Is a Tooth Abscess an Emergency?

Is a Tooth Abscess an Emergency?

July 7, 2023

A tooth abscess is a pus pocket resulting from a bacterial infection. The spot can occur near different areas of the tooth for various reasons. For example, a periapical abscess occurs near the root tips. In contrast, a periodontal abscess can occur in the gums beside the tooth root. In this article, we discuss a periapical abscess.

A periapical tooth abscess results from an untreated dental cavity or an injury before dental work. The resulting infection, irritation, and swelling cause the spot near the root tips. Dentist 51248 treats a periapical abscess by draining it to help eliminate the disease from the tooth. They can also preserve the tooth by performing a root canal. However, in some cases, they may recommend an extraction. Leaving a tooth abscess untreated can result in severe and life-threatening complications.

What Are the Signs of a Tooth Abscess?

A tooth abscess has different signs and symptoms, including the following:

  • Severe and constant throbbing toothache spreading to your jawbone, neck, and ear.
  • Pain or temperature sensitivity with hot and cold foods and beverages.
  • Discomfort and pain when chewing and biting.
  • Swelling in the face, cheek, or neck results in breathing or swallowing challenges.
  • Tender lymph nodes in your neck and under the jaw.
  • Lousy odor in your Mouth.
  • An unexpected rush of awful smelling and tasting salty fluid in the Mouth and relief from the pain when the abscess ruptures.

When to See Your Dentist for a Tooth Abscess?

You must see your dentist immediately if you have the signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess. If you develop a fever with swelling in your face and have trouble breathing or swallowing, you must visit a dental emergency near you or an emergency room because the symptoms indicate the disease has spread deeper into your jaw or neck and other parts of your body.

Tooth Abscess Causes

A tooth abscess occurs when your Mouth bacteria penetrate the tooth to infect the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the innermost portion of your tooth, containing the blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. The bacteria penetrate the tooth through a cavity, chips, or cracks and spread to the tooth root. The bacterial infection causes swelling and inflammation near the tip of the roots.

Risk Factors of a Tooth Abscess

The following factors increase your risk of tooth abscess. They are:

  • Poor Dental Hygiene and Care: Not taking appropriate care of your teeth and gums by brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing increase your risk of dental issues like tooth decay, gum disease, tooth abscesses, and oral complications.
  • A Sugary Diet: frequently having sugar-rich foods and drinks like sweets and sodas contribute to dental cavities that can promote a tooth abscess when left untreated.
  • Dry Mouth: a dry mouth increases your risk of tooth decay. Dry Mouth results from side effects of medications or problems related to aging.

Tooth Abscess Complications

A tooth abscess will not disappear without treatment. However, if the abscess ruptures, you may find relief from the pain, making you believe the problem has subsided. Unfortunately, you must get treatment even when you experience no discomfort from the abscess.

If the abscess does not drain, the infection spreads to your jaw and other parts of your head and neck. If the spot is near the maxillary sinus, you can develop an opening between the abscess and the sinus. The condition can infect the sinus cavity and make you develop sepsis, a life-threatening infection that can spread throughout your body.

If you have a depleted immune system and do not receive treatment for the tooth abscess, the risk of spreading the infection increases significantly, making it essential to seek treatment from the dentist 51248 by scheduling an emergency appointment.

Treatment for a Tooth Abscess

If the dentist determines they can drain the abscess, they will cut it open to allow the pus to drain. They might also drain the spot through the infected tooth while performing a root canal. If the abscess ruptures by itself, you will receive prescription painkillers and antibiotics to combat the infection.


A tooth abscess causes severe pain because it is an infection developing from improper dental hygiene. If you have a pimple on your gums and experience extreme discomfort, schedule an appointment with your dentist to get them to drain the abscess before it becomes a life-threatening problem.

If you notice a dental abscess with the symptoms described, kindly do not hesitate to contact Sanborn Dental Associates for relief from a life-threatening infection. Leaving the condition untreated can result in multiple complications, needing help from various medical professionals.