An abscess is an infection in or around the root of the
tooth which may or may not be painful. It occurs when the pulp, the soft tissue
inside the root canal, dies and becomes inflamed and goes untreated. The most
common symptom of an abscess is an ache in the bone around the tooth, but you
may also experience pain when chewing, swelling of the gums, or other symptoms.
If you have ongoing pain or suspect an
abscess, see an endodontist, who specializes in treating infected teeth and
A dental abscess is usually treated with root
canal treatment or endodontic
surgery. An endodontist will remove the bacteria from the empty canals
within your tooth, clean, shape and fill the root canals, and seal the space.
You will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on
the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After the new
restoration, the tooth will continue to function like any other tooth.
Learn how endodontists perform surgery to treat an abscess or infection and
save your tooth.
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The AAE partners with Dear Doctor to provide dental articles to the general public.