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Dental abscess: symptoms, causes and treatment

30th July 2019

Are you concerned about dental abscesses? Then worry no more as we explain the symptoms, causes, treatment and best prevention tips for a dental abscess.


What is a dental abscess?


A dental abscess is a collection of pus that can form inside the teeth, gums or bone that holds the teeth together, which is caused by a bacterial infection.


There are several types of dental abscess but the two main ones are periapical abscess and periodontal abscess. The periapical abscess is an abscess at the end of a tooth. Whereas a periodontal abscess is an abscess in the gum.


Abscesses don’t go away on their own and can spread to other parts of the body making you ill, so it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible.




The signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include:



What causes a dental abscess?


Our mouths are full of bacteria and if not properly cleaned can form a film of plaque. Acids produced by the bacteria in plaque can damage your teeth and gums, leading to tooth decay or gum disease, which is why it’s really important to keep your teeth clean.


The following can increase your chances of developing a dental abscess:



How can an abscess be treated?


Dental abscesses are treated by removing the source of infection, relieving pain and draining away the pus. Depending on the location of the abscess and how severe the infection is, possible treatments include:


Root canal treatment:  This is a procedure where the abscess is removed from the root of the tooth. The infected area will be drained, cleaned, filled and sealed.


Tooth extraction: If the affected tooth can’t be saved a tooth extraction may be necessary. Your dentist will remove the tooth and drain the abscess to get rid of the infection.


Incision and drainage: A small incision can be made in to the gum allowing your dentist to drain the abscess. This may only be a temporary solution and further treatment may be required.


How to reduce your chances of getting an abscess?


You can reduce your risk of developing a dental abscess by keeping your mouth and gums as healthy as possible. You can do this by:



If you are in need of a check up or would like to book an appointment then please call us on 01709 917 666

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