Every Stage of a Tooth Abscess With Pictures

then you have a tooth abscess and you ‘re wondering which degree of the infection you ‘re in but you do n’t know what it looks like. Worry not because we ‘re going to describe in detail what each degree of the tooth infection entails adenine well as pictures for examples.

Stages of a tooth abscess :

Stage Zero – Tooth Decay

A tooth abscess does not miraculously appear out of thin air because there is a lawful cause with the most common being tooth decay. It always starts off as a small pit but when left untreated, it can progress into an abscess.

due to the fact that tooth decay precedes a tooth abscess, we will have to call cavities phase zero of the progress. Before we go into abscesses, we ‘ll go over every step of how a cavities form and develop.

Stages of tooth decay Cavities are caused by bacteria in your mouth that consume all of the sugars you eat. therefore, tooth decay starts on the away layer of the tooth called enamel but then it lento works its way through the dentine and finally the pulp.

here is a diagram of each layer of the tooth :

Enamel decay

The first stage of tooth decay starts in the enamel, which is the outermost layer of your tooth. It is besides the hardest layer because it contains the highest concentration of hydroxyapatite, which is a hard mineral that your teeth and bones are made out of.

Appearance : It looks like a modest brown university or black spot on your tooth. It can appear on any surface of your tooth, whether it be on the top or the sides. It will feel soft and sticky if you try to probe it with an instrument.

Symptoms : At this stage, the decay is normally painless and not sensitive at all so it may be difficult for you to even realize that you have a cavity. The only way you ‘d be able to tell is if you looked in a mirror or went for your dental check up.

Treatment : A minor tooth occupy is sufficient to treat this disintegrate. If it is shoal enough, you may not even need any local anesthetic anesthesia.

Dentin decay

The second stagecoach of tooth decay begins when an untreated pit in the enamel is allowed to progress into dentine. The dentine is the second gear layer of your tooth and is besides the center layer ampere well. It is much softer than the enamel because it contains less hydroxyapatite so once the pit reaches the dentine, it will start to grow faster.

Appearance : What it looks like is a bigger embrown position or black topographic point. sometimes an actual hole might form if it gets big enough.

Symptoms : Since the dentine is close to where the nerve is, it may feel medium whenever you eat something odoriferous. That is a sign of the zodiac that you may have a cavity but unfortunately, not everyone will experience sensitivity to sweet even if they have a cavity in the dentine. Therefore a lack of sweetly sensitivity is not an indication that you are cavity-free.

The texture of the cavity will besides feel soft and bathetic if you poke it with a alveolar consonant instrument.

Treatment : A small to medium size pit fill should be sufficient for removing the decay. If it happens to be larger than expected and is in close proximity to the boldness but not touching it, a medicative liner may be used anterior to placing the occupy corporeal.

Pulp decay

The third base stage of tooth decay starts when an untreated cavity in the dentine progresses into the pulp. The pulp is the inmost layer of your tooth and literally located in the middle of it. It is the softest layer and besides filled with blood vessels and boldness tissue.

Appearance : What it looks like is normally a very boastfully brown or black hole in the tooth. For a cavity to get into the boldness, it has to have grown very large. The size of the decay is proportional to the size of the brown spot.

Symptoms : Since the pulp of the tooth is where the boldness resides, once the cavity reaches here it may cause you an intolerable toothache. It could besides be a throbbing toothache that comes and goes. The worse is when it causes you extreme tooth pain that you ca n’t even sleep.

Treatment : once the decay reaches the nerve, the heart will need to be treated and that can only be done with a ancestor canal. That procedure involves separating the heart from the tooth but the tooth remains in the mouth.

First Stage – Periapical Pathology (PAP)

The foremost stage of a tooth abscess happens once the infection travels through the pulp and down to the tip of the rout. The infection will then proceed to eat through the bone around the beginning tip off and finally form a colored circle which can be seen on a dental roentgenogram. Once we can see this darkness circle, it is formally a tooth abscess.

here is an x-ray of the iniquity circle which is consequently a alveolar consonant abscess :dental abscess in bone

Appearance : You ca n’t actually see a alveolar consonant abscess at this stage because it is hidden within the bone. The only way you would be able to see it is if you drilled through the bone to expose it. away from that, the primary direction that your dentist is able to see it is with a dental x-ray.

Symptoms : An abscess within the bone can be highly irritating because it can start swelling up with pus. The pain that you feel is from the increase in swelling blackmail.

Treatment : If you catch this tooth abscess early, you may be able to treat it with merely a root duct. If you do n’t catch it in time, your dentist may need to place antibacterial medication within your tooth for a few weeks anterior to finishing the solution canal. It just adds more time to the total treatment.

here is a painting of a completed rout duct :

completed root canal

Second Stage – Parulis (Abscess on the gum)

The second stage of a tooth abscess happens when the infection in the bone eats through the bone completely and then forms a pimple on the gums. This pimple is fully of plutonium and is what we call a parulis or more normally a gum tree boil. It is basically an abscess on the gums but please do not mistakenly call it a gumwood abscess because that is a different condition with a different etiology.

