Dental abscesses

31st May 2017


A dental abscess is a bacterial infection that can arise in the gum or in the bone around the teeth. Sometimes abscesses can be very painful but not always. In either case, it is very important to seek treatment from your dentist as they won’t disappear on their own.

What can cause an abscess?
Abscesses can be caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease, tooth decay or when a tooth is damaged. Cracks in the tooth’s enamel can allow bacteria to infect the centre of the tooth (the pulp). The infection may also spread throughout the bone and gum supporting the tooth.

What are the symptoms?
The most obvious symptom of an abscess will be severe pain, becoming progressively worse over time, with either sharp or shooting pains in the area of the affected tooth. This may be accompanied by increased temperature, swelling and possibly a visible sore or spot. An infected tooth may be tender to bite on.

How can an abscess be treated?
With any abscess, the source of the infection must be located and removed. Your dentist may make a small incision and allow the pus from the infection to drain away. If the nerve of a tooth has been affected, root canal treatment will be required in order to preserve the tooth.  In severe cases, the tooth may require extraction.

As ever, we are here to help so if you think you have an abscess or would like some advice, please get in touch.


01423 503 428

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Coppice View Dental Care
104 Kings Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5HH