Tooth Abscess Swelling — Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment


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Publish date

June 18, 2023


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Tooth abscess swelling is a common dental problem affecting millions of people worldwide. It is a bacterial infection that occurs near the tooth’s root or in the gums, forming a pocket of pus. The swelling can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable, and getting dental treatment as soon as possible is important. This blog post will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of tooth abscess swelling. 

Symptoms of Tooth Abscess Swelling 


Tooth abscess swelling is a common symptom of an abscessed tooth. The gum around the affected tooth may become inflamed and swollen, and the swelling may spread to the cheek, jaw, or neck. If you notice swelling in your mouth, especially around a tooth, seeing a dentist as soon as possible is important. 

dental abscess symptoms parkdalePain

Another common symptom of a tooth abscess is pain. The pain may be a dull ache or a sharp, throbbing pain. It’s often described as a persistent, throbbing pain that can be difficult to ignore. The pain may worsen when you bite or chew, especially on hot or cold food. The pain may radiate to other parts of the face, such as the ear or jaw. 


In addition to swelling and pain, tooth abscesses can cause redness in the affected area. The gum tissue around the affected tooth may become red and inflamed, and the surrounding skin may be tender. If you notice redness or tenderness in your mouth, seeing a dentist as soon as possible is important. 


In severe cases, dental abscesses can cause a fever. This is a sign that the body is fighting off the infection. If you have a fever and other symptoms of a tooth abscess, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible. 

Causes of Tooth Abscess Swelling 

Bacterial Infection

A bacterial infection can also cause tooth abscess swelling. This can happen if you have tooth decay and bacteria enter the tooth. If bacteria penetrate deep into the tooth, it can cause an infection in the tooth’s root. If left untreated, this can lead to a root canal treatment and even a serious infection. The abscess is a pocket of inflammatory fluid, and when it ruptures, it results in tooth abscess swelling. 

Dental Trauma

Dental trauma can also cause tooth abscess swelling. The trauma can occur from a direct hit on your tooth, such as when playing sports. The trauma can also occur from grinding your teeth excessively, causing damage to the connective tissue that holds your tooth in place. This can lead to tooth abscess swelling, resulting in pain and discomfort. 

Home Remedies for Tooth Abscess Swelling 

Cold Compresses

One of the easiest remedies for tooth abscess swelling is applying a cold compress to the affected area. Cold compresses help reduce pain and swelling while increasing blood flow to the area. To do this, take a clean cloth, soak it in warm water, and then hold it tightly against the area with the abscess. Repeat this process a few times a day, and you will notice a significant reduction in the pain. 

Saltwater Rinses

Another remedy that has proven effective in reducing tooth abscess swelling is a saltwater rinse. Saltwater helps clean the area and gives relief against bacterial infection. Mix a tablespoon of salt water into a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth thoroughly. Be sure to repeat this process a few times daily for maximum relief. 

Medical Treatment Options for Tooth Abscess Swelling 


Antibiotics are the most common method of treating abscessed teeth. They work by eliminating the bacteria causing the infection.

causes pain swell abscess dentist parkdaleTypically, a dentist will prescribe an antibiotic to be taken orally for seven to ten days. While antibiotics can help with the discomfort and stop the bacterial infection from spreading further, they cannot treat the abscess fully.

Your dentist may also suggest an over-the-counter pain relief medication to help manage your pain and swelling. 

Drainage Procedures

Sometimes, your dentist must drain the abscess to remove the pus. They will make a small incision in the affected area and drain the fluid using a dental syringe. The procedure can provide quick pain relief and prevent the infection from spreading further. Once the abscess ruptures, your dentist may irrigate the pocket with a saline solution to clean the area and remove harmful bacteria. 

Root Canal Treatment

Your dentist may recommend root canal therapy if the infection has spread beyond the affected tooth’s roots. This procedure removes the infected or dead tissue to alleviate the pain and swelling. A root canal treatment is done under local anaesthesia and may require multiple visits, depending on the severity of the abscess. After cleaning the affected area, the dentist will fill the space with dental material to prevent reinfection. Although the procedure may seem daunting, it is relatively painless and is an excellent way to save an abscessed tooth. 

Prevention of Tooth Abscess Swelling 

Get Regular Dental Checkups

One of the most important things you can do to prevent tooth abscess swelling is to visit your dentist for regular checkups. This will help catch dental problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease before they become abscesses. Your dentist will also be able to diagnose and treat an abscessed tooth promptly before it causes further damage. 

treatment teeth abscessed parkdaleGood Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is another effective way of preventing dental abscesses. Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste as it helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease, the primary causes of tooth abscesses.

Make sure to floss between your teeth and rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash to remove any food particles that could cause bacteria build-up. 

Know the Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

Knowing the symptoms of an abscessed tooth can help you seek dental treatment immediately. Symptoms include severe, throbbing pain around the affected tooth, swelling, and redness in the gums. Make sure to see your dentist immediately if you experience these symptoms. 

Treat Abscessed Teeth Promptly

If you have an abscessed tooth diagnosed, getting it treated promptly is essential. Delaying treatment can lead to a serious infection requiring root canal treatment. Your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics before treatment to reduce the disease and prevent further damage to surrounding tissues. 


Tooth abscess swelling can be a painful and potentially dangerous dental issue. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the spread of the infection and avoid potentially serious complications. Maintaining good oral hygiene and seeking dental care regularly can help prevent tooth abscesses and delay the need for aggressive dental treatment. If you experience any signs of tooth abscess swelling, you can consult our experienced dentists at Synergy Dental Group. Contact us on (03) 7003 2185 to book your first appointment! 

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. 


Dental Abscess 

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