A tooth abscess is an infection surrounding the root resulting from disease in the center of a tooth or the gum.
A tooth abscess can form as a result of:
- Tooth decay
- Trauma to the tooth
- Gaps in the enamel which allow bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (the pulp), or
- Gum disease.Infection invariably spreads from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the teeth destroying it rapidly
- The main symptom is severe pain which is continuous and may be described as sharp or throbbing.
- Bad taste or smell in the mouth
- General discomfort & fever
- Pain on chewing or applying pressure to the tooth
- Sensitivity of the tooth to hot or cold
- Swollen glands in neck & face
- A ‘Gum Boil’ may be seen on the gum adjacent to the affected tooth draining pus
- The goals of treatment are to cure the infection and prevent further complications
- If there is a severe infection, the tooth may be removed or surgery may be needed to drain the abscess
- In such a case an implant can be planned as a future replacement option