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Abscessed Tooth

Periapical (root-tip) Abscess

A periapical (root-tip) abscess is a pocket of infection at the base of a tooth's root. The tooth becomes abscessed after the pulp (nerve) of the tooth becomes infected. A periapical abscess is usually caused by deep decay or an accident (trauma to the tooth involving nerve damage). A periapically abscessed tooth will require either Root Canal Therapy or an Extraction. In some cases an antibiotic will also be prescribed.

Lateral Abscess

diagram

A lateral abscess is similar to a periapical abscess, but develops along the lateral surface of the tooth's root. In this case, the infection comes from outside the tooth instead of from within. A lateral abscess can either be gingival (located near the gum line) or periodontal (located deeper in the periodontal tissues). Since most cases of lateral abscess are due to periodontitis (gum disease), treatment is part of an overall periodontal (gum) treatment program.

All Abscesses

An abscessed tooth is usually sensitive or painful. The discomfort is what normally alerts the patient to the problem. Occasionally, an abscess may be detected on an x-ray and treated before the patient experiences any discomfort. Left untreated, an abscess may compromise the immune system and in some cases may become life-threatening.

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© Copyright 2006 - Dental WebSmith, Inc. and Glenn V. Schmidt, DDS, MS. All rights reserved worldwide. Disclaimer: The information provided within is intended to help you better understand dental conditions and procedures. It is not meant to serve as delivery of medical or dental care. If you have specific questions or concerns, contact your health care provider.

 

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© Copyright 2006 - Dental WebSmith, Inc. and Glenn V. Schmidt, DDS, MS. All rights reserved worldwide. Disclaimer: The information provided within is intended to help you better understand dental conditions and procedures. It is not meant to serve as delivery of medical or dental care. If you have specific questions or concerns, contact your health care provider.