An abscessed tooth is an infection in or around thetooth. It can be very painful. If the infection isn't treated, it can spread and you can lose your tooth or have other health problems. Damage to the tooth, an untreated cavity (tooth decay), or gum diseasecan cause an abscessed tooth. In Netherlands approximately 9 per 100,000 population per year patients are affected. Men are more often afflicted than women where female:male ratio is 1:1.6, though reports vary. The peak of incidence is between 50 and 80 years of age.
Diagnosis of a tooth abscess is collectively determined by (1) signs and symptoms reported by the patient, (2) exam and tests that are performed by the dentist, and (3) what is visualized with dental radiographs (X-rays). Future research deals with determination of various host and environmental factors that put an individual at risk for development of dental abscess. Increased reliance on novel molecular techniques has enriched our knowledge of the diverse polymicrobial collection that constitutes a dental abscess.