Everything You Wanted to Know about Dental Abscess & More

Everything You Wanted to Know about Dental Abscess & More

A dental abscess is the accumulation of pus in a tooth or surrounding areas of a tooth. Dental abscess is caused by a bacterial infection that leads to a breakdown and inflammation of the tissue in the mouth. The pus is a thick fluid that contains dead tissue bacteria and white blood cells. The infections usually strike individuals with bad dental health practices and those who have inadequate and improper dental care.

Types of Dental Abscess

  • Gingival– This type of abscess strikes the gum tissue but does not affect either the periodontal ligament or the tooth.
  • Periapical – This is the most commonly occurring type of dental abscess.  Periapical abscess originates from the dental pulp (the center of the tooth) and occurs when a decayed tooth begins to develop a complication. The decay starts to destroy the dentine and enamel which are the tooth’s protective layers.
  • Periodontal – This type of abscess develops in the periodontium (located between the tooth and gum). The abscess can come about due to gum disease that infects and/or inflames the tissues surrounding the teeth. Symptom of periodontal abscess is swelling next to a tooth. This abscess is sometimes called gum boil.


A tooth cavity is often a breeding ground for bacteria. The bacteria can cause tissue inflammation that can be quite painful. The infection gradually enables pus to form on the infected site causing the pain to become even more severe until the pus ruptures and drains (on its own or through surgical methods).


Dental abscess symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Tooth swelling
  • Face and mouth redness
  • Nausea
  • Tooth loss
  • High fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills


Dental Abscess signs include:

  • Tenderness and difficulty in swallowing or opening your mouth
  • Gum inflammation
  • Cavities
  • The skin where the abscess is located is reddish and inflamed.


If you exhibit dental abscess symptoms you need to consult with a dentist as quickly as possible to avoid pain and complications. The pus is drained by the dentist helping relieve the pain. The dentist may prescribe antibiotics to treat leftover infection.

Periapical abscess may entail a root canal procedure. The root canal procedure is to salvage and restore the diseased inner part of the tooth. This helps prevent the abscess from recurring.

A periodontal abscess will require the dentist to clean the site where the abscess had developed.  The dentist will likewise repair the root surfaces of the tooth to enable the gum to close back on the tooth and cause the pocket to disappear. This will help prevent the infection from coming back.


The main reasons for the rise of dental abscesses are tooth decay, gum disease or a combination of the two. They can be prevented by limiting sugary drinks, avoidance of smoking and alcohol, and proper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing).

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