Symptoms and Causes of Abscessed Teeth

Abscessed teeth can be completely symptom-free, or cause excruciating pain. In most cases, you will notice a small “pimple” on the gums alongside of the affected tooth. This pimple may come and go along with a small amount of pus. Sometimes abscesses may show no visible swelling at all.

Symptoms of abscessed teeth include:

  • A visible swelling near the root of the tooth
  • Hot, cold, or sweet sensitivity
  • Bad taste
  • Large fracture or cavity in the tooth
  • Severe, sharp pain

Treatment for Abscessed Teeth


An x-ray is used to diagnose the condition and confirm infection around the root of the tooth. To treat an abscessed tooth, the infection must be removed. A prescription antibiotic may be used to clear up the initial infection before the infected nerve tissue is cleaned away. The inside of the tooth is then filled and sealed off to prevent new infections from developing. This procedure is called a root canal (or endodontic therapy.) A permanent crown is then placed over the tooth so that it can return to functioning normally.

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