A dental abscess with pus in the root of the tooth and other symptoms requires mandatory treatment. Inflammation begins and actively progresses in the soft tissues directly at the root system and is accompanied by such signs as redness, swelling, swelling, hardening of the gums with the formation of a seal in the form of a small ball, which is associated with the accumulation of purulent exudate.

With the active reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms in the mucous membranes, the blood supply to the periodontium is maximally activated. White blood cells, leukocytes, enter the site of infection and destroy the harmful microflora. Dead cell structures and bacterial agents form pus, which accumulates over time, causing a pathological inflammatory process.

Tooth Abscess

Let’s look at why this pathology occurs, what symptoms are accompanied, how to diagnose it, and how to treat it.

Tooth abscess – what is it and what does it look like

This is the suppuration of an infected area in the oral cavity, which is accompanied by soreness. In most cases, the problem appears at the location of the sick unit, if it was not treated at all or was done with violations. The purulent formation is a kind of protective mechanism that prevents the spread of pathogens throughout the body. Lack of therapy and untimely access to a doctor can lead to the destruction of solid bone structures, periodontium, and subsequent extraction of the damaged element of the dentition. In the most severe cases, death is likely due to septic and other deadly phenomena.

A suppurated outgrowth visually looks like a blister, pimple, or bump filled with cloudy contents. To the touch, it resembles a dense ball. Because of this, the patient’s face becomes pronouncedly asymmetrical.

Reasons for the development of pathology

Common factors in the presence of which pus comes out of the tooth inside under the filling:

  • Untreated caries that have reached the deepest layers. Pathogenic microflora penetrates the pulp. If untreated, the bacteria get deeper, affecting the soft tissues near the root system. This is fraught with extensive infection of the entire body.
  • Poor cleaning and filling of canals. Dentists’ mistakes at different stages of therapy lead to the formation of voids, where a bacterial environment actively develops, affecting the roots.
  • consequences of extraction. If the patient does not follow the recommendations of the doctor, food particles and microbes that cause infection enter the formed hole.
  • Periodontitis. With this pathology, periodontal pockets are formed, where harmful microorganisms accumulate. They lead to festering.
  • Pericoronitis. When a wisdom tooth erupts, a kind of hood sometimes forms. Under it, an infectious process progresses, passing to the gums and causing purulent abscesses.
  • Injury. This can happen with inaccurate brushing or another mechanical impact (for example, when struck, scratched by a fish bone, etc.). Even the smallest scratches get pathogens that lead to the appearance of suppuration.

Symptoms of a tooth abscess with a photo of suppuration

Characteristic signs:

  • swelling, redness, and local bleeding of mucous membranes;
  • constant pain syndrome (it is pulsating in nature, and it is difficult for the patient to endure it without painkillers);
  • severe discomfort when pressing on the gums and chewing food;
  • an acute reaction to too hot food and drinks, as well as to food with very low-temperature indicators;
  • an increase in body temperature to 38 degrees and above;
  • headache, jaw pain, migraine;
  • change in the shade of “live” crowns (in the absence of depopulation in the past), their loosening when pressed;
  • the putrid odor from the mouth, unpleasant taste.

Having found the listed symptoms, it is necessary to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Pathology cannot be eliminated on its own at home, this will only aggravate the situation and lead to the growth of the infectious process and its transition to the whole body.

Symptoms of a tooth abscess

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Varieties of the disease

According to the symptoms, the disease is divided into the following types:

  • Gingival. It is localized exclusively in soft cellular structures and does not pass to others.
  • Periapical. Appears after the death of the pulp. Purulent contents accumulate under the root system.
  • Periodontal. Education is located between the gum and the root.

If there is a little exudate, it is held locally in a small area. As the inflammatory process grows, the volume of fluid increases, and a fistula with edematous edges appear. From this hole, whitish pus comes out. The opening of a tooth abscess should be performed exclusively in dentistry.


