Dental Abscess - Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 09/05/2023

Abscesses are typically a result of bacterial infection. A dental abscess is the collection of pus in the cavity where the tooth is held, i.e. within the gums or bones. They can be incredibly painful for the person and require medical intervention from a dentist or healthcare professional to be treated. If left to fester, the infection can even spread to other body parts.

Suppose you do present symptoms of a dental abscess. In that case, it’s highly advised that you contact a medical professional to get it treated. It then brings us to this problem - visits to the dentist can be expensive.

You can raise a sizable medical bill if you’re prone to or predisposed to frequent dental problems. In these cases, you should look into medical insurance plans. We at Tata AIG offer plans covering these regular dentist visits.

What Is A Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a pocket of pus accumulated in the tooth’s soft pulp. So a dental abscess’ meaning would be that it’s a type of bacterial infection of the teeth. Abscesses that occur at the tip of the tooth are called periapical. Ones at the gums or the side of the tooth are called periodontal.

Almost anyone can get a dental abscess. The abscessed tooth can cause swelling and irritation and lead to gum disease (Periodontal Disease) or tooth decay if left untreated for too long.

Dental Abscess Diagnosis And Causes

Your teeth have a hard outer covering and soft pulp inside. The soft pulp inside your teeth comprises nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels. This pulp can sometimes get infected.

Most bacterial infections are the result of poor oral hygiene. Some of the dental abscesses causes are:

  • A cracked or damaged tooth
  • Tooth decay or a deep cavity
  • Gum disease (Periodontal Disease)

Dental abscesses can also be caused if you have too much sugar in your diet. Sugary foods and drinks encourage bacterial growth, which is why it’s encouraged to brush twice a day and maintain good oral hygiene.

Remember, if any of the conditions stated above are left untreated, it can lead to a dental abscess or infection.

Dental Abscess Symptoms

How to know if your toothache is a dental abscess in disguise? Here are some key symptoms to watch out for:

  • Severe toothache that spreads to your jawbone, neck or ears.

  • Discomfort and pain with eating/drinking anything hot or cold.

  • Pain when chewing or biting down on anything.

  • Fever due to inflammation.

  • Puffy Gums and Gum Redness.

  • Swelling of the face and neck that sometimes causes difficulty with breathing. If you experience difficulty breathing, seek help immediately.

  • Tender or swollen lymph nodes near the face and neck.

  • Bad breath when you bite down on the infected tooth.

  • Sudden occurrence of foul-smelling, foul-tasting or salty fluid on your mouth immediately followed by relief from your toothache. This can happen when the abscess ruptures.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s highly advised that you seek medical help. If left untreated, it could cause more problems down the line. So be sure to contact a medical health professional and avail their services as soon as possible.

What Medical Treatments Can You Expect For A Dental Abscess Treatment

Generally, dental abscesses are treated by draining the pus and removing the primary cause of infection. Depending on your condition’s severity, these are common treatments you can expect from the dentist.

  • Removing the infected tooth/teeth (An extraction)
  • Root canal treatment
  • Surgery (In more severe cases)
  • Incision and drainage on the infected site, under local anaesthetic. A little incision is made in the gums near the infected site to drain all the pus trapped inside.
  • Your dentist may prescribe a dose of painkillers to deal with any additional discomfort and antibiotics to prevent the spread of the infection.

Dental Abscess Prevention

As with any disease, the best treatment is prevention. Maintaining good dental hygiene practices is crucial here.

  • Get regular dental checkups.
  • Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily.
  • Treat any cavities or damaged teeth as soon as possible to prevent the risk of infection.
  • Limit or cut back on excessively sugary or starchy food from your diet.

Making a regular habit of following these practices may help cut down frequent visits to the dentist.

Why Do You Need Dental Coverage In Your Health Insurance?

While most of us make only a handful of trips to the dentist each year, the costs can begin to pile up. These procedures can be minor, but with rising medical expenses, even routine checkups will weigh heavily on your wallet.

Most insurers in India don’t provide stand-alone medical insurance plans for dental treatments. This is also why a lot of people can be unaware that dental covers even exist. However, we offer two plans under our portfolio that provide coverage for dental treatments and illnesses.

Which Health Insurance Plans Cover Dental Abscesses?

Our medicare plans and the variants under them provide OPD (Outpatient Department) dental treatment from tooth fillings, root canals and extractions. On OPD treatments, you get maximum coverage of up to ₹10,000 per year after two consecutive years of coverage.

The two Medicare plans that offer dental coverage are:

  • Tata AIG MediCare
  • Tata AIG MediCare Premier

We offer coverage for both in-patient and outpatient treatments under these plans. In case of hospitalisation, you can choose any of the hospitals included in our network to use the benefits and coverage provided under these plans.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, where you need in-patient coverage for a dental procedure, illness or injury – Tata AIG Medicare is a good choice. The best benefit of health insurance is the relief from financial anxiety in the hour of a medical emergency.

[Note: Buying health insurance online from Tata AIG is a hassle-free process. We also offer flexible payment plans and discounts on some of our online health insurance plans.]


Toothaches can be the symptom of a more significant underlying issue and shouldn’t be ignored. People with poor oral hygiene routines can be more at risk for this condition. So, the best way to avoid toothaches is by brushing your teeth twice a day and using dental floss.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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