Identifying Tooth Abscess and When You Need Urgent Care

A tooth abscess, also known as a dental abscess or periapical abscess, is a painful dental condition that happens when there is an infection in the tooth's pulp. If left untreated, the abscess can spread to the surrounding tissues and other body parts, causing severe health complications.

Identifying a tooth abscess is essential to seek urgent care to prevent further damage and pain. Here are some indications to look out for:

1. Pain and Sensitivity

A severe and persistent toothache is one of the most typical symptoms of a tooth abscess. The pain can be throbbing, sharp, or shooting and may reach the jaw, ear, or neck. Also, you may experience sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks.

2. Swelling and Inflammation

Another sign of a tooth abscess is swelling and inflammation in the affected area. The gum around the tooth may become red, tender, and swollen, and you may notice a small bump on the gum where the abscess has formed. The swelling can also spread to your face or neck, causing a visible bulge.

3. Fever and Malaise

If the infection has spread to other body parts, you may experience fever, chills, and general malaise. You may feel weak, tired, and achy and have difficulty concentrating or sleeping. These symptoms indicate that the infection has become severe and requires immediate medical attention.

4. Bad Breath and Taste

A tooth abscess can also cause bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. The pus and bacteria in the abscess can lead to a foul odor and taste that may persist even after brushing and rinsing your mouth.

When to Seek Urgent Care for Tooth Abscess

If you face any symptoms mentioned in the list, you must seek urgent dental care to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further complications. Delaying treatment can lead to more severe pain, tooth and surrounding tissue damage, and even life-threatening conditions.

Here are some situations where you need to seek urgent care for tooth abscess:

1. Intense Pain

You must see a dentist as soon as possible if you have severe and persistent tooth pain that does not work with over-the-counter pain relievers or home remedies. The dentist can diagnose the cause of the pain and provide appropriate treatment, such as root canal therapy or extraction.

2. Fever and Swelling

You must seek urgent medical care if you have a fever, facial swelling, or difficulty swallowing, or breathing. These symptoms show that the infection has spread to the surrounding tissues and may require antibiotics and drainage to prevent further complications.

3. Loss of Consciousness

In rare cases, a tooth abscess can lead to a brain abscess, which can cause loss of consciousness, seizures, and other neurological symptoms. If someone experiences these symptoms, you must seek emergency medical care immediately.

Preventing Tooth Abscess

Prevention is better than cure for tooth abscesses. Here are some suggestions to reduce your risk of developing a tooth abscess:

  • Practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and visiting your family dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
  • Avoid sugary and acidic foods and beverages that can erode your tooth enamel and increase your risk of cavities.
  • Wear a mouthguard if you join contact sports to protect your teeth from injury.
  • Seek prompt dental care for any signs of tooth decay or infection, such as cavities, gum disease, or a cracked tooth.


A tooth abscess is a painful and potentially dangerous dental condition that requires urgent care to prevent further damage and complications. If you experience any symptoms of a tooth abscess, seek dental care immediately to get the appropriate treatment and relief from pain. Remember to practice good oral hygiene and preventive care to reduce your risk of developing a tooth abscess.

Lani City Medical is a top-notch medical facility that provides exceptional healthcare services to patients with minimal wait times. Our clinic allows patients to either walk in or save their spot in line, making it convenient for individuals who require immediate medical attention or have a tight schedule. If you need urgent care in Ranchero Cucamonga, CA, do not hesitate to contact us today.