I’m Dr. Joe Neely, and I practice with the
Barton Oaks Dental group. We’re going to talk about, what is an abscessed tooth? An abscess
in any part of the body is simply an infection that’s being contained or restrained by structures.
In the case of a tooth, the tooth sits, is encased in bone with a thin sock like ligament
that holds the tooth to the bone. The gum attaches into the neck of the tooth, and so
an abscess around the gum in the tooth would be an infection that is up under the gum,
under the attachment of the gum to the tooth that’s being held in place by the gum tissue.
Gum tissue will swell because it is flexible, but if it, if the attachment of the gum to
the tooth is still intact, there will be pressure from that abscess. When that attachment is
lost, that abscess can drain, and even though there may be some mild pain after that, it
will not be intense until such time that the abscess overwhelms your immune system. An
abscess tooth typically, the infection is trapped in the ligament space between the
hard tooth and the hard bone. A very, very small amount of infection can create an intense
amount of pressure. Therefore, pain.