An abscess is formed on the mucous membranes. This is the mildest form of the disease and the easiest to cure. However, the problems should not be underestimated, since the build-up can quickly increase in size, and the infection will penetrate the deeper layers and move to neighbouring dental units.


The pathological focus is formed in the soft tissues between the jaw bone and the intact gum surface. The purulent contents cannot come out, therefore it accumulates in the resulting pocket. Over time, a seal appears, in the absence of therapy, pathogens pass to healthy cellular structures, including bone ones.


Inflammation is activated and spreads in the root canaliculi. The purulent fluid accumulates at the top of the root. Then a seal and a fistula are formed.

peri coronal

The abscess is localized in the soft tissues in the place where the dental unit erupts. In most cases, this happens in the hood over the “eight”.

Classification and stages of festering of the tooth root

First, a small inflammatory process appears on the mucous membranes. Then a ball with a diameter of up to 0.5 cm is formed. Then a hollow pocket is formed in which exudate accumulates. At the final stage, the fistulous opening is visually determined, bringing fluid to the surface.

There are two types of the disease, depending on the severity and duration of the development of the pathological process. They are presented in the table below.

Form of pathology: Characteristic manifestations

Acute: Symptoms are pronounced: a sharp pain syndrome, the growth of a purulent focus, discomfort during meals, and temperature changes.

Chronic: Signs of the disease are not so noticeable, and soreness is felt less. A fistula is formed. Even if the contents have leaked out, the infectious process does not stop, after a while, the problem reappears.

In the absence of therapy, the acute form becomes chronic. It is much more difficult for medical intervention.

Consequences of a tooth abscess

The disease does not go away on its own. If you open the abscess, some symptoms will go away, but this does not mean at all that you need to abandon professional treatment. Failure to drain leads to the further spread of infection to other tissues, the head, and the neck. Let’s look at the most common complications and their features.

Phlebitis and thrombophlebitis

When the venous vessels are located as close as possible to the pathological focus, they become inflamed, and subsequently blood clots form. At first, only the vascular walls are affected, then the surrounding cells and other surfaces. The blood flow slows down, the component composition of the blood also changes, and the clotting index increases. That is why the risk of thrombosis increases significantly. It happens that this happens in the sinuses of the brain.


This is an inflammation of a group of organic structures that are observed in the area of ??\u200b\u200bthe chest between the right and left pleural cavities, the posterior surface of the sternum, and the spine. Pathology can lead to death.

Pathogenic microorganisms can penetrate the central space of the chest between the two pleurae by contact, through the bloodstream or lymph flow. Pus aggressively affects the vascular walls and partitions of muscle tissues. This leads to a very rapid progression of infection and bleeding. The focus in most cases is inflammation at the top of the tooth root. Sometimes it is combined with infection of the tonsils and mechanical damage to the mucous membranes of the oral cavity.

Consequences of a tooth abscess

Acute or chronic sepsis

This complication is considered one of the most severe. It is associated primarily with insufficient immune protection of the patient. The body is not able to resist pathogenic bacteria and other pathogens, so they spread to all organs and tissues.

A septic reaction can be fulminant (within a couple of days), acute (up to a week), subacute (up to 14 days), and chronic. First of all, if there is a violation of the functioning of the pulmonary system, then the kidneys, liver, etc. are affected. Subsequently, septic shock develops, which is accompanied by a slowdown in blood flow and insufficiency of several internal organs at once. Most patients die within a few days.

meningeal diseases

Such consequences are rare. However, the risk of death, in this case, is maximum and reaches 90%. Most often, such diseases develop as a result of infection of the body from primary foci, the palatine, temporal region, and depressions in the lateral parts of the skull.


How to understand that there is pus in the tooth and what to do if the signs of an abscess become pronounced? You should immediately contact your dentist. The doctor will interview the patient and prescribe all the necessary methods for a comprehensive examination.

