Soft tissue within the mouth includes the gums, tongue, and interior cheek lining. Infections in and around teeth can cause the soft tissue to swell, which can cause pain and tenderness. There are a couple of common causes of the swelling and each has its own course of treatment. Consult with your dentist about the best course of action for your particular situation.
Infected Tooth: Root Canal Therapy
Dental infections can cause inflammation both within and underneath the tooth. The soft tissue around the base of the tooth can become swollen as the infectious material passes back and forth between the tooth roots and the interior root canal system, which is filled with a nerve and tissue material called pulp. Leaving the infection untreated can cause pulp death, which in turn kills the tooth and can compromise the health of the soft tissue in the area.
Your dentist can treat a dental infection with a root canal therapy procedure. Root canal therapy involves opening a small hole in the tooth with a drill, scraping out any infected pulp material inside the root canal, and then cleaning out the canal with a sterilizing agent. The tooth is then sealed shut with a dental crown.
The soft tissue swelling should go away once the infection is cleared up. If the infection was severe, a pus-filled sac called an abscess could form in the soft tissue. Your dentist will need to lance and drain that sac once the root canal therapy is complete.
Gum Disease: Deep Cleaning
Bacterial infections don't always infect the tooth. Sometimes the bacteria can stay right on the gums and cause a gum disease such as mild gingivitis or the more severe periodontitis. The infection can cause the soft tissue to swell, your gums to bleed while you brush or floss, and can eventually cause the gums to start to form opened pockets as the swelling pulls the gums away from the teeth.
Your dentist can treat gingivitis with a simple deep clean that targets both the teeth and the gum surfaces. If you have periodontitis and gum pockets, the dentist will perform a deeper cleaning called scaling and root planing that includes cleaning inside those pockets. Mild pockets will close on their own once the infection has cleared out. Severe pockets might require gum surgery to pull the tissue back tight to the bottom of the teeth and to shape the tightened gums to the original look.
For root canal therapy, contact a dentist such as Gary B. Wiest, DMD.Share
3 August 2016
I have always brushed and flossed my teeth daily, but I still had the occasional cavity when I visited the dentist for a check-up. He told me it was normal to have a cavity on occasion and that I shouldn't let it stress me out too much. Well, I am not one to just accept any problem I am having, so I started looking into how to improve my oral hygiene even more. I had always thought mouthwash was just to improve your breath, but I found some that said they helped keep cavities away. I started using one every day before bed. I haven't had a cavity in two years now, and I think the mouth rinse is the reason! I created this blog to remind other people that even if they brush and floss regularly, they can always find ways to take even better care of their teeth.