How Long Can I Leave A Dental Abscess Untreated?

by | Jul 6, 2022 | Blog Posts

How Long Can I Leave A Dental Abscess Untreated?

A dental abscess is a severe bacterial infection that is caused by a pocket of pus forming at the base of a tooth. It can be the cause of severe pain and oral discomfort for patients of any age.

Despite this, many patients put off dental care or root canal treatment for several reasons. It can be challenging to schedule appointments with your favorite busy office or there may be some level of apprehension associated with dental care.

Some patients are also concerned about the financial impact of acute dental care and choose to delay treatment. These decisions are understandable but could have lasting complications.

What Are The Complications of An Untreated Abscessed Tooth?

A dental abscess is a sign of a deep infection. According to the American Dental Association, symptoms associated with an abscess are pain, swelling, redness in the gums, bad taste in the mouth, and fever. [1]

The pain is caused when the decay eats away at the hard enamel exterior of the tooth, and more of the soft pulp beneath is exposed. This pulp is composed of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels, all of which are more sensitive to pain.

If left untreated, dental abscess can lead to several serious complications.

Spreading Infection

A dental infection that goes untreated can spread to other areas in your face and body, such as upwards to the sinus cavities or down to the deep neck space. [2] This can lead to life-threatening emergencies. The infection can also spread to other organs in your body, such as the heart, brain, lungs, etc.

Tooth Decay and Loss

As the infection negatively impacts the teeth and gums, they can become decayed and rotten. When at its worst, the tooth could break or fall out completely.

When To Seek Dental Services Webster

Patients experiencing any or all of the following symptoms should seek care from a dentist, as soon as possible:

  • Pain in teeth or jaw
  • Facial swelling
  • Gums are red
  • Mouth tastes bad
  • Fever

If you are experiencing facial swelling or difficulty swallowing and cannot get to your dentist immediately, go to the nearest emergency room. These symptoms are strong indicators that the infection has already spread to another area of your body.

Dental Abscess Treatment Options

An oral bacterial infection will not resolve itself. The good news is that a dental abscess is treatable. Here are a number of treatments at Empire Dental Care in Webster, NY:

Draining The Infection

In the case of a small surface abscess, it may be possible to drain the pus and eradicate the infection. This is often done along with prescribed antibiotics which are often not effective enough on their own.

Root Canal Treatment

For teeth that have developed a severe inner infection, it may be necessary for your dentist to perform a root canal treatment. With skilled and gentle practices, this procedure will remove the affected parts of the tooth and replace with another durable material to prevent further infection.

Tooth Extraction

If the tooth cannot be repaired, it will have to be removed. This will alleviate the pain as well as stop the infection from spreading.


Take care of your teeth and use proper oral hygiene techniques as often as two to three times a day. Floss twice daily and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash.

Seek The Premier Provider of Dental Services Webster Patients Rely On!

Don’t wait to treat a dental abscess. The risk to your teeth and overall health is far too significant. Contact our office today if you’re experiencing the symptoms of an abscessed tooth. 585-671-1650






Dr. Cohen has been practicing dentistry in private and public settings for over 10 years, completing her DMD degree in 2010 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Committed to providing dental care of the highest level, Dr. Cohen relocated to Rochester in 2016 to pursue advanced dental trainings at the Dental Urgent Care Fellowship at The University of Rochester, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, graduating in 2017, and the AEGD Residency program in 2019. She recently completed an additional advanced General Practice Residency program at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany NY. This summer she moved back to Rochester with her husband Kevin, a native Rochesterian, to be closer to family. Throughout her career and personal life, Dr. Cohen has shown her genuine compassion and care to people and patients from all walks of life. She volunteered in underserved areas, practiced in clinics for patients with complex special needs, and treated medically compromised patients among others. She also taught and mentored other dentists and students helping them achieve their professional and personal goals. Most of all, Dr. Cohen’s warm personality and love of people create a welcoming, comfortable feeling for both patients and staff.