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Abscess Typically Originates From A Bacterial Infection

A tooth abscess is a collection of infected material (pus) due to a bacterial infection in the center of a tooth.
 
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
 
A tooth abscess is a complication of tooth decay. It may also result from trauma to the tooth, such as when a tooth is broken or chipped. Openings in the tooth enamel allow bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (the pulp). Infection may spread out from the root of the tooth and to the bones supporting the tooth.
 
Infection results in a collection of pus (dead tissue, live and dead bacteria, white blood cells) and swelling of the tissues within the tooth. This causes a painful toothache. If the pulp of the tooth dies, the toothache may stop, unless an abscess develops. This is especially true if the infection remains active and continues to spread and destroy tissue.
 
A dental abscess, or tooth abscess, is an accumulation of pus that forms inside the teeth or gums. The abscess typically originates from a bacterial infection, often one that has accumulated in the soft pulp of the tooth. 
 
Bacteria exist in plaque, a by-product of food, saliva and bacteria in the mouth which sticks to the teeth and damages them, as well as the gums. If the plaque is not removed by regular and proper tooth brushing and flossing the bacteria may spread within the soft tissue inside the tooth or gums, eventually resulting in an abscess. 
 
There are 3 types of dental abscess: 
Gingival abscess - the abscess is only in the gum tissue and does not affect the tooth or the periodontal ligament. 
Periodontal abscess - this abscess starts in the supporting bone tissue structures of the teeth. 
Periapical abscess - this abscess commences in the soft pulp of the tooth. 
 
A symptom is something the patient feels and reports, while a sign is something other people, including a doctor or nurse may detect. For example, pain may be a symptom while a rash may be a sign. Signs and symptoms of a dental abscess may include: 
 
Pain - the main symptom. This may be a throbbing pain, and is often intense. The pain usually starts suddenly, and becomes more intense over the subsequent hours or days. In some cases the pain may radiate to the ear, jawbone and neck.
 
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