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Home > Fitness & Health > Health Library > Abscessed Tooth
An abscessed tooth is an infection in or around the tooth. It can be very painful. If the infection isn't treated right away, it can spread and you can lose your tooth or have other health problems.
Damage to the tooth, an untreated cavity (tooth decay), or gum disease can cause an abscessed tooth.
An abscess forms around a tooth when pus can't drain. A pocket of pus forms around a tooth when the body tries to fight an infection caused by bacteria.
When you have an abscessed tooth, you may have:
Over time as the infection spreads, the bone in your jaw may start to dissolve. When this happens, you may feel less pain, but the infection will still be there. If you lose too much bone, your tooth will become loose and may have to be removed.
Your dentist will ask about your symptoms and look for swelling and other signs of infection in your mouth. Your dentist may tap on the tooth and apply heat or cold to the tooth. Your dentist may also take dental X-rays.
An abscessed tooth needs treatment right away. You and your dentist will decide what's right for you. Your dentist may:
The best way to prevent an abscessed tooth is to take good care of your teeth and gums:
Current as of:
March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineElizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal MedicineArden Christen DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
Current as of: March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine & Arden Christen DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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