Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Abscessed Tooth
An abscessed tooth is a tooth that has a pocket of pus in the
tissues around or beneath it. A bacterial infection or gum disease (gingivitis
or periodontitis) may cause the bone surrounding the tooth to dissolve and an
abscess to form.
Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include pain, swelling, and redness
in the gums; a bad taste in the mouth; and fever.
An abscessed tooth is usually treated with:
If the pulp of the tooth is infected, root canal treatment will be
done to remove the infected pulp and try to save the tooth. If root canal
treatment is not successful, the tooth will be removed (extraction).
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.