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Dental Abscess (cont.)

Dental Abscess Symptoms and Signs

  • Symptoms of a dental abscess typically include pain, swelling, and redness of the mouth and face. With an advanced infection, you can experience nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills.
  • The signs of dental abscess typically include, but are not limited to, cavities, gum inflammation, oral swelling, tenderness with touch, pus drainage, and sometimes difficulty or pain upon fully opening your mouth or swallowing.
  • Universally, there is tenderness to palpation (touch) of the infected area.

When to Seek Medical Care

If you think you have an abscess, call your dentist. If you cannot reach a dentist, go to your physician or a hospital's emergency department for evaluation, especially if you feel sick.

  • If an infection becomes so painful that it cannot be managed by nonprescription medicines, see your doctor or dentist immediately. Drainage might be required.
  • If you develop fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting as a result of a dental abscess, see your doctor.

If you have intolerable pain, difficulty breathing or swallowing, any of the symptoms of a dental abscess, or you cannot reach your doctor or dentist during off hours, go to a hospital's emergency department for evaluation and treatment. By seeking treatment before your symptoms progress to this stage, you can avoid emergency department visits.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/28/2014

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Dental Abscess »

A dentoalveolar abscess is an acute lesion characterized by localization of pus in the structures that surround the teeth.

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