A gum abscess is the result of an infection that has spread to the pulp, or the tooth cavity, and killed the nerves. Most abscesses are caused by bacteria breaking down tooth enamel and reaching down into the pulp, but it can also happen as a result of trauma where a tooth breaks off and infects the area. The area can swell and cause a great amount of pain and even fever. This often occurs when a cavity goes untreated. Regardless of the pain level, seek medical attention immediately as the infection can spread if left untreated.
Draining the abscess can often be enough to relieve a smaller abscess. A dental professional will need to perform a root canal. The procedure cleans out a bacterial infection that has spread to the pulp chamber located underneath your tooth. Once cleaned, the tooth is dead and will require a filling in order to keep the tooth. This procedure can take multiple visits depending on the severity of the abscess. Ultimately, the tooth will be capped with a crown for protection.
If the infection is too far along, the tooth will need to be removed completely. This will allow the area to be drained through the socket.
The dentist may need to drain the abscess through an incision in the gum line.
Take antibiotics to fight the infection after draining the area. Fever is often a symptom of a gum abscess as this is the body's natural way of fighting off an infection. Without the proper medication, the infection can spread to other parts of the body.
To help with pain, wash out the area with warm salt water and take an over the counter pain reliever.