Dental Abscess

Dental Abscess – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment


Last Modified: October 30, 2023


A dental abscess can be a painful condition, and understanding its symptoms, causes, and treatment options is essential for maintaining your oral health. In this blog, we will explore the different aspects of dental abscess, providing valuable information on its symptoms, possible causes, and effective treatment methods.

What is a Dental Abscess?

A dental abscess is a localized collection of pus that forms within the teeth, gums, or the bone supporting the teeth. This condition occurs as a result of a bacterial infection, typically stemming from dental cavities, gum disease, or a cracked tooth. The infection may lead to the accumulation of pus, causing swelling, severe pain, and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Common Symptoms of Dental Abscess

  • Pain: Dental abscesses are often accompanied by intense, throbbing pain. The discomfort can be constant and may radiate to the jaw, neck, or ear.
  • Swelling: Swelling in the affected area, often accompanied by redness, is a common symptom of a dental abscess.
  • Fever: In some cases, the infection can cause a fever, indicating a systemic response to the localized infection.
  • Bad Taste and Smell: An unpleasant taste or odor in the mouth may result from the pus draining into the mouth.
  • Difficulty Swallowing or Breathing: Severe abscesses can obstruct the airway or interfere with swallowing.
  • General Malaise: You may feel generally unwell, fatigued, or experience a loss of appetite.

Causes of Dental Abscess

  • Tooth Decay: The most common cause of dental abscess is untreated tooth decay. Bacteria can infiltrate the pulp of a tooth and lead to an infection.
  • Gum Disease: Gingivitis or periodontitis can create pockets where bacteria can accumulate and cause an abscess.
  • Cracked or Chipped Teeth: These can provide an entry point for bacteria, leading to an abscess.
  • Inadequate Dental Care: Poor oral hygiene practices can increase the risk of developing dental abscesses.

Types of Dental Abscess

There are two main types of dental abscesses:

  • Periapical Abscess: This type of abscess occurs at the tip of the tooth’s root and is usually the result of untreated tooth decay.
  • Periodontal Abscess: These abscesses form in the gums and are often associated with gum disease.

Dental Abscess Treatment

Treatment for a dental abscess typically involves the following:

  • Antibiotics: Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to control the infection.
  • Drainage: In some cases, the abscess may need to be drained, either through a root canal treatment or an incision.
  • Pain Management: Pain relievers may be prescribed to alleviate the discomfort.
  • Dental Procedures: Depending on the underlying cause, you may need additional dental treatments, such as a filling, crown, dental implants, or a root canal.
  • Improved Oral Hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene practises is essential to preventing future abscesses.


Dental abscesses can be painful and potentially dangerous if left untreated. It’s crucial to recognize the symptoms, understand the causes, and seek prompt dental care if you suspect you have a dental abscess.

With the right treatment, you can alleviate the pain, eliminate the infection, and protect your oral health. Remember that regular dental check-ups or emergency dentistry at Clove Dental and proper oral hygiene are key to preventing dental abscesses in the first place.

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