Anyone can develop a dental abscess, but certain factors can increase the risk. These include:
- Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing your teeth twice a day and not flossing regularly can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and dental abscesses.
- Consuming lots of sugar: Frequently eating and drinking foods rich in sugar, such as sweets and sodas, can contribute to dental cavities and abscesses.
- Lack of fluoridated drinking water: Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth.
- Previous dental work: Sometimes, dental work can inadvertently lead to an abscess. For instance, if a dental filling or crown is not fitted properly, bacteria can accumulate underneath and cause an infection.
- A weakened immune system: People with certain medical conditions that weaken the immune system (such as diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS) or those taking certain medications are more susceptible to infections, including dental abscesses.
- Tobacco use: Smoking or using chewing tobacco can affect your body’s ability to fight off infections, including those in the mouth.
It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and have regular dental check-ups to reduce the risk of developing a dental abscess.