Dental Abscess: Everything You Need To Know

Dental Abscess: Everything You Need To Know

Oral Health / By Mendota Springs Dentistry

A dental abscess is a pocket of pus that develops inside the teeth or gums. The abscess basically occurs from a bacterial infection, usually one that has collected in the soft pulp of the tooth. The abscess can emerge at various regions of the tooth for various reasons.


  • Acute, constant, throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, neck or ear
  • Teeth sensitivity to hot and cold food/beverages
  • Pain while chewing or biting
  • Gums bleed
  • Fever
  • Insomnia
  • Your face or cheek becomes swollen
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes under your jaw or neck
  • Foul smell from your mouth
  • Bad taste
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing


There are three types of dental abscess:

  • Gingival abscess: The abscess is just in the gum tissue and does not attack the tooth or the periodontal ligament.
  • Periodontal abscess: This begins in the supporting bone tissue structures of your teeth.
  • Periapical abscess: The abscess starts in the soft pulp of the tooth.


  • Poor oral health- Bacteria makes entry through either a dental cavity or a chip or cracks in the tooth and reaches the root. The bacterial infection can cause swelling and inflammation at the tip of the root and give birth to abscess.
  • Intake of sugar items too often- Frequently having foods/drinks rich in sugar, can cause dental cavities and then transform into a tooth abscess.
  • Dry mouth- Having a dry mouth can raise your chance of tooth decay. Dry mouth usually happens due to the side effect of certain medications or aging problems.
  • Dental surgery- Complications during a dental surgery can also be a major cause.
  • Dental trauma- This often may result in a dental abscess.
  • Brushing and flossing vigorously- Doing these both frequently can also cause a dental abscess.


If you experience any symptoms of a dental abscess, you should see a dentist immediately.

  • Incision: Your dentist makes a small cut in the abscess to drain the pus, which contains bacteria.
  • Treating a Periapical abscess: Root canal treatment is used to eliminate the abscess.
  • Treating a Periodontal abscess: The dentist drains the abscess and cleans the periodontal pockets. The surfaces of the tooth root are then smoothed out by scaling and planning below the gum line.
  • Extraction: If the dentist can’t save the tooth, it will have to be removed.
  • Medications: Over the counter painkillers may help reduce the pain temporarily. Your dentist may also prescribe few antibiotics.


Left untreated, an infection can spread to your jaw and various parts of your head and neck, including your brain. It can also lead to sepsis which is life-threatening.


Avoiding tooth decay is vital to preventing a tooth abscess, therefore:

  • Use fluoridated drinking water.
  • Everyday brush your teeth twice with fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth on a daily basis at least once.
  • Use an antiseptic or fluoride mouth-wash.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or whenever the bristles are frayed or worn.
  • Eat healthy food.
  • Limit your sugary stuff and between-meal snacks.
  • Go for regular visits to your dentist for dental cleanings.

Get Help!

Now, if you’re looking for an Emergency Dentist near me’ in Fitchburg, WI then surely call us at Mendota Springs Dentistry.  Let your Emergency Dentist in Fitchburg render you the best treatment and care for your dental complications.


We look forward to meeting you.

Call (608) 237-6080 or schedule an appointment online to set up your first visit. We’ll be in touch soon.