How Do You Get A Dental Abscess?

How Do You Get A Dental Abscess?

This post discusses the common condition of dental abscess and provides all the causes, signs and remedies required.

Some advice on how to deal with the problem of dental abscess is also added.

A dental abscess is a kind of infection that occurs on the gums. It is a collection of pus that is formed when the body is trying to fight off an infection. The pus formed contains bacteria and when the body cannot get rid of the pus an infection is formed, due to this collection of pus.

As the pus collects pressure builds up and results in pain.

Patients with HIV infection or diabetes mellitus have a weak immune system and cannot fight off such infections and this puts them at risk.



There are many causes that give rise to this dental problem and are described below.

Tooth Decay

The infection caused due to tooth decay is known as a periapical abscess. Tooth decay is swarming with bacteria and when the bacteria reach the dental pulp, the infection spreads reaching the root of the tooth. Treatment for rot (eg a filling) may lead to pulp death – so it is best to avoid this problem as much as possible.

Periodontal Disease

If you have a gum disease then an abscess can be formed in the gaps between teeth and gums. These areas are hard to clean and improper oral hygiene in this case can lead to an abscess.


Pericoronitis is an inflammation of the gum due to an obstructed wisdom tooth. The area between the gum flap and the wisdom tooth gives a space to the bacteria to grow in the mouth.

Other Causes

Gingival abscess can occur due to the food particles that get stuck in the teeth.


Types Of Abscesses In The Mouth

There are two types that are described below:


Dental abscess is classified as acute when the infection is new but grows quickly.This type of abscess can be very dangerous so it is best to treat it before it spreads. The symptoms of acute abscessare described below.

Symptoms of Acute Abscess

The symptoms of an acute abscess include:

  • Severe throbbing pain which is persistent and gets worse at night.
  • Onset of pain on chewing and biting.
  • Lump formation on the gum around the affected area which is painful.
  • Tooth becomes mobile due to larger swelling. This may also result in swollen glands and fever.


Chronic Abscess

Dental Abscess is classified as chronic when it has been present for a long time. The symptoms of chronic abscess are less severe as the immune system keeps fighting the infection. The symptoms of chronic abscess are described below.

Symptoms of Chronic Abscess

The symptoms of a chronic abscess include:

  • Severe toothache.
  • Infection in tooth’s nerve.
  • Formation of an infected pimple that contains the pus.
  • As the pus drains from the pimple it results in bad taste and bad smell in the mouth.

Although chronic abscess is not as troublesome as acute abscess but it can become severe if the pus does not drain from the pimple. The infection can spread to the other areas of neck and head so it should be treated before it becomes life-threatening.


Dentist treating a patient

Treatment of Dental Abscesses

Visiting the dentist becomes mandatory when you are dealing with this problem. The dentist will examine your mouth to find out about the swollen areas. He will test the nerve to check if it has been infected or not. Dental x-rays are also taken to find out the problem. However, if the infection is small then the x-rays may not be able to detect it and it may take a few days for it to become visible.

The treatment may include draining the infection, taking antibiotics and preventing recurrence by doing root canal or extraction.



If you experience the symptoms of a dental abscess then consulting the dentist is the best option. Follow his or her advice and guidelines to prevent further infections and complete the suggested treatments to eliminate the problem.




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