ABC Medical Center > Tooth abscess

What is Tooth abscess?

21:53 - 4 May , 2021


It is a condition caused by the presence of pus accumulated in the oral structures due to an infection caused by bacteria, mainly due to the presence of dental cavities that did not receive timely treatment, injuries, or failed dental repairs, causing inflammation of the tooth root, usually at the beginning thereof. There are two types of tooth abscesses depending on where the infection begins:

  • Periapical: seriously injures the dental root.
  • Periodontal: pus accumulates in the gum, next to the root.

Signs and symptoms Tooth abscess

The most frequent symptoms consist of:

  • Constant and intense pain in the affected tooth, which can be transmitted to the ear, neck, and jaw.
  • High fever.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Swollen face.
  • Hypersensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks.
  • Inflammation of the gums.
  • Bad breath.
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing.
  • Abrupt discharge of pus in case the abscess bursts.
  • Increased pain when biting or chewing

The abscess fluid must be completely drained, otherwise, the infection can spread to the neck and head, with the risk of turning into septicemia, a generalized body infection with fatal consequences. If your immune system is weak, you should attend to the tooth abscess immediately, since the chances of it turning into septicemia increase considerably.

Diagnosis and treatment Tooth abscess

After reviewing your symptoms and medical history, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for damage and may gently tap on your teeth to see how sensitive they are. They will also take x-rays of the affected tooth and in some cases may order a computed tomography, especially if they suspect that the infection has spread to other areas. The treatment to follow consists of eradicating the infection through:

  • Antibiotics.
  • Abscess drainage.
  • Root canals.
  • Exodontia.


You can avoid dental abscesses:

  • Brushing your teeth after every meal.
  • Flossing daily.
  • Using a fluoride mouthwash to add an extra layer of protection against tooth decay.
  • Seeing your dentist regularly.
  • Replacing your toothbrush every two months.
  • Consuming foods reduced in sugars or without them.
  • Quit smoking.

ABC Medical Center invites you to take care of your dental health with our professional team of highly qualified and ethical dentists supported by cutting-edge technology, which guarantees high quality and safe service in our comfortable and functional facilities with all the state-of-the-art dental advances, achieving rapid attention with a high degree of precision and efficiency.


  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • dentalcare.com.mx
  • topdoctors.es
  • mouthhealthy.org
  • medigraphic.com
  • Farias HS, Coelho CSM, Costa CPA, et al. Absceso dentoalveolar crónico en paciente pediátrico con drenaje raro. Rev Cubana Estomatol. 2019;56(4):1-13.
  • Soto-Sainz JE, Alarcón-Romero P, Gastélum-Rosales G, et al. Presencia de bacterias del complejo rojo y Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans en dientes primarios necróticos con absceso periapical en niños de Sinaloa, México. Rev Biomed. 2020;31(2):76-83.
  • Hernández MAB; Sueiro SIA; Hernández MZL. Complicaciones derivadas del absceso dentoalveolar agudo en pacientes pertenecientes al área VII, Cienfuegos (2013). Rev Cubana Estomatol. 2015;52(4):9-15.
  • Rojas HA, Alonso DS, González GM, et al. Absceso alveolar agudo en pacientes mayores de 19 años. Municipio Unión de Reyes. Rev Méd Electrón. 2017;39(3):451-459.

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