How do u know if you have an abscess tooth?

What is an Abscess Tooth?

An Abscess Tooth is a painful condition that occurs in the pulp of the tooth when the nerve is affected. The abscess usually forms at the root of the tooth and is caused by a bacterial infection. The infection begins when the protective outer layer of the tooth, known as the enamel, is breached. Bacteria from plaque, tooth decay, or gum disease then enter the tooth, penetrate the pulp and infect it.

What Causes Abscess Tooth?

An Abscess Tooth is typically caused by poor dental hygiene. Bacteria can easily accumulate on teeth and gums when they are not cleaned properly, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Untreated cavities or periodontal pockets that occur when the gum pulls away from teeth can exacerbate the situation and increase the risk of an abscess tooth.

How do you know if you have an Abscess Tooth?

It is essential that you identify an abscess tooth promptly. This is because neglecting this condition can lead to complications such as fever, swelling, pain, and potential tooth loss. Here are some of the symptoms that indicate you may have an abscess tooth:

  • Persistent tooth pain
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperature on your tooth
  • Sensitivity to pressure
  • Swollen gums
  • Facial swelling
  • Tender lymph nodes in your neck
  • Foul breath or taste in your mouth

How is Abscess Tooth Treated?

The treatment of an abscess tooth aims to eliminate the bacterial infection, reduce pain, and prevent further damage. The following treatments are commonly employed:

  • Root Canal Therapy – This is the most common treatment and involves removing the infected pulp, cleaning the area, and then filling and sealing the tooth.
  • Tooth Extraction – When the tooth is damaged beyond repair, the dentist may recommend it to be removed.
  • Incision and Drainage – In severe cases, the abscess may need to be incised, drained and the site cleaned and filled with medication.
  • Antibiotics – In situations where the infection is spreading, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria.

How to prevent Abscess Tooth?

It is possible to prevent an abscess tooth. Here are some tips on keeping your teeth healthy:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to remove tartar and plaque.
  • Use a mouthwash to rinse your mouth as it can help to kill bacteria.
  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks as they can contribute to tooth decay.
  • Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.


An Abscess Tooth can be a painful experience with severe complications when not treated early. The best way to prevent an abscess tooth is good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing. If you are experiencing any symptoms of an abscess tooth, contact your dental professional immediately for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

FAQs about Abscess Tooth

  • Q: What causes abscess tooth?
    A: An abscess tooth is caused by a bacterial infection due to poor dental hygiene, untreated cavities, or gum disease.
  • Q: What are the symptoms of an abscess tooth?
    A: Symptoms of an abscess tooth include persistent tooth pain, sensitivity to hot and cold temperature on your tooth, sensitivity to pressure, and more.
  • Q: Can an abscess tooth go away on its own?
    A: An abscess tooth will not go away on its own, and the bacteria can spread, leading to severe complications.
  • Q: How is an abscess tooth treated?
    A: Depending on the severity of the abscess tooth, the dentist may recommend Root Canal Therapy, Tooth Extraction, Incision and Drainage, or antibiotics.
  • Q: How to prevent Abscess Tooth?
    A: Good oral hygiene practices like regular brushing and flossing, avoiding sugary foods and drinks, and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups can help prevent an abscess tooth.


  • Abscess (Tooth): Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment (2021). My Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from:
  • Stöberl, K. A., Eitner, S. (2018). Dental Abscesses: Diagnosis and Treatment. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 7(11), 392.