Extracting Abscessed Tooth

Patients with a tooth which has severe decay or is infected, may begin to notice the formation of a pus-filled pocket on the gums. This is called a tooth abscess and can result in different types of symptoms, including significant discomfort. One common treatment is for the dentist to make a small incision to drain the abscess. In severe cases, the tooth may require extraction.


The dentist will typically suggest extracting tooth as a last resort. Dentists will work diligently to preserve the tooth. Patients may want to know how extracting the tooth will impact the abscess. This article will review how tooth extraction impacts the abscess, in addition to what patients should expect.


Tooth Extraction

The dentist will make every effort to preserve the tooth, as this is the ideal solution. Unfortunately, sometimes the tooth must be extracted. In cases where the tooth is damaged beyond repair, extraction is the only option. Abscesses can be an indicator that the damage has spread into the tooth’s root. In this case, antibiotics and other treatment options will not be effective. In cases where an abscess is not treated in a timely manner, it can cause significant pain and result in serious issues. These issues can include bone loss and the spread of infection.


Abscess Following Tooth Extraction

Once the tooth is removed, the abscess will begin to heal. The body will fight off the infection and the pus pocket will slowly disappear. The size and severity of the abscess will determine how long the healing process will take. On average, it takes anywhere from a few days to several weeks for the mouth to heal.


It is important to take care of the extraction site in order to prevent infection. The oral surgeon or dentist will provide specific instructions to follow after the tooth is removed. This will include how to properly care for the extraction site and how to keep the area clean.


The dental professional may prescribe antibiotics to prevent any additional infection. This is especially common when the abscess is large, severe or when the patient already has a weakened immune system. The abscess will heal following the extraction of the tooth.



An abscess will typically heal on its own following a tooth extraction. However, there is a risk of complications. After the tooth extraction procedure, there is a slight chance of the following taking place:

  • Dry socket: This occurs when a blood clot becomes dislodged or dissolves prior to the extraction site fully healing. Patients may experience significant discomfort and a dry socket can also delay the healing process.
  • Infection: While an infection is quite rare, it is possible for an abscess to become infected again following the extraction. This typically causes swelling, pain, and additional symptoms.
  • Nerve damage: It is also possible for the nerves around the extraction site to become damaged. This can cause numbness and tingling in the mouth or face. These symptoms can be temporary, but may also be permanent.


It is important to follow the instructions of the dentist following an extraction. Properly caring for the site helps ensure the area fully heals and prevents additional infection. Follow up with the dentist right away there are any concerning symptoms.


Abscesses can be quite painful and in severe cases can require the removal of the tooth. Following the tooth extraction, the body will begin the natural healing process and the abscess will disappear. Once the area has healed, there are excellent tooth-replacement solutions available for patients to restore their smile.

How Do I Know If I Have a Tooth Abscess