Tooth abscess is a swelling due to collection of pus that resulted from bacterial infection of oral tissues.
Photograph showing an abscess near a tooth


Tooth decay:

Tooth decay is the main cause of tooth abscess for children. When tooth decay is deep down to the centre of the tooth (the pulp), bacteria can infect the pulpal tissue and the pulp becomes dead. Infection may then spread out from the root of the tooth and to the supporting tissues around the tooth, leading to inflammation and accumulation of pus, and thus formation of a tooth abscess.

Other causes:

Severe gum disease, cracked tooth, tooth wear, etc., may also result in the formation of tooth abscess. However, they usually occur in adults.


If the tooth with abscess is not treated early and appropriately, bacterial infection may spread to the surrounding tissues like the supporting bone, gum, etc., and may result in severe consequences.


If a tooth abscess is found in the mouth, you should ask your parents to bring you to see a dentist immediately to have a check-up and receive treatments. Usually, the dentist needs to:


Formation of a tooth abscess indicates that oral disease has already reached a very serious stage. Hence, one should:

Last revision date: 18 January 2012