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Dental Abscess

Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Prevention


What Is A Dental Abscess?

A dental abscess is a painful dental condition that occurs when pus builds up in the teeth, gums, or surrounding tissues. It is typically caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth. This infection can enter through a cracked or decayed tooth, an untreated cavity, or the gums. Poor oral hygiene is the primary cause of most dental abscesses.

When plaque and food particles build up on the teeth, it creates an environment that promotes bacterial growth. This leads to inflammation and infection, which can eventually result in an abscess. The abscess can be located in different areas of the mouth, including the root of the tooth, the gum line, or the space between the teeth and gums.


Two Types of Dental Abscesses

A dental abscess is a painful condition that occurs when a bacterial infection forms in the mouth. Two types of dental abscesses can occur which are: periapical and periodontal.

Periapical abscess

This type of abscess occurs at the tip of the root of a tooth. It is usually caused by an untreated cavity or a crack in the tooth that allows bacteria to enter and infect the dental pulp. The infection then spreads to the tissues surrounding the tooth, causing pain and inflammation. Symptoms of a periapical abscess include throbbing pain, swelling, and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.

Periodontal abscess

This type of abscess occurs in the gums next to the root of a tooth. It is caused by an infection in the pocket between the tooth and the gum, usually due to poor oral hygiene. Symptoms of a periodontal abscess include swelling, pain, and a bad taste or odour in the mouth.

Both types of dental abscesses require prompt treatment to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further damage. If you suspect you have a dental abscess, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible.

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Find Comfort from Toothaches in Ellenbrook WA

If you’re grappling with a toothache, don’t hesitate – head over to Coolamon Dental Centre for swift relief. Our proficient dental team specialises in identifying the root cause of your discomfort and providing effective treatment.

We understand the significance of a healthy, pain-free smile, and we’re here to ensure you get back to feeling your best. Your comfort is our priority, and we’re dedicated to restoring your dental well-being.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common causes of dental abscess and gum infection?

A dental abscess is a painful and potentially serious condition that occurs when bacteria infect the gums, teeth or surrounding tissue in the mouth. The following factors can contribute to the development of a dental abscess:

  • Poor oral hygiene: When plaque and food particles build up on the teeth, it creates an environment that promotes bacterial growth. This leads to inflammation and infection, which can eventually result in an abscess.
  • Untreated cavities: A cavity that goes untreated can allow bacteria to penetrate the tooth, leading to an abscess.
  • Cracked or damaged teeth: Cracks or chips in the teeth can provide an entry point for bacteria to infect the tooth and surrounding tissues.
  • Gum disease: When the gums become inflamed or infected, it can lead to the formation of a gum abscess.
  • Weakened immune system: Individuals with a weakened immune system may be more susceptible to developing dental abscesses.

What are the symptoms of dental abscess?

The symptoms of a dental abscess can be quite severe and should not be ignored. They include:

  • Toothache: A persistent, throbbing pain that can radiate to the jaw or ear.
  • Swelling: The area around the infected tooth or gum can become swollen and tender to the touch.
  • Sensitivity: The tooth may become sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, as well as pressure when biting or chewing.
  • Fever: In severe cases, a dental abscess can cause a fever or general feelings of malaise.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek immediate dental treatment.

How is dental abscess treated?

The treatment of a dental abscess will depend on the severity of the infection, it may include:

  • Antibiotics: If the infection is mild, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection.
  • Drainage: If the abscess has already formed, your dentist may need to drain the pus and debris from the affected area.
  • Root canal: In cases where the abscess has affected the tooth pulp, a root canal may be necessary to remove the infected tissue and save the tooth.
  • Extraction: In severe cases, the affected tooth may need to be removed to prevent the spread of infection.

To prevent dental abscesses, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits, including brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.


Prevention of Dental Abscess

Here are preventive measures, you can use to reduce your risk of developing dental abscesses and maintain good oral health. It is always better to take care of your dental health proactively rather than wait for the problem to get worse.

  • Good oral hygiene is key to preventing dental abscesses. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
  • Limit sugary and acidic foods, as they can contribute to decay and increase the risk of infection.
  • If you have a cracked or decayed tooth, see your dentist as soon as possible to have it treated. Untreated cavities can lead to bacterial infections and abscesses.
  • Avoid using tobacco products, which can weaken your immune system and make it more difficult for your body to fight off infections.
  • If you experience symptoms of a dental abscess, such as pain, swelling, and fever, seek immediate dental treatment. Delaying treatment can lead to more severe pain, more extensive dental procedures, and potentially life-threatening complications.

What our patients say

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My whole experience was amazing! The reception staff was friendly and very helpful, they made me feel at ease! Dr Aaron was an amazing dentist who is professional and I felt safe and relaxed while he sorted out my problem! They are caring people who is professional and I would highly recommend this dentist! Keep up the good work! I will see yous soon!

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Everyone working at Coolamon Dental are so helpful & friendly. Dr. Gen is so patient with me knowing I am terrified of going to the dentist. The ladies in reception put you at ease as soon as you come in the door. They are so friendly & have a laugh with you which helps when you are so nervous. The dentist explains everything that's going to be done so there are no surprises. The rooms are absolutely spotless. I now don't mind going to this dentist. Can highly recommend Coolamon Dental.

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Been three times, three different dentists…all brilliant and caring. The reception team are friendly too. Highly recommend. I’ve always found it difficult to find a caring dentist but each time here I am not disappointed. Keep up the great approach it’s highly appreciated.

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Shaun and Jenny were fantastic.
I came in for a toothache and they were able to fit me in. I'm a nervous patient and Shaun did an amazing job of calming my nerves and explaining the issue and options and then sorted the problem with minimal discomfort.

I'll be back for regular checkups!

Google Review

The staff here are all very friendly and helpful. The dentist was gentle and thoughtful. As I'm in a wheelchair he and his nurse were also very helpful. I recommend this practice and will go to them in the future.

Google Review

Absolutely the best dental practice I have ever used in the last 20 years. Wonderful and friendly reception staff, especially Serena, who is the model that all reception staff, everywhere, should aspire to. Very skilled dentists who dish out sensible and affordable solutions to dental issues.

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I’m a very anxious patient but my experience today was amazing. I was made very comfortable and Dr Aron was so gentle and friendly. I will be recommending Coolamon Dental Centre to everyone. Very happy customer here.

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Where to find us

Coolamon Dental Centre 

56A Mornington Pkwy,
Ellenbrook WA 6069

Tel: (08) 9296 9970


You can book an appointment with us online or call us at 9296 9970. Please note your dental appointment is considered confirmed at the time of booking. We have reserved the time with our dentists, dental assistants and hygienists, especially for you. We will contact you prior to your scheduled appointment with a courtesy reminder but ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure that you arrive on time for your appointment. We know that life can get in the way and if you need to reschedule, please give us at least one business day’s notice and we will be happy to find a time that better suits you.

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