Endodontic Abscess Treatment: What You Need To Know

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Endodontic treatment applies to any disease or injury that affects the roots of your teeth and the surrounding tissues. Root canal therapy is a common type of endodontic treatment, and allows dentists to treat several painful conditions, including endodontic abscesses. If your dentist has told you that you may have this type of abscess, find out what may have caused this condition, and learn more about the treatment you may need to have to cure the problem.

How an endodontic abscess can form

You're more likely to develop an endodontic abscess if something damages your tooth pulp (pulpal death). Several physiological and biological problems can cause pulpal death. Tooth decay, thermal damage, trauma and tooth wear can all ultimately kill off tooth pulp, after which a bacterial infection can set in to the pulp tissues. That aside, in some cases, dentists don't always know what causes the infection.

The infection commonly spreads from the pulp chamber into the root canal, and eventually infects the root tip and jawbone. Pus will then build up and form a hole in the bone, which leads to the abscess. The body will sometimes try to fight off the infection, and will drain the abscess near the infected tooth. This leads to a gumboil, which looks like a small pimple on the gum.

 In all cases, a dentist will need to treat the problem. A severely infected abscess can lead to further complications. The abscess may damage other soft tissue in the mouth, which could ultimately lead to bone loss. Sixty percent of non-traumatic dental emergencies occur due to abscesses, and some patients have died as a result of a severe infection.


Endodontic abscesses are sometimes tricky to diagnose because the infection is not always symptomatic. Some people can have an abscess for some time before they even realise the infection is there. In other cases, you may have a bad taste in your mouth, or you may find it painful when you bite down on the tooth.

If there are no obvious signs, a dentist can diagnose an endodontic abscess with a nerve pulp test. During this test, he or she will tap gently on the tooth, and will carry out a temperature test using an electric tester. An X-ray can also expose any boss loss, which will appear as a dark area on the X-ray image.

Treatment options

A dentist can treat an endodontic abscess in several ways. The treatment method will vary according to how severe the infection is. Treatment options include:

After treatment, you'll normally need to take over-the-counter pain relief tablets. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can also stop any new infection setting in.

Why root canal treatment is preferable

Dentists and endodontists will normally recommend root canal treatment to deal with endodontic abscesses. This procedure is generally more cost-effective than extraction because you also need a bridge or an implant if a dentist removes one of your teeth. Even with an implant, people often struggle to eat certain foods, so your dentist will always aim to make sure you keep your original teeth.

A lot of people worry that a root canal treatment will cause a lot of pain. With advances in technology and anesthetics, the treatment is no more painful than a standard filling. A survey by the American Association of Endodontics found that people who had root canal treatment were six times more likely to say it was painless than those who had not had this type of dentistry.

An endodontic abscess is a serious infection that can have life-threatening consequences. If you suspect that you have an abscess, don't put off medical treatment. Talk to your dentist before the problem becomes more serious. For more information about root canals you can also visit http://www.vbandk.com/.