An abscess is a pocket of pus often caused by an infection and bacteria spreading from the tooth’s root to the tissue near the tooth. A tooth that has become abscessed has infected or swollen underlying pulp (soft tissues at the core of the tooth). An abscessed tooth can be extremely painful.

When treating an abscess, antibiotics may be administered to kill the infection. If the antibiotics are ineffective, a root canal may be necessary in order to restore the tooth to optimal health.