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Gingival abscesses

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A gum abscess is a pocket pus in the gums or into the space between the teeth and gums. Some bacterias can enter this area because of a tooth abscess or other oral hygiene problem (periodontitis).

The mouth and gums are normally filled with both good and bad bacteria. The build-up of bad bacteria contributes to the formation of plaque and tartar, which can lead to cavities and other dental problems. It can cause an infection.

Symptoms of gingival abscess

The main symptoms of a gingival abscess are pain and swelling of the affected area. Depending on the location of the abscess along the gum line, it could provoke pain when chewing or biting. A person may notice a mass or lump in the area of the abscess that causes pain and pressure.

The person may also feel :

  • Bad breath
  • Pus draining from the mouth
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Sensitive teeth or gums
  • Loosening of the gums
  • Fever


Dental process

Gingival treatment abscess includes to drain it, as well as removing all contaminants from the area between the gums and teeth.
If a person shows some signs of plaque buildup or periodontal disease, the dentist may recommend a specialized cleaning procedures to remove the accumulated plaque and tartar. The dentist should realize a small incision in the inflamed area to drain it.

Dentists often order an x-ray to determine if the abscess has caused a bone breakdown. This loss can occur if the infection is severe or if the gum abscess is left untreated for a long period of time.

If a bone loss is significant, the dentist may recommend procedures to help repair the bone and surrounding tissue.
If a gum abscess affects the inner pulp of the tooth, a root canal will be necessary. In some cases, the dentist may also recommend removing the tooth along with the abscess. People with periapical abscesses, which occur when bacteria invade the tooth pulp due to extensive decay, trauma or a cracked tooth, for example, may need a root canal or extraction.


Oral antibiotics can kill the bacteria which provokes the infection and prevent the infection from spreading or reinfecting the area.
It can also reduce inflammation and pain in the area. However, antibiotics are not a substitute for dental care and will not cure the abscess.

Do you need to treat a gingival abscess? During your consultation, your particular situation will be discussed in more detail. We encourage you to ask any questions you may have. If new questions arise after your consultation, please do not hesitate to contact the clinic in Geneva. During the initial examination, we will be able to set up the necessary care for the treatment of gingival abscesses. Moreover, we can define the treatment plan, the expected duration of treatment and the approximate cost.

Stop by our dental clinic for a visit, or call us at 022 310 50 77 to arrange a consultation

A periodontal abscess is often the first concrete sign that indicate the presence of periodontal disease in your mouth.

— Dr Christophe Gachet
This article was written by :
Rhone Dental Clinic Article Auteur Christophe Gachet
Dr Christophe Gachet, clinic manager and implant specialist at the Rhône Dental Clinic

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