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Tooth Abscess

Dental Abscess: Everything You Need To Know

A dental abscess is in fact, a pocket of pus that slowly builds up inside the teeth or gums. The abscess normally forms from a bacterial infection, generally one that has gathered in the soft pulp of the tooth. The dental abscess can occur in many parts of your tooth for multiple reasons. 

Types of Abscess

A dental abscess is of three types. They are:

  • Gingival abscess: This abscess just forms in the gum tissue and does not damage the periodontal ligament of the tooth.
  • Periodontal abscess: The abscess grows in the supporting bone tissue structures of the teeth.
  • Periapical abscess: This abscess builds up in the soft pulp of the tooth.

Symptoms of Dental Abscess

  • Gums start to bleed
  • Fever
  • Insomnia
  • Your face or cheek slowly turns swollen
  • Continuous, extreme, and throbbing toothache that radiates to the ear, jawbone, or even neck
  • Teeth sensitivity to cold and hot food/beverages
  • Intense pain while you chew or bite something
  • You can notice swollen and tender lymph nodes under the jaw or neck
  • A bad smell comes from the mouth 
  • Bad taste
  • You are unable to breathe or swallow properly

What are the Causes?

Poor oral hygiene: 

Bacteria makes entry through either a dental cavity or just a small fracture or crack in the tooth and slowly reaches the root. The bacterial infection can cause swelling and inflammation at the tip of the root and ultimately an abscess is developed.

Excessive consumption of sugary items:

When you consume foods/drinks frequently that are rich in sugar, it can result in dental cavities and then further form into a tooth abscess.

Dry mouth:

If you are suffering from a dry mouth condition, it can heighten your risk of tooth decay. Dry mouth primarily occurs due to the side effects of certain medicines or aging problems.

Dental surgery:

Complications while undergoing any oral surgery can also be a chief cause.

Dental trauma:

Severe dental traumas usually may cause a dental abscess.

Brushing and flossing vigorously:

When you do these two activities very often, it can also cause the formation of a dental abscess.


If you find any of the symptoms of a dental abscess, you must go to a dentist without any delay. 

  • Incision: Your dentist will first make a small cut in the abscess in order to drain the pus that contains bacteria. 
  • Treating a Periapical abscess: The dentist performs root canal therapy to remove the abscess. 
  • Treating a Periodontal abscess: The dentist drains the abscess carefully and then thoroughly cleans your periodontal pockets. The surfaces of your tooth root get smoothed out by the dentist through the process called scaling and planning just below the gum line. 
  • Extraction: If your dentist can’t save the tooth at all, then it will have to be removed.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter painkillers may also work effectively to lessen the pain temporarily. The dentist may also prescribe you some antibiotics.


If you do not get any proper treatment on time, an infection can ultimately spread to your jaw and several parts of your head, neck, and also your brain. An abscess can further cause sepsis which is actually life-threatening.


Avoiding tooth decay is very important in order to prevent the formation of a tooth abscess. Hence–

  • Drink fluoridated water.
  • Try to cut down on your sugary food items and between-meal snacks.
  • Have healthy food. 
  • Every day brush your teeth twice with fluoride-containing toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth at least once on a daily basis. It’s best to floss before you go to bed.
  • Always clean your mouth using an antiseptic or fluoride-containing mouthwash after every meal. 
  • Go for regular check-ups at your dentist to get your dental cleanings.
  • Make sure that you replace your age-old toothbrush after every 3-4 months, or once the bristles start to fray.

Get the Help you need!

You can get in touch with Restoration Smiles if you want to receive the best dental care treatment in Tomball, TX for your dental abscess. Our dentist in Tomball goes above and beyond to provide our patients top-notch treatment for any of their dental complications along with optimal comfort.  We are just a call away.