Dental Abscess: What is it and How do I Get it Treated?


Okay, first the facts!

Gingival, Periodontal and Periapical  – No these aren’t the names of any Roman Gladiators, they are the three types of dental abscesses.

Symptoms of dental abscesses include pain, a bad taste in the mouth and fever

Dental abscesses are caused by a bacterial infection

If the symptoms of a dental abscess appear, the individual should visit a dentist immediately

Treatment for an abscess may involve root canal surgery

If a dental abscess recurs after treatment, the tooth may be extracted

To minimize pain, it is best to avoid cold drinks and food and use a softer brush

If untreated, an abscess can lead to worse conditions such as cysts or maxillary sinusitis.


Symptoms of a dental abscess.

Symptoms of an abscess in your tooth or gum may include:

An intense, throbbing pain in the affected tooth or gum that may come on suddenly and gets gradually worse

Pain that spreads to your ear, jaw and neck on the same side as the affected tooth or gum

Pain that’s worse when lying down, which may disturb your sleep

Redness and swelling in your face

A tender, discoloured and/or loose tooth

Shiny, red and swollen gums

Sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink

Bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste in your mouth


What to do if you have a dental abscess?

You should see a dentist as soon as possible if you think you have a dental abscess. Avoid visiting your GP, as there is little they can do to help.


Treatments for a dental abscess

Dental abscesses are treated by removing the source of the infection and draining away the pus.

Depending on the location of the abscess and how severe the infection is, possible treatments include:

Removing the affected tooth (extraction) – this may be necessary if root canal treatment isn’t possible

Root canal treatment – a procedure to remove the abscess from the root of an affected tooth before filling and sealing it

Incision and drainage – where a small cut (incision) is made in the gum to drain the abscess (this is usually only a temporary solution and further treatment may be needed)


Bottom line – Call your dentist at any early stages of pain or discomfort.

We are here for you!!