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Lissauer Dental Group 3399 W Woolbright Rd Boynton Beach, Florida 33436 (561) 733-4004

Tooth infection or tooth abscess

An infected tooth may cause a swelling called a tooth abscess

Written by south Florida cosmetic dentist Dr. Jeffrey Lissauer, serving Boynton Beach, Delray Beach and Palm Beach

A tooth abscess is due to bacteria entering deep inside a tooth through a large cavity or a cracked filling. In the middle of a tooth is a hollow space containing the tooth’s nerve. If bacteria enter this hollow space, the bacteria can spread the whole length of the tooth and out the bottom of the tooth’s root. In this situation, the body will attempt to fight off the infection at the bottom of the root. In the body’s fight against the bacteria, pus is created. Pus accumulates around the root. The accumulation of pus causes a swelling of your gums. This situation is called a tooth abscess. Sometimes, there is also a “pimple” on your gum with pus draining out of it.

What can relieve a tooth abscess?

The source of the infection needs to be addressed:

  • If a tooth is infected, a root canal is often needed to remove the bacteria causing the infection. During a root canal, the infected inside of the tooth is cleaned and filled with a biocompatible dental material.
  • If you have a large swelling, the swelling is sometimes drained to relieve discomfort and help the body’s fight against the infection.
  • In some situations, the tooth may be severely broken down or fractured, and the tooth may not be able to be saved. In this case, the tooth may need to be extracted, and your dentist would discuss the options to replace the tooth with a dental implant or bridge.
  • Antibiotics are often prescribed by your dentist to help clear the infection. You should inform your dentist of any known allergies to medications and make sure you take the medication as prescribed.

About our office and emergency dental care:

At Lissauer Dental, we truly understand the pain you are experiencing during your dental emergency. We will bend over backwards to accommodate you if you need immediate care. Our office policy to see patients with dental emergencies the day that we are called, even if you are new to our practice. So, please do not hesitate to call, and we will be here for you.

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