Appearance : This is the first phase that you can finally see what a dental abscess looks like and its alike to a pimple by the side of your tooth that is either pink or red in color. If you squeeze it and pop it, you will see pus flow out of it because that is what infections are composed of. This chewing gum boiling point is normally located on the gums around the tooth.

Symptoms : This degree of the abscess is normally not afflictive because most of the pain is derived from the swelling pressure that has no where to go. once the parulis forms, it can be popped and that actually relieves the pressure. Therefore you should not feel much pain once this pimple forms. If you do feel trouble, it is typically less than what you were experiencing before it formed.

Treatment : You will decidedly need a root canal by your dentist and they will have to place medicine inside of the tooth. If the chewing gum boil is big enough, it may besides need to be drained in addition to the root canal discussion.

Third Stage – Facial Swelling

The third base stage of a dental abscess is when your face starts to swell up from the untreated infection. The confront swells up because the abscess continually produces more plutonium and since it has nowhere to go, your face is forced to continually expand like a balloon.

Appearance : The abscess is normally located on one side of the expression sol only the affect english will swell up. The swelling will continue to expand and grow larger day by day if left untreated. Therefore the size of the well is indicative mood of how many days it has been. The swelling can look very deface, about as if you have a golf sized ball in your boldness.

Symptoms : As you can imagine, it hurts when your face swells up to this size. It will feel tender and warm to the touch. It could be voiced or it could be hard depending on how mature the swell is.

Treatment : The swelling itself will need to be drained by your dentist and that is the only means to get pain easing. You will need to take the entire class of antibiotics and you must finish it. Once the intumescence has started to come down, your dentist can then ultimately treat the source of the contagion, which is the infection coming from the offending tooth. That tooth will either need a etymon canal or will need to be extracted depending on the condition of it.

Fourth Stage – Airway Compromise

The one-fourth stage of a tooth abscess begins when the swelling from the face spreads lower towards the throat and causes throat swelling. Since your respiratory tract runs through the throat, swelling around this area can compress it and make it unmanageable to breath. In the worst encase scenario, the swell can be thus bad that it could completely cut off your ability to breath.

That makes this degree of the infection potentially life threaten because if you lose your ability to breath, it would be fatal. This circumstance should not be ignored and you should seek checkup help immediately.

Appearance : This well up is located near the throat and lower chew the fat, which is where the airline begins. Therefore what it looks like is a massive expansion of soft tissue of the throat and lower chew the fat. The swelling can look like you have a large baseball stuck down there. That is how big it can get.

Symptoms : With the size of this type of swelling, it will be agonizingly atrocious. You may find it hard to talk and consume. death but not least, you ‘ll decidedly find difficulty breathe.

Treatment : When the tooth infection has gotten to this stage, you are better off getting treatment at a hospital because individual dental clinics will not be equipped to handle it .

  • Requires hospitalization insurance until the condition stabilizes .
  • Abscess will need to be drained .
  • physical drains will need to be placed and sutured into the abscess to let it drain for the next few days .
  • Be prepared to be pumped full of antibiotics for the stallion duration of your hospital stay .

The dispute between drain at this stage vs the previous one is that it requires extra-oral drain. The previous stage was intra-oral, meaning you drain it from inside the mouthpiece. At this stage you drain it from outside the mouth in addition to inside the talk .

  • There is literally a piece of credit card that is stitched into the abscess in ordering to keep it open. The credit card is to allow the infection to continue to drain. If you close it up without the formative tube, the affected role may swell back up again .

Fifth Stage – The Afterlife

The fifth and last degree of a tooth abscess is the afterlife because the previous fourth stage was life heavy. It was dangerous and potentially fatal because it can compromise your airline and ability to breath. If you did not get it treated at the previous stage, there is no second chances. Hopefully you were able to find medical serve.

In case you were wondering, yes a tooth infection can kill you and how long it takes truly depends on which stage of the infection you are at. If you ‘re at the earlier stages you have more time but if you ‘re at the belated ones, you do n’t have much time at all.


preferably than letting a balmy cavity grow into an abscess, the best thing that you can do is actually prevent it from happening in the beginning palace. You should follow these tips by our dentists on how to not get to the point of requiring treatment for a dental infection .

  • routine dental check up every six months .
  • Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time .
  • dental floss before you go to bed .
  • Use a gargle sporadically to keep bacteria in check .
  • Minimize or eliminate boodle from your diet .
  • Treat belittled dental problems immediately .


To sum it all up, hera is a reappraisal of what treatments are required for each stage of the abscess .

  • phase Zero – dental fill
  • stage One – Root duct and crown
  • stage Two – root canal with medication and crown
  • stage Three – abscess drain along with either etymon canal or tooth extraction
  • Stage Four – hospitalization insurance
  • stage Five – The current extent of skill can not help you


Hopefully that clarifies what each stage of a tooth abscess consists of. This scout was fully of details angstrom well as pictures so you should know what each particular stage looks like. You should besides know what to expect when you get discussion a well.

Read more : ‎Photo Editor

author : Written by Dr David Chen, an emergency dentist in long island city .

source : https://oanhthai.com
Category : Tutorial

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