Abscessed Tooth Causes & Risks


A tooth abscess is caused by bacteria. It begins when bacteria invade and infect a tooth. This results in pus build-up. When the pus is unable to drain, an abscess results.

Conditions that allow bacteria to invade a tooth:

  • Severe tooth decay
  • Break or crack in a tooth that lets bacteria invade the pulp

Food or other foreign matter that becomes trapped between the tooth and gum may lead to a bacterial infection in the area around the tooth.

Risk Factors

These factors increase your chance of developing a tooth abscess. Tell your dentist if you have any of these risk factors:

  • Build up of tartar or calculus beneath the gum line
  • Poor fluoride application to teeth via fluoridated water, toothpaste, or mouthwash
  • Poor dental hygiene (leading to cavities and periodontal diseases)
  • Malnutrition, including severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies

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Abscessed Tooth Guide

Christine Jeffries

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