A tooth abscess is a collection of infected material (pus) due to a bacterial infection in the center of a tooth.
- Alternate Names
- Exams and Tests
- Possible Complications
- When to Contact a Medical Professional
The main symptom is a severe toothache. The pain is continuous and may be described as gnawing, sharp, shooting, or throbbing.
Other symptoms may include:
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Breath odour
- General discomfort,
- uneasiness or ill feeling
- Pain when chewing
- Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
- Swelling of the gum over the infected tooth, that may look like a pimple
- Swollen Glands of the neck
- Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw -- a very serious symptom
Exams and Tests
Dental x-rays and other tests can help your dentist determine which tooth or teeth is causing the problem.
2.Antibiotics may be given to fight the infection. Warm salt-water rinses may be soothing. Over-the-counter pain relievers may relieve the toothache and fever.
3.Do NOT place aspirin directly over the tooth or gums, because this increases irritation of the tissues and can result in Mouth ulcers.
4.A root canal may be recommended in an attempt to save the tooth.
5.If there is a severe infection, the tooth may be removed or surgery may be needed to drain the abscess. Some people may need to be admitted to the hospital.
- Loss of the tooth
- Blood infection (sepsis)
- Spread of infection to soft tissue (facial cellulitis, Ludwig's angina)
- Spread of infection to the jaw bone (osteomyelitis of the jaw)
- Spread of infection to other areas of the body resulting in brain abscess,
- pneumonia, or other complications
Call your dentist if you have a persistent, throbbing toothache.