A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that's caused by a bacterial infection. The abscess can occur at different regions of the tooth for different reasons. A periapical (per-e-AP-ih-kul) abscess occurs at the tip of the root, whereas a periodontal (per-e-o-DON-tul) abscess occurs in the gums next to a tooth root. The information here refers specifically to periapical abscesses. A periapical tooth abscess usually occurs as a result of an untreated dental cavity, injury or prior dental work.
In Brazil approximately 10 per 100,000 population per year patients are affected. Men are more often afflicted than women (female:male ratio of about 1:1.5, though reports vary). The peak of incidence is between 60 and 80 years of age. The only person who can effectively treat a dental abscess is a dentist. Treatment may involve typical dental procedures, and in some occasional surgery. There are 3 type of surgeries: Incision, Treating a periapical abscess, Treating a periodontal abscess. Future research deals with pointing toward a key role for prompts surgical intervention and timely review. Future research deals with determination of various host and environmental factors that put an individual at risk for development of dental abscess.