Tooth Infection
An endodontic abscess or a tooth infection most often forms at the tooth root tip and in most cases will be severely painful. In some instances, however, abscesses may not be painful but if left untreated they act as a “ticking time bomb” waiting to become a problem. Symptoms of an endodontic abscess are often one or multiple of the following:

  • The tooth hurts when you tap or bite on it.
  • You experience pain or swelling.
  • You experience excessive pain/sensitivity to cold and/or hot stimuli.
  • You experience pain when you push on the gums around your teeth.

The Cause of An Endodontic Abscess…
An endodontic problem is caused by an infection of the pulp/nerve later of the tooth. It becomes infected when bacteria (which are always present in the mouth) invade the pulp through deep cavities, failing fillings/restorations, a fractured or broken tooth, bone loss around a tooth, or even an injury/trauma to a tooth. In some cases, there is no apparent reason. The infection spreads from the pulp chamber, down the roots, through the tip of the root, and into the jawbone. Here, pus and infection can build up and even create a hole in the bone. This is an abscess. The abscess creates pressure within the bone surrounding the tooth which often causes pain. In some cases, the abscess drains near the infected tooth, forming a pimple on the gums (gumboil).

Diagnosis and Treatment…
It is important to treat an abscess. If left untreated, the abscess can damage the adjacent teeth/gums, lead to bone loss, be a continuing source of infection, and even be life threatening. To find an abscess, we complete a thorough examination and a series of tests – including x-rays. An infected tooth will never heal on its own, much like an infection around a splinter will not heal until the splinter is removed. To treat and remove the infection, a root canal is completed if the tooth can be saved/ restored. In many cases (especially on back teeth) a crown/cap is required to save the tooth after a root canal is completed. If the tooth is not restorable and can’t be saved, an extraction is required.

Jacksonville, FL Dental Office
Advanced Dental Services
9109 Baymeadows Road, Suite 4
Jacksonville, FL 32256