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What causes a gum abscess?

We get a gum or gingival abscess when bacteria causes an infection in the space between the teeth and the gum.

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition of the gums when plaque accumulates under the gums. There is a lack of attachment of the periodontal tissue and a periodontal pocket forms. When there is a build up of bacteria in this pocket, it leads to a gum abscess.

We often find that a weakened immune system can contribute to the formation of a gum abscess. Being stressed, tired or chronically ill all contributes to this.

A tooth with aperiapical abscess can also lead to the tissue around the tooth being swollen.

Symptoms include – Sensitivity too hot or cold

  • pain when chewing
  • tooth being loose / mobile
  • bad taste
  • fever


This not something that will just go away on its own or that you can treat at home. A periapical abscess can be diagnosed with a small X-ray and periodontal pocket detected during examination. A periodontal abscess is treated by cleaning the root surface of the accumulated bacteria with a scaler.  An abscess on the root tip is treated by doing a root canal procedure.

As with a lot of things in life , prevention is just so much better than cure . To attend regularly for you examinations and oral hygiene greatly prevents the chances of developing a dental abscess.

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