Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Dental Infection Overview

Another name for Dental Infection is Dental Abscess.

What is a dental abscess?
A person with a dental abscess has a collection of pus near a tooth, caused by a bacterial infection. Dental infections are usually caused by bacteria normally present in the mouth in controlled numbers. A dental abscess is more common in those with dental caries and periodontal disease.

What are the symptoms of a dental abscess?
Symptoms of a dental abscess may include dental pain that may be triggered by chewing or exposure to cold. Other symptoms include red or swollen gums, pus in the gum line, bad breath, and loose teeth. Symptoms of a worsening dental abscess include fever, facial pain, facial swelling and tenderness.

How does the doctor treat a dental abscess?
Treatment for a dental abscess may include warm compresses to the face, antibiotics, warm saltwater gargles, tooth extraction, and surgery to drain an abscess.

Continue to Dental Infection Risk Factors

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Dental Infection References
  1. Brook I. Microbiology and management of endodontic infections in children. J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2003 Fall;28(1):13-7. [14604136]
  2. Douglass AB, Douglass JM. Common dental emergencies. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Feb 1;67(3):511-6. [12588073]
  3. Preshaw PM. Antibiotics in the treatment of periodontitis. Dent Update. 2004 Oct;31(8):448-50, 453-4, 456. [15554049]
  4. Roberts A. Bacteria in the mouth. Dent Update. 2005 Apr;32(3):134-6, 139-40, 142. [15881508]
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