Dental Abscess

An abscess is an accumulation of pus inside the mouth — specifically the teeth and gums — caused by a buildup of infection, bacteria and tissue.

The abscess typically originates from a bacterial infection, often one that has accumulated in the soft pulp of the tooth.

Types of Dental Abscesses

Gingival Abscess

The abscess is only in the gum tissue and does not affect the tooth or the periodontal ligament.

Periodontal Abscess

Gum disease can cause the 'gum pockets' supporting teeth to become inflamed and widen allowing bacteria to develop. This bacteria develops into an abscess if the gum disease is not treated immediately.  

Periapical Abscess

Located in the center of teeth — in the dental pulp. Tooth decay is the cause of this form of dental abscess. The cavity in the tooth allows bacteria to breed and the infection caused will lead to an abscess. Periapical tooth abscesses are common in teeth that require root canal treatment and are often the main symptom that advanced dental treatment is needed.

Signs and Symptoms of a Dental Abscess

  • Pain in the affected area when biting
  • Touching the affected area may be painful
  • Sensitivity to cold or hot food and liquids
  • A foul taste in the patient's mouth
  • Fever
  • Dysphagia – swallowing difficulties
  • Insomnia

Treatment for Dental Abscesses

If the dental abscess is small, our exclusive network of dentists in Mexico may be able to drain the infected pus and treat the abscess with medication. Periodontal abscesses will be treated by draining the abscess and cleaning the gum pocket to encourage the gum to seal and close around the tooth preventing further infection.

Periapical abscesses are treated with root canal treatment. If the abscess is too large or the tooth cavity too deep, the tooth may need to be extracted.