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Tooth Abscess

Tooth Abscess


What exactly is a tooth abscess?

A pocket of pus that can develop in various tooth structures as a result of a bacterial infection is known as a tooth abscess. It’s also referred to as a dental abscess. Moderate to severe pain from a tooth abscess might occasionally travel to your neck or ear.

An untreated abscessed tooth may develop into a serious, potentially fatal condition. Continue reading to discover more about the many sorts and how to spot them.

The many dental abscess types vary depending on where they are.

The following are the top three kinds:

  • Periapical abscess. This tooth root abscess is located at the tip of the tooth.
  • Periodontal abscess. This abscess is located on the gum adjacent to a tooth’s root. It could also spread to the nearby bone and tissue.
  • Gingival abscess. An abscess that is on the gums.

Symptoms of a Tooth Abscess

An abscessed tooth’s primary symptom is throbbing pain in the gums or nearby the tooth. Typically, the pain starts off unexpectedly and gets worse over time.

Additional signs include:

  • You experience ear, jaw, or neck pain
  • Lying down makes the ache worse
  • Discomfort during biting or chewing
  • Face swelling and redness
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose or discoloured teeth
  • Bad breath
  • tongue flavour is unpleasant

lymph nodes in your neck or under your jaw that are sore or sensitive.


You will have virtually instantaneous pain alleviation if an abscess ruptures. As the pus drains out, you might also have a sudden unpleasant taste in your mouth.


In addition to examining your tooth and the area around it your dentist might:

  • Tap your teeth. In general, a tooth with an abscess at the root is sensitive to pressure or touch.
  • Suggest getting an X-ray. Finding an abscess in the painful tooth can be assisted by an X-ray. In order to establish whether the infection has progressed and resulted in abscesses in other locations, your dentist may also utilize X-rays.
  • Suggest a CT scan. A CT scan may be done to determine how bad the infection is and if it has spread to other parts of your neck.


An abscess in your mouth is caused by bacteria seeping into your teeth or gums. But how this occurs varies according to the kind of abscess:

  • Periapical abscess. Bacteria typically enter your teeth’s pulp through a cavity. The soft interior of your tooth is referred to as the “pulp.” It is made up of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves.
  • Periodontal abscess. This type typically results from gum disease, but it can also be brought on by an injury.
  • Gingival abscess. Your gums become infected by a foreign object, such as a popcorn husk or toothbrush bristle.


Any abscessed tooth needs to be treated by a dentist. Even if it has already ruptured, you should still have your doctor check the region and disinfect it to prevent the infection from spreading.

If left untreated, an infection has the potential to spread to your jaw, other head and neck organs, and even your brain. Seldom, it may even result in sepsis. This infectious consequence is potentially fatal.

If you have an abscessed tooth and the following conditions:

  • Acute fever
  • One’s face swells
  • Experiencing difficulty swallowing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Confusion

All indicating an infection that requires immediate treatment.

When to call a Dentist

Consult a dentist if you experience a fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea resulting from a tooth abscess. If you are experiencing unbearable pain or difficulty breathing or swallowing, go to the emergency department immediately.


Clearing out the infection and reducing discomfort are the main goals of treatment for an abscessed tooth. A dental X-ray can be the first step your dentist takes, depending on your symptoms. They can use this to determine if the virus has migrated to other regions.

Treatment options depend on the kind and severity of your abscess and include:

  • Abdominal abscess drainage. To remove the pus from the abscess, your dentist will make a tiny cut there. They will then use a saline solution to clean the region.
  • Root canal treatment. In order to drain the abscess and remove any diseased pulp, a root canal includes drilling into the damaged tooth. The pulp chamber, which contains the pulp, and the root canal will then be filled and sealed by your dentist. To reinforce your tooth, they could additionally cover it with a crown. Typically, a crown operation is completed at a different appointment.
  • Tooth extraction. Before draining the abscess, your dentist could extract your tooth if it is extremely damaged. If the tooth cannot be salvaged, your dentist may extract it and then drain the abscess.
  • Antibiotics. Your dentist could suggest oral medicines to help clear the infection if it has spread outside of the abscessed area or if you have a compromised immune system.
  • Foreign object removal. Your dentist will remove the foreign object if it is what is causing the abscess in your gums. They’ll end by using a saline solution to clean the region.

You can use an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, to ease the discomfort if you can’t get an appointment with your dentist straight away. Warm salt water mouthwash may also be beneficial.

Online retailers offer over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.


After receiving treatment, a tooth abscess should heal within a few days. To ensure that the infection doesn’t spread to other areas, it’s crucial to have a follow-up appointment with your dentist, even if it appears to drain on its own.

By maintaining proper oral hygiene and scheduling regular dental examinations every six months, you can lower your risk of developing a tooth abscess.