Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can a tooth abscess require extraction?"
I have a tooth that is swollen above the gum, worried ill have to getit removed.
You should definitely go to see your dentist about this as soon as possible. The swelling that you are mentioning could be either gingivitis, which is an infection and inflammation of the gum lining itself, or it could be a forming abscess (collection of pus) most likely from an untreated tooth infection. When a tooth infection begins (usually by bacteria getting into the tooth from a cavity) it can sometimes spread up the tooth toward the root and end up showing up as an abscess above the tooth. These types of tooth infections can be quite serious. In addition to causing significant pain, they can also occasionally cause the infection to spread into your blood stream, which can be life threatening. Therefore, any time you have this type of finding, you need to see your doctor or dentist. Tooth abscesses can sometimes be treated by draining the pus and taking a course of oral antibiotics. Sometimes, however, the tooth does need to be extracted because the damage to the tooth is too great. Other times, the tooth can be repaired by your dentist. However in order to know what the next step is for you, you will first need to see your dentist!
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