Dental Abscess – What is Dental Abscess, Dental Abscess Treatment?


Let’s get some information regarding, what is Dental Abscess?

Basically, when you do not maintain a good oral hygiene, bacteria attacks on tooth and or surrounding tooth structure and causes destruction of it that may cause infection in mouth. This kind of tooth infection in mouth may be associated with pus (thick yellowish opaque fluid, present due to infected tooth). In some cases, where pus is not coming out from the infected tooth, the collected pus may cause swelling in the structures surrounding the tooth. This kind of tooth infection is called Dental Abscess or Tooth Abscess.

Dental abscess or Tooth abscess is also known as Abscessed tooth or Mouth abscess. Dental abscess or Tooth abscess is not only the infection in tooth, but it can be Gum abscess, too. Dental abscess are mainly:

  • Periodontal abscess or gum abscess: It is mainly dental abscess of periodontal ligaments surrounding the tooth. Periodontal abscess or gum abscess is the dental abscess present in tooth and/or surrounding gum only. Sometimes gum abscess may not involve the tooth because here, initially infection in mouth starts from gum and progress towards the tooth. When the food gets trapped in space (sulcus) present between the tooth and gum, bacteria from trapped food starts attacking that leads to infection.
  • Periapical abscess: Periapical abscess is the dental abscess below tooth, apical region. Cavitation in tooth, allows food to get trapped inside and cause infection. These bacteria destruct the pulp of the infected tooth. This may cause degeneration or death of the tooth pulp and pass the root canal and then it spreads and dissolve some amount of bone below the tooth. This hollow space is latter on filled with pus.

Abscessed tooth symptoms are:

  • Dental abscess are generally painful. Some long standing dental abscess where tooth pulp is dead, may not be painful. Abscessed tooth may be painful on touch.
  • Here infected tooth, shows sensitivity when you take hot or cold beverages.
  • In case of pus discharge, foul taste is feel inside the mouth.
  • Sometime, person with dental abscess has fever.
  • In severe case of pus accumulation, huge swelling is present inside or outside the mouth. This huge swelling doesn’t allow the mouth to open completely. This is called trismus or locking of Jaw.
  • Long standing or untreated dental abscess, forms hollow passage from bone and skin and allow pus to drain inside mouth. This passage is known as Sinus or fistula.

Dental abscess treatment

When you face toothache you must visit your dentist. Your dentist will check your mouth. He will percuss on the infected tooth with the help of dental instrument. In case of dental abscess you may feel pain. Then your dentist will take an x-ray of infected tooth and check the condition of infected tooth.

In case of gum swelling, your dentist will drain the pus by pricking it will dental instrument. After draining of pus, pain will subside immediately. But keep in mind that infection is still there and draining pus is not the final treatment. This has to be followed by Root Canal Treatment.

Most commonly dental abscess is treated by doing Root Canal Treatment. Root canal treatment is basically removing the infection from tooth pulp and cleaning it followed by tooth filling or tooth crown depending on cases. In some cases, where the bone surrounding tooth is not sufficient due to severe periodontal condition or if outcome of the root canal treatment is not favorable, your dentist will suggest you for removal of that infected tooth.

Before starting root canal treatment your dentist will prescribe you some antibiotics to decrease infection and pain killers such as ibuprofen if needed.

Complication related to Dental abscess

Long standing or left untreated Dental abscess may lead to some severe complication such as:

  1. Dental Cyst: Cyst is the fluid filled hollow space in the jaw bone. Here periodontal cyst and periapical cyst are the commonly associated cysts. Untreated dental abscess further progress and result in dental cyst. Dental cyst can be different in sizes depending on severity. Most of the small sized periodontal cyst and periapical cyst are treated with the help of root canal treatment. But for very large sized cyst, surgery may require.
  2. Ludwig’s Angina: Basically Ludwig’s Angina is the swelling of below the lower jaw bone in the neck. Untreated sever dental abscess case where there is huge amount of pus collection may lead to large swelling in below lower jaw and neck region. Ludwig’s Angina can be life-threatening if left untreated as this may cause air way obstruction.
  3. Osteomyelitis: It happens when the infection further spreads to the bone surrounding tooth and cause break down of the jaw bone.

Dental Abscess Prevention

Dental abscess can be prevented by:

Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride containing tooth paste. Do flossing after having meal.

If you feel toothache, visit your dentist immediately rather leaving it untreated as this can result in severe complications later on. Visit your dentist every six months.


Dental abscess or abscessed tooth is not a small thing to neglect. As this kind of infection may end up with severe complications and lead to serious health problems.

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