A dental abscess is a collection of pus that can form inside the teeth, gums, or in the bone that holds the teeth in place. It’s an infection caused by bacteria and can lead to pain and swelling, and if left untreated, the infection can spread and cause serious health problems.
There are three types of dental abscesses:
- Periapical abscess: This type of abscess forms at the tip of the tooth’s root.
- Periodontal abscess: This type of abscess forms in the gums at the side of a tooth root. The infection may also spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth.
- Gingival abscess: This forms on the gum tissue without affecting the tooth or the periodontal ligament.
Common symptoms of a dental abscess include severe toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, fever, swollen neck glands, swollen gums, a bitter taste in the mouth, and general discomfort or uneasiness
Treatment for a dental abscess typically involves draining the abscess and eliminating the infection, which can often require antibiotics. In some cases, a root canal treatment may be necessary, or even tooth extraction in severe cases.