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Everything You Need To Know About Dental Abscess
July 22, 2021  |  Oral Health

Everything You Need To Know About Dental Abscess

Do you know that a dental abscess is actually a pocket of pus that grows inside the teeth or gums? The abscess basically takes birth from a bacterial infection, normally one that has accumulated in the soft pulp of the tooth. The dental abscess can occur at various portions of the tooth for plenty of reasons. 


  • Extreme, continuous, and throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, ear, or neck
  • Teeth sensitivity to cold and hot food/beverages
  • Acute pain while chewing or biting
  • Gums start to bleed
  • Fever
  • Insomnia
  • Your face or cheek slowly becomes swollen
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes can be found under your jaw or neck
  • A foul smell comes from your mouth 
  • Bad taste
  • You face difficulty when you breathe or swallow

Types of Abscess

There are three categories of dental abscess:
  • Gingival abscess: The abscess just occurs in the gum tissue and does not harm the tooth or the periodontal ligament.
  • Periodontal abscess: This happens in the supporting bone tissue structures of your teeth.
  • Periapical abscess: This abscess takes birth in the soft pulp of the tooth.

What are the Causes?

  • Poor oral health- Bacteria takes entry through either a dental cavity or a small crack or fracture in the tooth and gradually reaches the root. The bacterial infection can lead to swelling and inflammation at the tip of the root and slowly an abscess develops.
  • Often having sugary items too – When you have foods/drinks rich in sugar very often, it can cause dental cavities and then further develop into a tooth abscess.
  • Dry mouth- When you have a dry mouth, it can raise your risk of tooth decay. Dry mouth mainly occurs due to the side effect of a few medicines or aging issues.
  • Dental surgery- Complications while undergoing oral surgery can also be a primary cause.
  • Dental trauma- This usually may cause a dental abscess.
  • Brushing and flossing vigorously- When you do these two activities frequently, it can also result in a dental abscess.


If you notice any kind of symptoms of a dental abscess, you should see a dentist without any delay. 
  • Incision: Your dentist will make a small cut in the abscess to drain the pus containing bacteria. 
  • Treating a Periapical abscess: Root canal treatment is performed to remove the abscess. 
  • Treating a Periodontal abscess: The dentist carefully drains the abscess and thoroughly cleans the periodontal pockets. The surfaces of the tooth root are then smoothed out by the dentist through the process of scaling and planning below the gum line. 
  • Extraction: If the dentist can’t save the tooth at all, it will have to be extracted.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter painkillers may work effectively to decrease the pain temporarily. The dentist may also prescribe you a few antibiotics.


Kept untreated, an infection can gradually spread to your jaw and several parts of your head and neck, including your brain. It can further cause sepsis which is life-threatening.


Avoiding tooth decay is essential to preventing a tooth abscess. Hence--
  • Drink fluoridated water.
  • Every day brush your teeth twice with fluoride content toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth every day at least once. It’s best to floss before bedtime.
  • Rinse your mouth using an antiseptic or fluoride mouth wash after meals. 
  • Don’t forget to replace your age-old toothbrush every 3-4 months, or once the bristles are starting to fray or wear down.
  • Have healthy food. 
  • Try to limit your sugary products and between-meal snacks.
  • Go for regular check-ups to your dentist for dental cleanings.
Get the Help you need! You can get in touch with Northampton Dental if you want to receive the best emergency dental care in Tomball, TX for your dental abscess. Our trusted emergency dentist goes above and beyond to offer our patients the best treatment for any of their dental complications along with optimal comfort.