6 Signs Of An Abscessed Tooth

An abscess is an accumulation of pus that builds up inside of your teeth or gums due to a bacterial infection. The presence of pus is actually a buildup of dead white blood cells from the immune response caused by the infection. When pus accumulates in an enclosed area, such as a tooth, an abscess forms. A dental abscess is considered a dental emergency. If you develop an abscessed tooth, you will need to get treatment at a place like Peak Family Dentistry & Orthodontics as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading or worsening. Here are a few signs of an abscessed tooth:


An abscess within a tooth usually causes immediate discomfort. In addition, as the abscess grows, so does your pain. The pain, which may present as a throbbing or shooting sensation, is due to pressure building up within the pulp of the tooth around the dental nerve. Pain may be especially severe when you bite down or apply pressure to the tooth, and the discomfort may radiate to your ear, jaw or neck.


Dental abscesses are sometimes accompanied by swelling of the jaw or face. The swelling stems from the increase of fluid and white blood cells around the infection site.

Temperature Sensitivity

Since the abscess may cause the dental nerve to be inflamed, your tooth may be unusually sensitive to heat and cold. 

Leaky yellow, Brown or Green Fluid

The presence of pus leaking from the area surrounding a tooth is a sign of an abscess. Pus that is not mixed with blood is usually yellowish. However, if blood gets into the abscessed area, the pus may develop tinges of red. Green pus occurs because of a green antibacterial protein that is sometimes produced by white blood cells.  

Foul Taste

Pus can have a foul taste and odor, which may linger in your mouth as long as the abscessed tooth remains untreated.


Like other types of infections, an abscessed tooth can cause a fever. The fever is the body's defense against the infection. Most infectious bacteria thrive at a normal body temperature, which is 98.6 F. A fever is usually present if an adult has a temperature above 99 F or 99.5 F, depending on the time of day.

An abscessed tooth can cause great discomfort and should receive immediate treatment. An untreated dental infection could spread to your jawbone and cause complications. If you believe your tooth is abscessed, contact your dentist today for emergency dental treatment.