Gum abscess stages and treatment

An abscess forms when the gums separate from the teeth and form a space that can host bacteria and start an infection. When this happens, a ball can appear that contains pus which is part of the infection. This ball or inflammation can hurt and even spread to other parts of your mouth if you do not take care of it as soon as possible.

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Are abscesses hard?

Most gum abscesses are soft and warm to the touch, but sometimes they can also be hard and firm.  

Can gum abscesses be dangerous?

Yes. There are different types and stages of dental abscesses, some of them are more dangerous than others, but when a dental abscess is left unattended it can cause a bigger infection that can lead to tooth loss or can even cause a stroke.

What can cause a gum abscess?

Several causes can lead to gum abscesses. Each case is different, but some of the most common ones and risk factors are the following:

  • Bad hygiene
  • Hormonal changes
  • Medications that change salivation
  • Genetics
  • Diabetes
  • Circulation problems 

Types and stages of dental abscesses

Periapical abscess: This abscess begins when bacteria enter the pulp of the tooth through an opening due to tooth decay or trauma. If the infection is not controlled it reaches the apical foramen and the periapical tissues in what is called apical periodontitis, in which the infection develops into an abscess.

Periodontal abscess: These kinds of abscesses involve the periodontal structures and the gingiva. A periodontal abscess happens when there is an existing periodontal pocket in which bacteria get into and lead to an infection and an abscess.

Gingival abscess: In this kind of abscess the abscess only involves the gingiva. This is the most common type of dental abscess since this is caused by food debris, plaque build-up, or a foreign object getting stuck in the gingival sulcus.

Periocoronal abscess: These types of abscesses happen when the tooth does not erupt completely, leaving some tissue over the top of the crown. Food debris or other objects can get deeply trapped between the tooth and the tissue, causing an infection and an abscess.

Symptoms of dental abscesses

  • Pain
  • Bad breath
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Loose teeth


Usually, infections are treated with antibiotics, but since an abscess is a collection of bacteria in the form of pus without blood vessels, oral antibiotics are not able to reach the abscess to deliver the medicine. 

The inability of antibiotics to reach the abscess leaves drainage as the most appropriate treatment when trying to get rid of a dental abscess. However, if you have a periapical abscess the only solution would be a root canal.

Where to get a gum abscess checked in the Phoenix Metro Area?If you have an abscess that is causing you discomfort and pain, you can come to Somos Dental. At Somos Dental we will give you the most appropriate treatment taking into consideration your case and your medical history. You can call us at our number 623-869-1091 or by filling out our online form which also includes a free appointment, you can also find us at any of our six locations at Downtown Phoenix, Desert Sky Mall, Avondale, Mesa, Laveen, and Camelback.

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We wanted to give the best present that it can be given, the presence of a beautiful white smile. In Somos Dental you can get a free laptop when you prepay your braces.You can schedule your appointment by filling our online form, which will also give you a free diagnostic appointment, so you get your braces while also taking care of your finances.

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