First Time User? Enroll now.
*Vaccine availability and appointments* | Visitor and mask policies | Additional COVID-19 resources.
Home > 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: March 25, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.