Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Dental Infection Underlying Cause

A dental abscess is caused by bacteria that are normally present in the mouth. The bacteria invade a tooth by entering through a cavity, and then spread to the bone. Bacteria can also invade the surrounding gum.

A dental abscess forms in the following manner:

  • Infecting organisms invade the tissue.
  • The organism starts to destroy the tissue.
  • The body sends white blood cells to fight the infection.
  • Cells in the tissue that surround the infection form a barrier around the infection, in order to keep it from spreading.

Continue to Dental Infection Anatomy

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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