Call us: (02) 4208 0639
Woonona Dentists
Select Page

From a pesky feeling of pressure to facial swelling, tooth abscesses can cause many distressing symptoms that must be addressed immediately. Whether it’s a mild or severe condition, being aware of the causes and understanding the importance of addressing it promptly is necessary for preventing any long-term damage. Today we’ll explore how to identify and understand tooth abscesses and discuss what steps to take if your teeth become infected to avoid further complications. 


What is a Tooth Abscess, and What Causes Swelling?

A tooth abscess is caused by bacterial infection inside the tooth or surrounding tissue. This can happen when tooth decay is left untreated, and bacteria spread into the tooth pulp or root canal. When bacteria invade these areas, the body’s immune system tries to retaliate by sending white blood cells to the site of the infection. The result is inflammation, which can cause the tooth and surrounding tissue to be swollen, red, and painful.

There are several possible causes of swelling associated with dental abscesses. One common cause is poor dental hygiene. When teeth aren’t properly brushed and flossed, bacteria can build up and cause decay, leading to abscesses. Other causes may include trauma to the tooth, gum disease, or a weakened immune system due to illness or medication. Determining the underlying cause of abscess swelling is essential to properly treat the condition and prevent it from recurring. 


Types of Tooth Abscess

Several types of tooth abscesses can affect a person.

emergency care tips abscess dental woononaThe most common kind is a periapical abscess, which occurs when bacteria enter the pulp chamber inside the tooth and cause infection. This type of abscess is a pocket of pus and can cause severe pain and swelling in the area around the infected tooth.

Another type is a periodontal abscess, which occurs when the infection spreads to the gums and surrounding tissue. This type of abscess can cause swelling and redness in the gums and pain when chewing or biting down on food.

Finally, an extraoral abscess is a rare but serious condition that affects the jawbone near the infected tooth. This abscess can cause severe swelling and throbbing pain in the area and fever. 


Symptoms of a Tooth Abscess

This section discusses the common symptoms of a tooth abscess and what you can do to seek treatment. 


Severe Toothache

One of the major signs of tooth abscess is severe toothache. The throbbing pain may be constant or intermittent, but it can be severe enough to disrupt your daily routine.

You might feel a stabbing, sharp pain or a constant, throbbing ache that spreads to your jaw or ear. If the abscess ruptures, the pain may subside for some time, but it will return after some days.

If you’re experiencing a severe toothache, you must see a dental professional immediately to diagnose the cause of your pain and prevent further complications. 


Swelling and Redness

Swollen, red gums or faces may indicate the presence of a tooth abscess. The swelling may be restricted to the area affected by the abscess, or it can spread to the surrounding connective tissue, causing a swollen face. You may also notice that the swollen area is sensitive to the touch or pain when chewing or biting down on food. 


treatment methods abscessed swell teeth woononaSensitivity

Sensitivity to hot or cold food is a sign of tooth abscess. You might feel a sharp, shooting pain when you consume hot or cold liquids or foods. This sensitivity can occur in one or more teeth, and it can be an indicator that a tooth abscess is present. 


Bad Taste or Smell

A bad flavour in your mouth or a foul odour is a symptom of a dental abscess and tooth decay. This is because the abscess is filled with pus, which can cause an unpleasant taste or smell in your mouth. You may also notice an unpleasant flavour or smell when you eat or drink. 



A fever is a symptom of a severe dental abscess. Your body may fight the infection by raising its temperature, leading to a fever. If you’re experiencing a fever and any other symptoms mentioned above, seek medical attention immediately. 



Treatment of a Tooth Abscess

This section explores the different dental treatment options for abscessed teeth. 



One of the most major treatments for an abscessed tooth diagnosed is draining the pus from the abscess. This treatment is usually done by a dentist who will numb the area with a local anaesthetic before draining the pus. This helps to relieve the pressure and pain caused by the swelling. Once the pus has been drained, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics to prevent the bacterial infection from spreading. In some situations, the tooth may also need to be extracted. 



Antibiotics are another common treatment for periodontal abscesses. They help to kill the bacteria that caused the bacterial infection in the first place, preventing it from spreading and reducing the swelling. Typically, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics for five to seven days. The patient must complete the full antibiotics course to eradicate the bacterial infection. 


symptoms dentist abscess woononaRoot Canal Treatment

In some situations, a root canal treatment may be compulsory to treat periodontal abscess swelling.

An abscessed tooth treated through a root canal involves removing the contaminated pulp from the tooth root. It then fills the canal with a special dental material to prevent further infection.

While this treatment can be more invasive than other options, it can be highly effective in reducing swelling and pain and preserving the affected tooth. 


Warm Salt Water Rinses

If you’re looking for an easier treatment to alleviate abscessed tooth swelling, warm salt water rinses can help. Mix a small amount of salt in warm water and wash your mouth several times daily. Salt can help kill bacteria and reduce swelling and inflammation, relieving the discomfort of a tooth abscess. 


Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

Finally, over-the-counter pain relief, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, can be used to lessen the pain and swelling of an abscessed tooth. However, following the recommended dosage guidelines is essential, and not relying solely on pain relief to treat the condition. 


Prevention Tips for Tooth Abscess Swelling

Preventing tooth abscess swelling is key to maintaining good oral health. Here are some tips that can lower the risk of developing an abscess:

  • Practise Good Oral Hygiene: Proper brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing techniques are essential for preventing bacteria buildup and tooth decay, which can lead to an abscess. Make sure to brush and floss regularly.
  • Visit the dentist Regularly: Visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings can help identify any potential issues with your teeth or gums before they become more serious conditions like abscesses.
  • Avoid Sugary Foods: Eating too many sugary foods and drinks can elevate your risk of developing tooth decay, leading to abscesses. So it’s better to avoid sugary and sticky foods to maintain the health of your teeth. 



Remember, if you experience any persistent toothache or swelling of the face or gum near a tooth, it could be a symptom of a dental abscess. In such cases, contacting your dentist immediately is important for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Allowing an untreated dental abscess to remain in your mouth can be dangerous and uncomfortable. We are here to help by providing safe and professional care. Don’t delay – call (02) 4208 0638 to schedule an appointment today! With our help, you’ll soon regain your natural smile and overall oral health. 




Dental abscess | NHS inform,-Symptoms%20of%20an&text=pain%20that%20spreads%20to%20your,discoloured%20and%2For%20loose%20tooth

Tooth abscess – Symptoms & causes – Mayo Clinic



What To Do With A Broken Tooth? What You Need To Know
what to do with a broken tooth woonona

A broken tooth usually warrants emergency dental care because there Read more
How to Get Rid of Toothache: Toothache Relief Tips
how to get rid of toothache woonona

If you’ve found this post, you’ve probably been searching for toothache relief tips, which we will help you with. But, Read more

How To Fix A Broken Tooth? Protecting Tooth From Further Damage
how to fix a broken tooth woonona

[et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="4.20.2" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" Read more
Can Broken Teeth Be Fixed? Our Emergency Dentist Gives Tips
can broken teeth be fixed woonona

Fortunately, most of the time, broken teeth can be fixed. The type of treatment applied will depend on the extent Read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This