Lexington, KY Family and Cosmetic Dentists, Dr. Larry Kopczyk, Dr. Brian Vieth, and Dr. Tim Majors.  Alumni Dental Center
Abscessed Tooth

Periapical root-tip) Abscess

diagramA periapical (root-tip) abscess is a pocket of infection at the base of a tooth's root. The tooth becomes abscessed after the pulp (nerve) of the tooth becomes infected. A periapical abscess is usually caused by deep decay or an accident (trauma to the tooth involving nerve damage). A periapically abscessed tooth will require either Root Canal Therapy or an Extraction. In some cases an antibiotic will also be prescribed.

Lateral Abscess

A lateral abscess is similar to a periapical abscess, but develops along the lateral surface of the tooth's root. In this case, the infection comes from outside the tooth instead of from within. A lateral abscess can either be gingival (located near the gum line) or periodontal (located deeper in the periodontal tissues). Since most cases of lateral abscess are due to periodontitis (gum disease), treatment is part of an overall periodontal (gum) treatment program.

All Abscesses

x-rayAn abscessed tooth may be sensitive or painful, and if left untreated can lead to damage of underlying permanent teeth and/or cause facial swelling and become life-threatening.