Tooth abscess

Swollen gums and abscessed tooth, with detail of an abscessed tooth and a healthy tooth

An abscessed tooth is a tooth that has a pocket of pus in the tissue next to it. This often occurs because the inside (pulp) of a tooth is infected and the bacteria spread to the tissue underneath the tooth. An abscess usually causes throbbing pain in the tooth and red, swollen gums.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry
Arden G. Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry

Current as ofMarch 28, 2018

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
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