Can Tooth Abscess Heal On Its Own? Exploring Causes, Symptoms, and Risks

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Have you ever experienced a pimple in your mouth and wondered what it is?

Can Tooth Abscess Heal On Its Own?

You might have a tooth abscess without noticing. In this informative crucial information about dental abscesses and discover whether they can heal on their own.

As with all infections, sometimes your immune system can fight them, thus healing the abscess. However, many times you must seek medical help for surgery and or antibiotics. 

What is a Tooth Abscess?

A tooth abscess is a pocket of puss that appears when your teeth or gums have a bacterial infection. As with all infections, sometimes your immune system can fight them, thus healing the abscess. However, many times you must seek medical help for surgery and or antibiotics. 

A dental abscess can occur in multiple areas inside your mouth, from your gums to the mucosa inside your cheeks. However, it can also spread to your face and jaw in severe cases, showing up in your skin as swelling and soreness.

Typically, teeth abscesses are localized within the tissues of your mouth. Still, the accumulated pus can drain to your mouth through an orifice known as a fistula.

There are two main types of dental abscesses, based on the location of the problem.

Periapical abscess: This type of abscess occurs when a bacterial infection has spread, reaching the pulp of your tooth. Although the pus accumulates around the tip of your tooth’s root, the infection can also affect its surrounding tissues.

Periodontal abscess: Unlike periapical abscesses, periodontal abscesses begin in your gums, generally due to gum disease, and manifest like a small bump or a pimple.

Causes of tooth abscesses

Most times, tooth abscesses are the consequence of untreated and frequent dental conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth trauma.

On one side, dental fractures and extensive cavities can affect your dental pulp, inducing bacteria reproduction and accumulation inside your tooth. On the other hand, gum disease can form pockets between your gums and teeth filled with bacteria and microorganisms, creating a periodontal abscess.

Symptoms of a Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess is not always painful. However, when it hurts, it manifests as a severe and throbbing toothache that can spread to nearby areas, your ear, or temple. 

Tooth Abscess

These are other usual signs and symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to cold and hot foods and drinks
  • Swelling of your gums, jaw, or cheeks
  • Redness and soreness
  • Fever and general malaise
  • Metallic or unpleasant taste
  • Bad breath
  • Increased tooth mobility

Signs that indicate the need for immediate dental care

Every tooth abscess requires immediate professional care . However, you must seek immediate medical care if you notice the following: 

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • High and consistent fever
  • Considerable face swelling
  • Persistent and severe pain

These signs could indicate the infection is spreading rapidly, causing dangerous complications to your overall health.

How to differentiate a tooth abscess from other dental issues

Signs and symptoms of dental abscesses are easy to identify by a professional clinician. However, you might find it difficult to distinguish it from other dental problems.

Some dental issues that can be confused with a tooth abscess are periodontal disease, oral tumors, and swollen glands.

Risks of Neglecting Treatment for a Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess can be a life-threatening dental emergency. Moreover, among the dental emergencies, they are the most dangerous and neglected oral complications.

The bacteria inside your abscess can spread the infection to other parts of your body, inducing jawbone damage, large and wide infections, or, eventually, a generalized and, sometimes, mortal body contamination called sepsis.

One dental abscess can cause teeth loosening, affect your neighboring healthy teeth, and induce tooth loss. By neglecting your dental abscess treatment, you can affect your denture with multiple oral issues and irreversible consequences.

Additionally, a tooth abscess usually indicates complex and severe dental issues. Therefore, you will require dental fillings, root canals, crowns, or extractions besides your abscess treatment.

Can a Tooth Abscess Heal on Its Own?

Your immune system can face and control infections in your body. However, this ability is limited by multiple factors, such as the amount of bacteria, the environment when the infection occurs, bacterial defensive mechanisms, and how strong your response system is.

Can a Tooth Abscess Heal on Its Own? Imune System

When bacteria invade a tissue in your body, your immune system attacks and destroys as many harmful microorganisms as possible, trying to prevent the infection from spreading. Unfortunately, this is unusual with teeth problems.

Sometimes, your immune system can deal with all the bacteria during an infection. Nonetheless, this occurs when you face mild and controlled infections with an excellent overall health condition.

Patients with compromised immune systems, some systemic conditions, and severe infections will struggle to deal with the contamination.

While your immune system can deal with the primary infection, not addressing the cause of the problem leads to recurrent dental infections that worsen over time.

Importance of Seeking Professional Dental Care for Tooth Abscesses

Your dentist can diagnose a tooth abscess with a complete evaluation, X-rays, and other imaging tests. Also, dental professionals address the initial cause, preventing the problem from spreading and causing more damage.

Your dentist can treat your tooth abscess with numerous dental procedures. Initially, he can drain your abscess with a painless procedure under local anesthesia, getting rid of most of the accumulated harmful bacteria and cleaning the site. Then, he can prescribe some antibiotics and painkillers to stop the infection entirely.

After this initial stage, your specialist can opt for root canal therapy if your tooth can be saved or a tooth extraction if the damage has gone too far.

Receiving dental treatment is the only long-term and definitive solution to your tooth abscess.

Although you could alleviate the pain and start fighting your tooth infection, most home treatments only provide temporary relief with high chances of relapse.

Moreover, home remedies do not solve the dental cavity, fracture, or periodontal disease causing the problem.


Although dental abscesses can be painless, they are dangerous dental emergencies that require professional treatment. While you can alleviate your symptoms with home measures, you must see a dentist as soon as possible to prevent further consequences.

Dental Checkup

Ignoring your symptoms or hoping the abscess will heal on its own can lead to severe infections and long-term oral damage.

Remember that oral health is essential for your well-being and overall health. Therefore, see your dentist at least two times per year and prioritize your dental health whenever possible.

Your oral health is worth the visit! Book a dental appointment with your dentist today if you suspect you have a dental abscess or any of the symptoms.

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