Is a Tooth Abscess Considered an Emergency?

A tooth abscess is probably one of the common reasons why people seek emergency dental care, and if not treated promptly, this condition can have serious consequences for both oral and overall health. 

Understanding the symptoms of infection and tooth abscess can help you avoid serious, long-term dental problems. 

Keep reading this article to know more about the causes of tooth abscesses, how to recognize the symptoms, and how Perth’s emergency dentist can treat tooth abscesses and restore your smile.

What is a Dental Abscess?

A dental abscess, also called a tooth abscess, is a pus-filled cavity in or around a tooth. A bacterial infection causes pus, which is a thick, oozing white or yellow-white liquid.

When the body responds to an infection with an inflammatory response, the buildup of cells increases pressure at the infection site, causing severe pain.

A tooth abscess is a painful pus-filled pocket that develops around a tooth. A bacterial infection is to blame.

What is the Cause of a Tooth Abscess?

A dental infection always causes dental abscesses. Infections in the mouth can start inside or around the tooth. Gum disease can also cause an abscess.

Endodontic infections affect the nerves and blood vessels within the tooth and are referred to as “inside infections.” Large cavities, cracks, or trauma are the most common causes of endodontic infections. Endodontic infections eventually spread to the end of the tooth’s root, infecting the bone around it.

Infections in the gums and bone surrounding a tooth can also lead to dental abscesses. Periodontal infections are what they’re called. If you want to save the tooth, you must understand the differences in treatment options.

Periodontal infections may necessitate gum surgery, while endodontic infections usually necessitate root canal treatment. For either type of infection, extraction is the treatment if you do not want to save the tooth.

Because endodontic and periodontal infections appear differently on a dental x-ray, your dentist can easily distinguish between them.

emergency tooth abscess

What Makes a Tooth Abscess So Dangerous?

If left untreated, the infection will spread regardless of where it started. The infection often spreads outward in the form of a small pimple-like swelling that can drain and relieve pressure (called a fistula). This type of abscess may not cause any discomfort.

In some cases, the infection spreads inward, causing death. Septicemia is a condition that occurs when a dental infection spreads to the bloodstream.

The airway can be blocked by an infection that spreads to the soft tissues under the tongue. If an infection in the upper teeth spreads, it has the potential to spread to the brain. All of these scenarios have the potential to be fatal.

When is a Tooth Abscess Considered a Dental Emergency?

The development of bacteria from an existing cavity into the soft tissues and bones of the face and neck causes a dental abscess. Cavity-causing bacteria can infect the gums, throat, cheek, tongue, and facial bone. When the tissues are inflamed, it can be terribly painful.

It will become increasingly unpleasant until the pus that has accumulated at the infection site is surgically drained or drains on its own. Breathing becomes difficult when an illness advances to the point where swelling clogs the airway. Fever, vomiting, chills, and sweating, among other symptoms, can be caused by dental abscesses.

A tooth abscess can be caused by poor oral hygiene, a poor diet, smoking, drinking, or medical conditions that increase the risk of cavities growing in the teeth. If the infection spreads to the gums and other nearby areas, a painful tooth abscess may develop.

When To Seek Emergency Care?

People who feel they have a tooth abscess should book an appointment with the dentist to be evaluated and diagnosed.

Patients should visit the nearest emergency dentist if:

  • Their regular dentist is not available. 
  • The infection becomes too painful to manage with medication, 
  • The patient should find emergency help. 
  • The patient has a fever, chills, vomiting, or other signs of a dental abscess, call 000 immediately.
  • The patient is exoeriencing excruciating pain or has trouble swallowing.

How Is Dental Abscess Being Treated?

If your dentist determines that the dental abscess can be drained, the abscess will be cut open, and the pus will be drained. At the beginning of a root canal procedure, the dentist may drain the dental abscess through the tooth that is infected. The abscess may rupture on its own in some cases. People with dental abscesses are usually prescribed antibiotics and pain relievers.


A tooth abscess is an infection that can be very painful, which is the main reason why oral hygiene that is good is essential. Call the dental clinic and schedule an appointment to have the abscess drained if you have a tooth abscess and experience a lot of pain.

You can also be proactive and go for a monthly oral checkup with the dentist. Doing so will let you know if any potential abscess buildup.

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