A dental abscess begins as a tooth infection or cavity and can turn into an infection of the mouth, face, jaw, or throat if left untreated. Bacteria form tooth decay can extend into the gums, cheek and throat, beneath the tongue, or even into the jaw or facial bones. Periodontal abscesses are the result of an infection that has moved deeper into gum areas, and a periapical abscess refers to a tooth with an infection of the pulp.
With a dental abscess you may notice pus collecting at the infection site. Normally the condition will become more painful until the abscess either ruptures and drains on its own or is drained surgically. Dental abscesses can also make you generally ill, with nausea, vomiting, fevers, chills, and sweats. Anyone who thinks they may have a dental abscess should see a dentist right away.