What are the Most Common Tooth Abscess Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Laura A.
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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When the inside of a tooth becomes infected by bacteria, it may cause a tooth abscess. Infection can occur when the enamel of the tooth is compromised due to decay or breakage so that bacteria is able to enter. Common tooth abscess symptoms include severe toothaches, swollen glands in the neck, and fever. It’s important to take tooth abscess symptoms seriously, since untreated abscesses can lead to serious complications. Tooth abscesses can be prevented by practicing good dental hygiene and visiting a dentist regularly to check for cavities.

Tooth abscesses occur when the inside part of a tooth becomes infected and begins to decay. Bacteria may enter through a chip or crack in a tooth. Cavities, or small holes in teeth, break down the tooth enamel and also enable bacteria to get inside to the pulp of the tooth. An infection can spread from the tooth's interior to the surrounding bone and even other teeth if it is not treated quickly and properly. Anyone experiencing tooth abscess symptoms should consult with a dentist right away.

The most common tooth abscess symptom is a throbbing, continuous toothache. Many people experiencing a tooth abscess report a sharp or shooting pain in one particular tooth. Other common symptoms include bad breath and a bitter flavor in the mouth. A tooth abscess can cause teeth to become sensitive to hot and cold food, and chewing may be painful as well.


Some tooth abscess symptoms extend beyond the area of the affected tooth itself. A tooth abscess can lead to swollen glands in the neck. One of the most serious tooth abscess symptoms is swelling in the jaw. A fever often accompanies these symptoms and some sufferers report a general feeling of uneasiness.

A dentist can make a proper diagnosis of a tooth abscess. Some tooth abscess symptoms are similar to the symptoms of other dental problems. When a patient reports tooth abscess symptoms, the dentist will usually tap on the tooth to see which part is causing pain. He will also look for swollen gums and gum drainage.

The treatment of a tooth abscess often involves administering antibiotics to kill the infection in the tooth. Taking painkillers and rinsing with salt water can help alleviate some of the pain associated with a tooth abscess. A dentist can usually save the affected tooth, although this often involves conducting a root canal. In the most serious cases, a dentist may suggest removing the tooth. Untreated tooth abscesses can result in serious complications, such as sepsis, that affect the entire body.

The best way to prevent a dental abscess is to maintain excellent dental hygiene. Brushing after each meal and daily flossing can make a big difference in overall dental health. Most people should have their teeth professionally cleaned at least once a year. Cavities should be filled right away to prevent bacteria from getting inside of the tooth. Anyone experiencing dental abscess symptoms should visit their dentist right away to correct the problem and prevent further complications.


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Post 2

@raynbow- Yes, one of the symptoms of tooth abscess is lingering pain that is often brought on by hot and cold foods and drinks. Another important point to remember is that tooth abscesses can occur even if the teeth appear to be in good condition.

Though many people think of decayed, bad looking teeth when they think of tooth abscesses, this is not always the case. Some people can experience abscessed teeth even when their teeth look healthy. This is because even small cavities can allow bacteria into the roots and gums, resulting in abscessed teeth.

Just as the article states, the best way to avoid abscessed teeth in the first place is the brush and floss daily. This removes the plaque and bacteria that lead to decay, which in turn leads to abscesses. Dental visits twice a year will also help ensure that cavities are caught and treated early, long before dental abscesses begin to develop.

Post 1

Does anyone know if the pain of a tooth abscess lingers after eating or drinking hot and cold food and drinks? My niece is having these tooth abscess symptoms, but her teeth look fine.

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