased?

If you think that dental implants and crowns can’t get diseased, then you’d be right. Titanium implants and ceramic crowns can’t develop infections like in the same manner as regular teeth, but the bone and gums around them sure can. These diseases occur when bacteria latch onto the dental implant or base of the crown […]

Aug
19

5 Badass Dentists in History

There are some historical badasses, some of which you may have even heard of, that also happened to be dentists. We’ll start with the most famous and work our way down. Paul Revere – This Patriot that played some key roles in the American Revolution was also a dentist for a short period of time. […]

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