A tooth abscess is basically an infection that is situated either at the base or alongside the root.  It is an extremely dangerous type of thing that needs to be taken seriously.  This is extremely painful to the person who is experiencing it.  This level of infection can become very serious very quickly.  It can compromise the patient’s immune system to the point that they are now in a life-threatening dilemma.

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A tooth abscess almost always presents with symptoms of severe pain.  However, there are times that this infection can be detected by X-rays before the onset of pain.  This is not an occurrence that happens very often however.

If left untreated, a tooth abscess can also cause the loss of jaw bone.  This is caused by a canal or fistula of infection that eats a hole through the bone.  As it reaches the gum, a boil or pus sac will develop.  If this were to burst, it would taste foul and bitter.  However, if it does burst, any sores or other problems in the mouth may lead to the infection spreading from this ruptured sac.

There are two types of infections that present themselves as a tooth abscess, and they are periapical and lateral.  Both are named because of where the infection occurs on the root.  Periapical is occurring at the tip or end of the root while lateral occurs down the side of the root.  The periapical will almost always result in a root canal and in the worst cases, extraction may be necessary.  Usually, a lateral is caused by periodontal disease and may require periodontal therapy or a root canal to heal.

The longer this infection is untreated, the more severe the consequences to the patient.