Your teeth are important! They help you to eat, talk, and smile with confidence. That’s why taking care of them and seeing your dentist regularly is essential.

But sometimes, although we’re doing our best, teeth can become damaged or infected. One serious dental problem that can occur is an abscessed tooth.

A tooth abscess is a serious dental disease that can cause immense pain and discomfort. While it’s not always easy to identify, there are certain signs you should be aware of to help detect if you or someone you know is suffering from the condition.

Keep reading to learn more about this dental disease and what warning signs to look out for. We’ll cover what a tooth abscess is, how it develops, and its common symptoms so that you can stay informed about your oral health.


What is a tooth abscess, and why is it dangerous?

dental abscess is a bacterial infection of dental tissues, such as teeth and gums. These types of infections can be quite serious and lead to complications if left untreated.

treatment options dental abscesses st leonardsA dental abscess usually starts from an infection deep within the dental tissues and can eventually move outward, making dental treatment much more difficult.

It’s important to note that since dental infections often migrate into other areas in the body, that’s why when the abscess ruptures, it can pose several health risks to those infected, including systemic illness.

Thus, it is vital to seek proper dental care to treat any suspected or confirmed dental abscesses promptly.


Types of dental abscess


Periodontal abscess

This abscess may occur in the bone and gums surrounding the affected tooth. A serious infection or severe periodontal disease typically causes it.


Gingival abscess

A gingival abscess is an infection at the gum line near one or more teeth. These infections can cause pain, swelling, and redness.


Periapical abscess

A periapical abscess is an infection that originates in a tooth’s pulp, nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels and can spread to the bone surrounding it. This type of abscess often results from untreated dental decay or damage.


What are the warning signs of a tooth abscess?

tooth abscess can be identified by throbbing pain around the affected area, which may worsen when chewing or biting.

In some cases, your toothache may come with a fever and a bad taste in your mouth. Furthermore, swollen cheeks and lymph nodes accompanied by facial redness are classic symptoms of an abscessed tooth.

If your gums appear sensitive and/or swollen, this could also signal the presence of an infection. Experiencing sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold food can also be a sign of tooth abscess.

Overall, throbbing pain should always be considered a key symptom of an abscessed tooth and warrants immediate dental attention.


How can you prevent a tooth abscess from developing in the first place?

The ideal way to prevent a tooth abscess from happening is to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and don’t forget to floss daily to help remove bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease, as poor oral hygiene can help plaque buildup and lead to tooth decay.

Additionally, see your dentist regularly, as regular dental checkups with your dentist will help catch any developing problems early on before they become more serious.

Taking these preventive measures can go a long way towards avoiding a painful and costly abscess in the future.


Diagnosing abscessed teeth

Dealing with a tooth abscess can be painful and uncomfortable, possibly even leading to swelling or fever. It’s important to seek out a professional dentist right away to have any abscessed tooth treated and get relief quickly.

Recommend an X-ray: Your dentist may perform a digital X-ray to help diagnose an abscess. This will give them a better look at the condition of your affected tooth and any other nearby teeth.

Recommend an oral exam: An oral exam can also be used to help diagnose an abscess. During this procedure, your dentist will closely examine your teeth and gums to treat any infection promptly.

Recommend a CT scan: In some cases, your dentist may also recommend a CT scan to help detect the extent of the infection and any other dental problems.



Dental treatments for tooth abscess

Once you get your abscessed tooth diagnosed, your dentist will proceed with the most proper treatment options for your condition:


Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment is an essential procedure for treating an abscessed tooth caused by decay. It involves removing the affected area, sanitising the affected root, and sealing it before restoring the tooth with a crown or filling material.

This procedure has saved countless teeth that otherwise may have been extracted. At its core, root canal treatment relieves pain and prevents further destruction caused by advanced decay.

It encompasses careful diagnostics and successful treatment to restore the normal function of a diseased tooth.


Incision and drainage

Incision and drainage are important procedures for treating an abscessed tooth. This process involves making a small incision around the tooth’s affected area to allow any pus or infected material to drain.

It is also commonly used to alleviate symptoms, such as pain, swellings, and redness caused by an infection, allowing your dentist to provide effective treatment.


types of abscessed teeth st leonardsTooth extractions

Tooth extractions are typically recommended when treating an abscessed tooth, and restoring it is no longer possible. As with any procedure that involves treating the mouth and teeth, it is important to recognise the importance of proper rest and care following the removal of a tooth.

Immediately after extraction, it’s important to help minimise swelling and bleeding while controlling any pain or discomfort by applying cold compresses outside the mouth and taking aspirin or ibuprofen as prescribed.



Treating an abscessed tooth can be a painful experience for anyone, and antibiotics are an effective way to reduce this pain.

Antibiotics act by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria that cause infection. When treating an abscessed tooth, it is important to take antibiotics as soon as possible to prevent any further spread of the infection.

As well, when taking antibiotics, it is essential to ensure they are taken exactly as directed to get the best outcome from the treatment.



Being aware of these signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess is very important, as it can have serious health consequences if left untreated.

If you experience any pain, swelling, or facial redness around your mouth area, visit your dentist immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment. With prompt attention from a professional dentist, you’ll be able to get back on track towards achieving optimal oral health!

If you have any questions regarding these signs or would like to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on (02) 9158 6211. Our team at St Leonards Green Dental comprises experts in oral health and will be more than happy to help.



Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.





Tooth abscess

Tooth abscess

Abscessed teeth 



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