A periodontal abscess (fig. 5-10) usually results
from long-continued irritation by food debris, plaque,
deep deposits of calculus, or foreign objects such as a
toothbrush bristle or popcorn husk being tightly
packed in the interproximal spaces or within the walls
of a pocket. The gingiva surrounding the area becomes
inflamed and swollen.
Pericoronitis is an inflammation of the gingiva
around a partially erupted tooth. The mandibular third
molars are most often affected, although any erupting
tooth may be involved. In the mouth of a young adult,
part of a tooth can be seen projecting through the
gingiva, usually distal to the second molar. The
surrounding tissues are usually acutely inflamed. The
inflammation may be caused by irritation resulting
from the patients inability to keep the area properly
cleansed. Another cause of inflammation is infection
from oral pathogens that gained access to the tissues
surrounding the crown of the erupting tooth through
the opening made by a projecting tooth cusp. The
gingival flap may become infected after
inflammation as a result of the constant irritation
caused by contact with the occlusal surface of an
erupting maxillary third molar.
DISEASES OF THE ORAL SOFT
Many oral diseases can affect the soft tissues. We
will cover only a small portion of the most common
types. These lesions can be caused by viruses,
bacteria, fungi, and physical and chemical agents.
Direct contact with the diseases covered may present
some degree of hazard or a life-threatening disease to
you, the Dental Assistant. Always follow infection
control procedures when in contact with all patients.
RECURRENT APHTHOUS STOMATITIS
Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) (fig. 5-11),
or canker sores, are painful ulcerations. These lesions
Figure 5-10.Periodontal abscess.