Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Understanding the Different Fees
Estimate of Financial Liability
Pay a Bill
United Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
May also be called: Acute Dentoalveolar Abscess, Acute Apical Dental Abscess, Acute Dental Abscess, Apical Abscess, Tooth Abscess, Dental Abscess, Periapical Infection, Tooth Infection, Abscessed Tooth
A periapical (per-ee-AP-ih-kul) abscess is a collection of infected material (pus) that forms at the tip of the root of a tooth.
Periapical abscesses form after bacteria enter the tooth and cause an infection in the pulp — the innermost portion of the tooth that consists of connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. This is usually the result of tooth decay or an injury that causes the tooth to chip or crack. When the pulp becomes infected, the body’s immune system sends white blood cells to fight the infection. It’s these white blood cells, along with other debris, that can form a collection of pus near the tiny hole (apical foramen) that sits at the tip of the root of the tooth.
Periapical abscesses can cause severe tooth pain and sensitivity to temperature; a fever; pain while chewing; and swelling in the gum, glands of the neck, and upper or lower jaw. Treatment for a periapical abscess can involve antibiotic medications, draining the abscess, or performing root canal surgery to save the tooth. In rare cases, the tooth may have to be pulled.
If left untreated, periapical abscesses can get worse and cause serious complications. In many cases, however, prompt treatment can cure the infection and save the affected tooth. Practicing good dental hygiene can reduce the risk of a periapical abscess.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
An abscess is a collection of pus that forms as part of the body’s response to an infection.
Gum disease doesn’t just happen to people your grandparents’ age – it can happen to teens too. Get the details here.
Bad breath, or halitosis, can be a major problem, especially when you’re about to snuggle with your sweetie or whisper a joke to your friend. The good news is that bad breath often can be easily prevented.
What happens when you go to the dentist? Find out in this article for kids.
A peritonsillar abscess is an area of pus-filled tissue at the back of the mouth, next to one of the tonsils. Find out how it happens and what to do.
Older kids and teens with tonsilitis sometimes develop this painful abscess, a pus-filled tissue at the back of the mouth.
The healthier your teeth are, the happier you look. That’s why it’s important to take great care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist. Learn more.
People can get abscesses on the skin, under the skin, in a tooth, or even inside the body. Most abscesses are caused by infection, so it can help to know what to do. Find out in this article for teens.
There’s a lot more to taking care of your teeth than breath mints and mouth sprays. Read this article to learn the facts on flossing, how to give plaque the brush-off, and much more.
Our mouth and teeth play an important role in our daily lives. Here’s a course on the basics – including common problems of the mouth and teeth.
An abscess is a sign of an infection, usually on the skin. Find out what to do if your child develops one.
Here are the basics about how to care for your child’s teeth – and when.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.