TOOTH ABSCESS - Watsons Health
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A tooth abscess is a pocketful of pus in the tooth that is caused by bacterial infection. This abscess can occur at different regions of the tooth for different reasons.

This abscess can ensue from an untreated tooth cavity, a tooth or mouth injury or previous dental work.

Dentists will treat a tooth abscess by draining it and treating the infection.  Leaving a tooth abscess untreated can lead into serious complications. It can even lead to death.

There are three types of tooth abscesses:

  • Gingival abscess is caused by bacterial infection due to tooth decay, rough brushing that causes bleeding or a broken tooth
  • Periodontal abscess is caused by collection of pus inside the tissues
  • Perapical abscess is the result of infection that spread out in the roots of the tooth


Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include the following:

  • Fever
  • Toothache
  • Swelling around your face and neck
  • Being sensitive to pressure of chewing or to some hot or cold
  • Sudden rush of bad smell
  • Tasting something salty in your mouth
  • Tooth turns dark in color compared to the other surrounding tooth


The dentist will examine your tooth and the surrounding tissues of your gums.

He/she may request for an x-ray to identify an abscess or may recommend a CT scan to determine the extent of the infection.



Treatments include opening up and draining the abscess, performing a root canal to help diminish the infection and save your tooth and lastly, by pulling out the affected tooth.

The dentist may prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers.

The main goal of treatment is to get rid of infection.

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