Abscessed Tooth (Dental Abscess): Symptoms, Types, Treatment & Prevention


An abscessed tooth or tooth abscess is a pocket of puss that can develop in your mouth as a result of a bacterial infection. The condition is also called as dental abscess and can cause moderate to severe pain. In severe cases, the pain can spread to your neck or ears. The abscess can occur at different regions in your mouth, surrounding the teeth .

An abscessed tooth is a result of the soft tissue inside the root canal dies and becomes inflamed. The inflammation is caused by the bacteria that exist in plaque (a by-product of food, saliva, and bacteria), which damage and destroy the teeth and the gums.

Basically, it is nothing but that throbbing tooth pain that constantly keeps you up at night. In the early stages, it will be accompanied by a normal simple toothache but once the infection spreads to the root tip or around the root, the pain will become intolerable .

Tooth abscess develops from the tooth's inner chamber (pulp chamber) because the tooth has essentially lost the ability to fight off the infection-causing bacteria; causing the bacteria to multiply and spread the infection. An abscessed tooth has to be treated or else can turn into life-threatening conditions, as the infection can spread to the jaw to your neck, head, or other body parts. An abscessed tooth can affect anyone, irrespective of age and gender , .

The condition or bacterial infection are classified into three different types , .

The major sign of the bacterial condition is throbbing pain near a tooth or in your gums. The pain usually develops quick and can get worse over time.

The other common symptoms of an abscessed tooth are as follows , , :

The central reasons behind the development of the infection are as follows :

Apart from the aforementioned, the cause can be ascertained depending on the type of abscess .

Some factors can increase your risk of developing a bacterial infection. And those factors are mentioned below .

Sugar-rich diet: Constantly following a diet that is high in sugar such as sodas, cakes, sweets etc., can cause the development of dental cavities which, in turn, can develop into a tooth abscess.

Poor dental hygiene: Avoiding brushing your teeth twice a day and not flossing is a direct path towards increasing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, tooth abscess, and other dental complications.

Dry mouth: This can increase your risk of developing abscessed tooth. Dry mouth can be a side effect of ageing or certain medications.

In order to examine and understand the infection and its severity, the dentist will carry out the following , :

The medical care for the bacterial infection focuses on removing the infection and getting rid of the pain associated with the infection. The treatments will be dependent on the symptoms as well as the severity of the condition. The treatment options for abscessed tooth are mentioned below , , .

Abscess draining: A small cut will be made in the abscess by your dentists, to drain the pus. The process will be followed up by cleaning the area affected by a saline solution.

Root canal procedure: This procedure involves drilling into the affected tooth, so as to drain the abscess and to remove any infection. After that, the pulp chamber and the root canal will be filled and sealed. It will be followed up with a crown procedure, which is to put a cap on your teeth to strengthen the root canal procedure done.

Upon leaving untreated, the infection can cause rise to certain complexities. And in some extremely rare cases, some complications can appear even after the treatment , .

The major and critical step to be followed in preventing the occurrence of the bacterial infection is taking good care of your teeth, so as to avoid tooth decay .

You can take some steps at home to limit the pain from the bacterial infection .

Some of the major options of home remedies that can be used to ease abscessed tooth are mentioned below .

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