From Pain to Relief: Handling a Tooth Abscess

Tooth infection can be distressing due to the constant pain and discomfort. It can negatively compromise your quality of sleep and life. But you do not have to suffer since the Springfield, VA dentist can help manage tooth abscesses with their dental expertise. 

Read on to learn everything about a tooth abscess and how it can be treated.  

A comprehensive guide to tooth abscess 

A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus formed due to bacterial infection in your gums. An abscess looks like a red, swollen bump, boil, or pimple, that affects the involved tooth. However, the infection may spread to the neighboring teeth and underlying bone. 


The following types of infections can cause tooth abscesses, namely:

  • Gingival: The infection develops and is confined only to your gums.
  • Periapical: This type of infection forms at the tip of the tooth root. The bacteria may invade deep into the pulp and invade the roots resulting in bacterial infection and abscess formation. 
  • Periodontal: Here the infection starts within the jawbone that supports your teeth. 


Any abnormal opening in your teeth can pave the way for bacterial colonization, resulting in infection and tooth abscess. Causes include:

  • Tooth cavities 
  • Broken, chipped, or cracked tooth
  • Gum disease 
  • Tooth injury 

You are more likely to develop tooth abscess if you:

  • Smoke 
  • Suffer from xerostomia (dry mouth)
  • Have poor oral hygiene 
  • Have a weak immune system 


Pain is the most common symptom suffered due to a tooth abscess. You may experience dull, gnawing, sharp, shooting pain near the affected area.

Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty chewing and biting 
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Pain radiating to the jaws 
  • Bitter taste in your mouth
  • Bad Breath
  • Gum swelling and redness
  • Loosening of the affected tooth 
  • Mild-grade fever 
  • Swollen lymph nodes  


Treatment options include: 

  • Medications: Your dentist may prescribe suitable antibiotics to treat tooth infections. 
  • Incision and drainage: Your dentist will make a small cut and drain the pus. 
  • Root canal therapy: Here your dentist will remove the inflamed and infected pulp and replace it with a biocompatible material like gutta percha to seal the tooth from further infection. This is followed by crown placement. 
  • Tooth extraction: A tooth abscess beyond repair may require a tooth extraction to prevent the infection from spreading to the other healthy teeth. 

If you notice any signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess, seek dental care to improve oral health and your quality of life. Your dentist will evaluate your oral cavity and determine the best possible treatment for you.