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A dental abscess is a collection of pus which can cause toothache and other symptoms. If you suspect that you have a dental abscess, see a dentist as soon as possible for treatment. Without treatment, the condition is likely to become worse, and you may lose the affected tooth. Complications are uncommon, but can be serious and even life-threatening.

Symptoms typically include one or more of the following:

  • Pain which can quickly become worse. It can be severe and throbbing.
  • Swelling of the gum, which can be tender.
  • Swelling of the face. The skin over an abscess may become red and inflamed.
  • The affected tooth may become tender to touch.
  • Fever and feeling generally unwell.
  • In severe cases there can be a spasm of the jaw muscles and compromised breathing.

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