Tooth Abscess: Stages, Complications, Symptoms and Causes

Tooth Abscess

When it comes to toothache, it is not an avoidable thing if you have ever felt the tooth pain previously.

As your teeth are connected with nerves, the pain in a tooth, although in a small area, can be severe and uncontrollable as well.

Most of the times, even moderate pain can be due to major issues which cannot be ignored. A tooth abscess also creates sharp pains in your mouth.

To understand everything about abscess is important for your dental health and get treatment on time.

What is Tooth Abscess?

What is Tooth Abscess

A Tooth Abscess is a pus formation inside the gums, teeth, or bone attached with the teeth. Actually, it is a bacterial infection.

It has three types depending on the location of the infection.

When the pus formation is at the end of a tooth, it is called a periapical abscess.

Whereas, the pus formation in the gums is called a periodontal abscess. Along with that, when the abscess is on the gums, it is called Gingival abscess.

It causes moderate to severe pain to the patients and the pain can be felt in ear or neck as well.

Tooth Abscess Symptoms and Causes

Obviously, the main Tooth Abscess symptom is throbbing pain around the area of the affected tooth or in the attached gums.

In the starting, the pain can be moderate and gets worse as time passes.

Here are some of the other symptoms to aware you about the occurrence:

  • Pain radiating in your jaw, ear or neck.
  • Toothache getting worse when you are lying down.
  • Feeling ache while biting or chewing something.
  • Swelling and redness on the face.
  • Noticing red and swollen gums.
  • Feeling tooth sensitivity while eating something.
  • Loose or different coloured teeth.
  • Bad breath from the mouth.
  • The taste in the mouth is foul.
  • Fever in your body.
  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes under the jaw or in the neck.

Here are the things you can do to avoid severeness of the pain:

  • Avoid hot or cold drink and food to avoid pain becoming severe.
  • Eat from the opposite side of your affected area in the mouth.
  • Eat soft foods which can be chewed easily.
  • Avoid flossing around the teeth area.
  • Use a soft toothbrush.

Tooth Abscess Complications

Tooth Abscess Complications

In rare cases, tooth abscess complications can occur as a result of bacterial infection spreading. So, it is necessary to get your teeth the right treatment at the right time before the cases become severe.

Some of the dental complications are:

  • Osteomyelitis

It is a bone infection caused by the bacteria of abscess flowing in bloodstream. Due to Osteomyelitis, patients feel severe pain in bone, nausea, and fever. It can also affect your bone in the body if not treated at the right time.

  • Dental Cyst

When you do not get dental treatment, your dental abscess can take the form of the dental cyst which develops a fluid-filled cavity at the root bottom.

  • Ludwig’s Angina

When the bacteria in the dental abscess spread, it causes potentially fatal infection in the mouth, called Ludwig’s angina. It causes pain in the neck and tongue and obstructs breathing.

  • Maxillary Sinuses

Again, due to bacteria spreading, air-filled spaces behind your cheekbones can get an infection called the maxillary sinuses. It causes tenderness, fever and pain around cheeks.

  • Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis

Cavernous sinus thrombosis is a rare condition which can occur in 1 out of 10 cases. In these complications, a blood clot forms in a large vein of the brain. This condition can be life-threatening for the patient. Although, it is treatable at the early stage of the severeness.

Also Read Benefit of Regular Dental Checkup

Tooth Abscess Stages

Tooth Abscess Stages

There are six stages of tooth abscess including white spotsenamel decaydentin decay, the involvement of the pulpabscess formation, and tooth loss. Some tooth decay forms can be treated by following good oral habits and regular dental tips.

Tooth Abscess Antibiotics

Tooth Abscess Antibiotics

Antibiotics are not for all tooth infections. In some cases, dental treatment is sufficient to drain out abscess from the tooth. In other cases, root canal treatment and extraction at the dental clinic are required. Antibiotics can be used in the following cases:

  • The infection has spread.
  • Infection is really severe.
  • Patient with a weak immune system.

Tooth Abscess Treatment

To treat the tooth abscess, the first thing your dentist will do is a diagnosis of the problem in the surrounding area.

Diagnosis process includes tap on the affected tooth, an x-ray of an aching tooth, and a CT scan to assess the severeness of the problem in other areas.

The second part is to get rid of the infection in the tooth area.

Here is the task accomplished by the dentist in treating tooth abscess:

  • Make a small cut to drain out the pus and wash with salt water.
  • Perform a root canal to eliminate the tooth infection and try to restore the teeth with a crown.
  • If the dentist couldn’t save the tooth, he extracts the tooth to stop the spread of infection.
  • Prescribe the antibiotics to eliminate further spreading of infection.

This is all everybody should know about tooth abscess to get treatment at the right time and stop further spreading of the infection.

For further details, you can also visit the Ekdantam dental clinic and discuss your queries with the dentist.


What are the common symptoms of a tooth abscess?

Common symptoms include persistent throbbing toothache, swelling in the face or jaw, fever, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, and a bitter taste in the mouth. In some cases, there may be drainage of pus accompanied by a foul smell and taste.

What causes a tooth abscess?

A tooth abscess is typically caused by bacterial infection, often resulting from tooth decay, gum disease, or a dental injury. Poor dental hygiene, a compromised immune system, and consuming sugary foods can also contribute to the development of a tooth abscess.

Is a tooth abscess a serious dental condition?

Yes, a tooth abscess is considered a serious dental issue that requires immediate attention. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, leading to severe complications and even life-threatening situations.

How is a tooth abscess diagnosed?

A dentist can diagnose a tooth abscess through a thorough examination of the affected area, along with dental X-rays to determine the extent of the infection and any associated bone loss.

What are the potential complications of an untreated tooth abscess?

If left untreated, a tooth abscess can lead to serious complications such as the spread of infection to the jawbone or other parts of the body, the formation of a dental cyst, and in severe cases, sepsis, which is a life-threatening condition.

What is the treatment for a tooth abscess?

Treatment often involves draining the abscess, which may be followed by a root canal procedure to remove the infected pulp and restore the tooth. In severe cases, extraction of the affected tooth might be necessary. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to eliminate the infection.


Can a tooth abscess recur?

While proper treatment usually resolves a tooth abscess, there is a possibility of recurrence if the underlying cause, such as poor oral hygiene or untreated dental issues, is not addressed.

Scroll to Top
Call Now Button