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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.

Feb
1

ADA Recommends Earlier Fluoride Distribution for Children

When you think about dental hygiene for your kids, are brushing and flossing the only things that come to mind? These two items are highly important to maintain good oral health, but recently, the American Dental Association “recommends earlier fluoride distribution for children,” meaning parents will have to put a tad more effort in caring […]

Jan
25

Three Foods that Keep Your Teeth Healthy

We all know that brushing daily is a must if we want clean teeth and a healthy mouth. But, have you ever wondered what are some of the natural ways you can maintain your oral health? To satisfy your curiosity, here is a list of natural foods that help keep your teeth strong and healthy. […]

Jan
18

Mouth Guards: The Best Way to Save Hundreds on Dental Procedures

It is estimated that 200,000 football mouth injuries are prevented each year through the use of protection. Proper protection gear not only protect you and your loved ones from injury, but also from the cost of the procedures involved in healing in the injury. When it comes to protecting your mouth during physical activity, there […]

Dec
28

How to Brush Your Teeth Properly

Since childhood, we’ve been told that we need to brush our teeth to be healthy by our parents, our doctors, and of course, our dentists. However, what you may not know is that how you brush matters just as much as whether or not you brush at all. Here are the answers to some frequently […]

Dec
21

Four Side Effects to Not Brushing Your Teeth

Dentists around the world encourage brushing your teeth at least twice a day, every day. But why? Aside from the cosmetic perks of brushing your teeth, there are many additional health benefits to keep your pearly whites… well… pearly white! Halitosis Most obviously, brushing your teeth daily wards off halitosis (popularly known as bad breath)! […]

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