A dental abscess is a ‘pus-pocket’ located at the root tip of a tooth. It is caused by bacteria invading the tooth pulp. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. It lies within the tooth and extends from the crown to the tip of the root in the jawbone.
Often the abscessed tooth is a result of a cracked tooth or tooth decay. These problems allow bacteria to enter the pulp. When the pulp becomes diseased or injured, and cannot repair itself, it dies. This exposes your teeth to even more serious problems.
If the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result. The infection could eventually cause irreversible damage to your jawbone which could result in loss of teeth. If the abscess is detected in time, root canal treatment could save most of your tooth, and a crown could be placed over the healthy foundation. Root canal treatment will require one to three visits to your dentist.