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Got a toothache? Signs of a dental abscess explored by our dentist

When most people get a toothache, they associate it with a cavity or a lost filling.

However, for those unlucky few, it can indicate something far more serious, such as a dental abscess.

A dental abscess is a painful infection that can form in the tooth, gums, or bone surrounding the tooth. It can cause severe pain and discomfort, and if a dental infection is left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications like sepsis.

general dentist Glenside

If you suspect you have a dental abscess, you will need to see emergency treatment from our general dentist Glenside. In cases where we suspect a dental abscess, we will aim to have you seen within 24 hours, and during this appointment, we will usually prescribe antibiotics and book you in for either a root canal or oral extraction. Both of these are designed to alleviate the abscess and prevent any further discomfort.

However, how do you know if you have a dental infection? Here are five signs of a dental abscess to look out for from our general dentist Glenside.

Persistent toothache

A persistent toothache is one of the most common signs of a dental abscess, according to our general dentist Glenside. The sensation may be severe and throbbing, and it may get worse when you bite down or chew. The feeling may also radiate to your jaw, ear, or neck. If you have a persistent toothache, you need to see our team as soon as possible to determine the cause and for us to establish the appropriate treatment.

Swollen gums

Swollen gums are another common sign of a dental abscess. The gums may be red, tender, and swollen and may also bleed when you brush or floss them. The swelling may also extend to the surrounding area, causing facial swelling or a visible lump. If you notice any swelling in your gums or face, you must see our emergency team immediately.

Sensitivity to hot or cold

Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures is a common symptom of a dental abscess. You may experience sharp, sudden pain when you drink coffee or consume an iced beverage. The pain may also persist after you remove the hot or cold stimulus. If you have sensitivity to hot or cold, you should contact our team at Glenside Dental as soon as possible.

Bad breath or unpleasant taste in the mouth

A dental abscess can also cause bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. The abscess may cause a foul odour or taste due to the bacteria and pus present in the infected area. If you have bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth that does not go away with brushing or mouthwash, make sure to see our team.

Fever or swollen lymph nodes

In some cases, a dental abscess can cause a fever or swollen lymph nodes. The infection may spread to other parts of the body, causing fever, chills, and other flu-like symptoms. If you have a fever or swollen lymph nodes in your neck or jaw, you must seek medical attention immediately.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.


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