Abscess

What is it?

An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms around the root of an infected tooth. Anyone, from children to the elderly, can get one.

Image of Abscess

What Causes It?

Your tooth is hard on the outside, but the inside is filled with a pulp made up of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. Sometimes it gets infected. Most often that results from:­

  • A deep cavity or tooth decay
  • Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease
  • A cracked tooth

How Is an Abscessed Tooth Diagnosed?

You might notice:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Gum redness
  • Bad taste
  • Pain when you chew
  • Jaw pain
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing

Sometimes an abscess causes a pimple-like bump on your gum. If you press it and liquid oozes out, it’s a sure bet you have an abscessed tooth. That liquid is pus.