September 27, 2013

Abscessed teeth (Apical Abscesses)

Periodontal disease which becomes so bad as to extend to the deep root areas known as the “apex” is not uncommon. Bacteria causing infection form pockets between the tooth root and supporting bone structures and ultimately loosen the root hold.{{more}} The canine teeth and the large upper molars are most commonly involved, but this process easily affects any tooth in the mouth.

Clinical signs include foul oral odors, rubbing the face and mouth, open and draining sores on the face, often just in front of the eye, nasal discharges, salivation, facial swellings, and open sores on the gums away from the dental crowns. Loose teeth most commonly have apical abscesses. Diagnosis is based on physical examination and X-rays.

In my clinic I occasionally see such conditions. Most times, a patient would be brought into the clinic with a persistent abscess, just below the eyes, that has a history of being not healing and running pus over a relatively long period of time.

An X Ray would often reveal an infection in the base of the tooth, as well as affectation of the sinuses.


Some teeth, particularly those that are loose, may only be treated by extraction. Sometimes the communication between root and face or nose must be opened and flushed. Antibiotic therapy is always important. Once the infection is addressed, facial swelling and open sores will generally heal quickly.

For further information, contact: Dr Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd.
Tel: 456 4981