A dental abscess is an infection of the mouth, face, jaw, or throat that begins as a gum infection, tooth infection, or cavity. These infections are common in people with poor dental health and result from lack of proper and timely dental care.
The cause of these dental abscesses is direct growth of the bacteria from an existing cavity into the soft tissues and bones of the face and neck. An infected tooth that has not received appropriate dental care can cause a dental abscess to form. Poor oral hygiene (such as not brushing, flossing, or rinsing properly or often enough), smoking, alcohol, poor diet, and certain medical conditions and medications can increase risk of cavities to form in your teeth. The infection then may spread to the gums and adjacent areas and become a painful dental abscess.