Is this an abscess?

6th May 2022

An abscess is one of the more common dental problems, sometimes difficult to deal with, other times straightforward, but ALWAYS better treated early.

A dental abscess is a bacterial infection that can arise in the gum or in the bone surrounding a tooth. They sometimes appear as smooth lumps or swellings in the gum, other times they can look ulcerated or like spots, often with liquid oozing from them. They can be very painful but not always. If there’s something strange happening, it’s time to give us a call.

What can cause an abscess?

Abscesses arise when bacteria penetrate your tooth or gum and meet your body’s immune defences. Bacteria can invade for a few reasons, most commonly through a tooth where the nerve has died off. This is usually because of decay resulting from gum disease. The infection can often spread throughout the bone and gum surrounding 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 or gum. 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 or extraction will be required to preserve the tooth.

As ever, we are here to help so if you think you have an abscess or would like some advice, please get in touch on 01423 503428 or by email.


Teeth Abscess
01423 503 428

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