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Tooth Abscess

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Last updated June 11, 2022

Tooth abscess quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your tooth abscess.

What is a tooth abscess?

A tooth abscess is a collection of infected material (pus) in the center of a tooth. It is caused by a bacterial infection. The infection is usually caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease, or a cracked tooth. These can let bacteria enter the pulp (the soft tissue of a tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue).

If the abscess is not treated, it can lead to a serious infection in the jaw bone, teeth and surrounding tissues.



See a dentist immediately to get treated. Treatment depends on how bad the infection is but usually includes taking antibiotics.  The infection may need to be drained and cleaned. You may need a root canal if the abscess is caused by decay or a cracked tooth.

Ready to treat your tooth abscess?

We show you only the best treatments for your condition and symptoms—all vetted by our medical team. And when you’re not sure what’s wrong, Buoy can guide you in the right direction.See all treatment options
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The stories shared below are not written by Buoy employees. Buoy does not endorse any of the information in these stories. Whenever you have questions or concerns about a medical condition, you should always contact your doctor or a healthcare provider.
Dr. Rothschild has been a faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He currently practices as a hospitalist at Newton Wellesley Hospital. In 1978, Dr. Rothschild received his MD at the Medical College of Wisconsin and trained in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in critical care medicine. He also received an MP...
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