Dental Abscess

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What is a dental abscess?

A dental abscess is a mass of pus within the gums, teeth, or bone within the mouth. An abscess is the result of a bacterial infection in the area.

Dental abscesses when left untreated can be life-threatening, if you are experiencing the symptoms of a dental abscess you will need to arrange an appointment with your dentist promptly.

What causes a dental abscess?

A dental abscess is caused by bacterial infections which can come from improper care of the mouth. Here are some of the main causes of bacterial infections within the mouth that can lead to an abscess:

  • A poor diet, consisting of sugary, acidic, or starchy foods. When these food groups are excessively consumed or are in combination with bad cleaning habits, they can cause a breeding ground for plaque and bacteria.
  • An impacted tooth can cause an abscess to form, bad bacteria is trapped below the gum line.
  • Poor cleaning habits can lead to an abscess forming. This is due to the bacteria that is produced and plaque that is allowed to build up.
  • Decay and gum, disease can lead to an abscess.
  • Injury to the gums, mouth or teeth can all cause an abscess to form.
  • Patients undergoing treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy may have weakened immune systems, making it easier for bacteria to lead to an infection.

How to prevent a dental abscess?

A dental abscess is caused by bacteria trapped and festering in the mouth, teeth, or gums. The best way to reduce the risk of an abscess forming is strongly advised that you brush your teeth twice a day for a minimum of two minutes. Utilising tooth floss to dislodge food and material trapped between the teeth will also decrease the chances of an abscess developing.

Tip: Replace your toothbrush every one to three months, bacteria breeds on the bristles over a prolonged period.

Attending your routine dental appointments every six to twelve months, your dentist can spot the signs of an abscess forming.

Avoid smoking. If you smoke already try quitting.

How to treat a dental abscess?

A dental abscess is treated according to the cause of the abscess cause of development.

One of the techniques used is to create an incision and drain the area of pus. This is usually followed by a treatment of antibiotics.

For an abscess within the tooth, the tooth will be treated using a root canal or a complete removal. Local anaesthetic is provided so no pain is experienced.

The symptoms of a dental abscess

Some of the symptoms you may experience when you have a dental abscess:

  • Pain within the oral area that can spread to the jaw, neck, and ears, typically on the same side as the abscess.
  • A pulsating or throbbing sensation within the mouth around a tooth, gum or near the tongue or cheek.
  • Bad breath.
  • An unpleasant sometimes metallic, salty, or bitter taste in the mouth.
  • Redness of the face in the impacted area.
  • Swelling of the face in the impacted area.
  • Swollen, red, shiny, or tender gums in the affected area.
  • Swollen glands on the neck.
  • Heat sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
  • Discomfort when laying down.
  • Struggles with swallowing, eating, or breathing.
  • A fever.

If you are experiencing any symptoms indicative of an abscess, we strongly advise you to book an appointment with us and we will assess and provide you with the necessary care and treatment.


Where are we?

Just a short-walk from the nearest tube and DLR stops, German Dental is conveniently situated in the City of London, opening Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm for appointments.


German Dental Clinic
1-3 College Hill
Lower Ground


Nearby Tube Stations

Cannon Street

Cannon Street

0.2 miles


0.4 miles


0.4 miles

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