On examination, special attention is paid to swelling and a change in the shade of the mucous membranes. Palpation is performed, and the lesion is soft to the touch and fluctuates. All manipulations cause severe discomfort in the patient. The dentist taps the dental units and identifies moving elements. When pressing on the gum, purulent contents are released.

To identify a pathological focus, the simultaneous presence of the following signs is necessary:

  • the presence of a diseased tooth, which caused the appearance of unpleasant symptoms;
  • pronounced inflammatory accumulation in the soft tissues of cellular elements with an admixture of blood and lymph;
  • difficulty in moving the lower jaw;
  • trouble swallowing food and liquids.

When assessing the condition of the oral cavity, the specialist determines the type of inflammation, depending on where it is localized and how widespread it is. At the same time, the patient’s age category, local symptoms, and history of systemic diseases are also important.
To establish a specific causative agent of infection, it is necessary to additionally conduct microbiological diagnostics – general blood and urine tests. You also need to undergo an X-ray examination.

How to treat a purulent abscess of the wisdom tooth and other units

After an accurate diagnosis is made, all therapeutic measures are developed in such a way as to rid the person of the infection. General steps:

  • Opening an abscess, continuous removal of liquid contents (drainage) using medical drainage instruments (rubber tubes, gauze swabs, etc.). A small incision is made near the abscess, then the opened wound is washed with saline.
  • Formation of the root canal of the pulp layer. All damaged tissues are removed, and after drainage, a special sealing compound is introduced into the voids. To strengthen the unit, a subsequent installation of a crown is possible.
  • Extraction of a diseased tooth. This measure is indicated in the case when it is not possible to save him.
  • Taking antibiotics to prevent the spread of the infectious process to healthy tissues.

To get rid of pain, rinsing with a warm saline solution or a special pharmacy preparation is often prescribed. If the patient is experiencing very severe discomfort, the use of painkillers is indicated.

Drainage is performed under local anesthesia. If the pulp is affected, depopulation with filling is performed.

Sometimes an abscess can be eliminated only after the removal of a tooth with pus. This is indispensable if drainage did not help, and the inflammation only began to progress. The infectious process gradually destroys hard tissues and the root system, so it should be urgently stopped.

It is strictly forbidden to open an abscess on your own at home. A new infection can penetrate the wound, and complications will not keep you waiting. Only a professional can clean the cavity of an abscess qualitatively.

In the absence of the opportunity to urgently visit a dental clinic, you can somewhat alleviate the symptoms. Helpful hints:

  • do not use hot rinses and compresses;
  • make soda and salt baths for disinfection and inflammation relief;
  • rinse your mouth with decoctions of calendula or chamomile;
  • try to remove pus from the gums with a peeled aloe leaf.

Disease prevention

Knowing why the tooth is festering and what to do with the abscess, you can quickly stop the infection and avoid complications. However, it is much better if the infection can be completely prevented. Preventive measures primarily involve the timely comprehensive treatment of all diseases of the oral cavity. It is very important to prevent the development of deep caries and regularly care for dentition.

General rules:

  • daily cleaning with a brush and paste selected individually;
  • drinking water containing fluoride;
  • cleaning of interdental spaces with the help of floss (thread), the use of rinses;
  • regular replacement of hygiene accessories every 3 months or more often (for example, in case of premature wear and deformation of the bristles);
  • proper balanced nutrition, rejection of a large amount of sugar-containing products, additional snacks;
  • visits to the dentist at least once every six months to assess the condition of the oral cavity and professional hygiene.

Your doctor may recommend other protective measures. It depends on the chronic and other diseases of the patient and the presence of any health complaints.

If you have a festered tooth, this indicates an infection (most often in the area of a sick unit that has not been treated for caries). Thus, the body is protected from further reproduction of pathogenic microflora and its spread to other tissues. If you do not see a doctor in time, it threatens extraction and many more serious complications for the patient.