A tooth abscess is a collection of pus that build-up inside the teeth or gums. This bacterial infection is often a result of plaque deposited on the teeth for a longer period of time. Anyone, from children to the elderly, can have an abscessed tooth.

A person with an abscessed tooth undergoes extreme pain, fever, and headache, or pain in the neck.

Tooth decay is also a major cause of dental abscesses. When left untreated, the bacteria may spread inside the soft tissue, putting the person at an increased level of developing some life-threatening conditions.

Tooth Abscess
Types of Tooth Abscess


An abscessed tooth here are mainly categorized into three types:

Gingival abscess

The formation of the pus is in the gum tissue and does not affect the tooth

Periodontal abscess

The formation of pus is on the gums and it may affect the supporting bone tissue or the structure of the teeth

Periapical abscess

The formation of the pus is at the tip of a tooth’s root and the soft pulp of the tooth


One of the main signs or symptoms of an abscessed tooth is severe pain and awful breath, which may get worse over time. Other symptoms include:

  • Severe pain in your ear or neck
  • Swelling in your gums
  • Facial redness
  • Pain while eating or biting food
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Unpleasant odor in the mouth
  • Tender gums
  • Bad lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking
  • Random fever that comes and goes
  • Difficulty while breathing or swallowing
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages
Symptoms of Tooth Abscess
Cause of Tooth Abscess


An abscessed tooth is a serious dental infection and could have a severe impact on your tooth. The common causes of this infection are mentioned below:

  • Tooth decay: The bacteria from an existing cavity, when not treated with proper dental care, leads to the formation of pus around the infected tooth
  • Poor dental care: This is perhaps the most significant cause for a tooth abscess
  • Smoking & Drinking: Besides causing an abscess in the tooth, these bad lifestyle habits cause many other serious health disorders including cancer.


Cleaning and draining the pus is the only treatment for an abscessed tooth. Other treatment options include:

  • Root canal: In this process, a hole (gap) is drilled into the infected tooth to drain the abscess. Once the pus is completely drained out, your dentist will clean and seal the gap with a crown to strengthen it.
  • Tooth extraction: This is done when the damage is severe and there is a large amount of pus formation. Antibiotics: If the infection has spread beyond the infected tooth or has weakened the surrounding tissues, oral antibiotics are prescribed by your dentist.

Consult with your dentist for tooth abscess treatment.

Tooth Abscess Treatment