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A periapical abscess is when bacteria invades the internal pulp of a tooth and makes its way down the roots, spreading infection and forming a pocket of pus at the tip. This can happen when a cavity goes untreated, an injury to the tooth has occurred, or previous dental work was done.

If ignored, an abscess of this kind can become life-threatening when the infection is allowed to spread. Treatment for a periapical abscess has a couple of different options depending on the severity of the infection. Your dentist will first want to drain the pus and clean out the infection. If the tooth can be saved, a root canal operation may need to be done to shore it up. Worst case scenario, the tooth may need to be pulled.

Watch for these symptoms of a periapical abscess:

-An intense, throbbing toothache pain that may extend to the jaw and radiate to the ear or neck.

-If the abscess ruptures there will be a sudden relief from pain and a foul taste in your mouth accompanied by the smell of infection.


-Sensitivity to hot and cold, and whenever there is force applied on the tooth from chewing.

-Inflammation of the face and neck.

-Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck.

If you have a cavity, come see Dr. Kenneth Pilgrim before it becomes an abscess. He will be happy to help you. Please contact Kenneth Pilgrim to make an appointment at: 706-820-0413, or come by our office in Flintstone, Georgia.