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What are 5 signs of a dental abscess? A guide from our dentist in Glasgow


Are you experiencing dental discomfort that won’t stop?

You may have an abscess.

This is quite a serious oral health condition and, in simple terms, it is caused by bacteria getting access to the pulp of the tooth. Ignoring the signs of a dental abscess can result in severe complications, including tooth loss and systemic infection.

If you suspect that you have a dental abscess, you need to call our dentist in Glasgow at Buttercup 7 Day Dental. An abscess can become very uncomfortable very quickly and can certainly derail your day, so call us pronto!

In this article, our dentist in Glasgow will look at 5 crucial warning signs that indicate the presence of a dental abscess and highlight the importance of seeking prompt dental care.

Persistent and intense toothache

The most common and noticeable sign of a dental abscess is a persistent and severe toothache. The discomfort associated with an abscess often starts as a dull ache and gradually intensifies, becoming throbbing and relentless over time. It might worsen when you bite or chew, and it can become unbearable, disrupting your daily activities and sleep. If you experience a prolonged, unexplained toothache, it is essential to consult our dentist in Glasgow immediately to determine if an abscess is the underlying cause.

Swelling and redness in the gums

An abscess can lead to visible swelling and redness in the gums near the infected tooth. As the bacterial infection progresses, the body’s immune response causes the gum tissue to become inflamed and tender to the touch. In some cases, the swelling may be noticeable as a small pimple-like bump on the gums, known as a gum boil or parulis. This swelling indicates a build up of pus and is a clear sign of an active dental abscess. If you notice any unusual swelling or redness in your gums, don’t delay seeking professional dental attention.

Sensitivity to temperature and pressure

As the abscess grows, it can irritate the surrounding nerves, causing increased sensitivity to temperature changes and pressure. You may find that consuming hot or cold foods and beverages triggers sharp, shooting pain in the affected tooth. Additionally, applying pressure to the area, such as during brushing or flossing, can intensify the discomfort. This heightened sensitivity is a critical indication of a dental abscess and requires immediate intervention to prevent further complications.

Foul taste or odour

Another telltale sign of a dental abscess is a nasty taste or odour in the mouth. The accumulation of pus and bacteria in the affected area can lead to a foul taste, which might persist even after brushing and rinsing. Additionally, you may notice bad breath (halitosis) that doesn’t improve with regular oral hygiene practices. If you experience an ongoing unpleasant taste or odour in your mouth, it could be an indication of a dental abscess and should not be ignored.


In severe cases, a dental abscess can lead to systemic symptoms, such as fever and general malaise. The infection may spread beyond the oral cavity, entering the bloodstream and affecting the whole body. If you develop a fever along with any of the other mentioned dental abscess symptoms, it is crucial that you call our team at Buttercup 7 Day Dental; a systemic infection due to an untreated abscess can pose significant health risks.

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