Boil On Lower Lip

An abscess is an encapsulated collection of pus in the tissue. They are the result of inflammation in the oral cavity and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible. The oral surgery specialists at CompletDent explain which symptoms indicate an oral abscess, what the causes are and what treatment options the dentist has. Dental Clinic Budapest in the following text.

What is an abscess in the mouth?

An abscess is also called a pus blister or boil. Here, a pus-filled cavity develops in the gums or jawbone, but unlike a cyst, it is not surrounded by a membrane. The abscess is merely enclosed by some newly formed granulation tissue and otherwise merges seamlessly with the tissue. An abscess in the oral cavity often arises at the root of an inflamed tooth, more rarely in deep gingival pockets. Depending on the location, a distinction is made between:

  • buccal abscesses
  • palatal abscesses above the palate
  • sublingual abscesses under the tongue
  • periodontal abscesses in inflamed gingival pockets
  • apical abscesses at an inflamed tooth root tip
  • abscesses of the canine fossa on the canines
  • perimandibular or submandibular abscesses in the lower jaw or below it

What are the symptoms of an abscess in the mouth?

An abscess occurs as a result of inflammation and therefore manifests itself with classic symptoms of inflammation:

  • Redness, swelling and heating of the tissue in the case of superficial abscesses.
  • tooth and jaw pain, headache
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck area
  • possibly fever and chills
  • possibly loosening of the affected tooth
  • Possibly swallowing difficulties and problems opening the mouth in the case of mandibular abscesses
  • discharge of pus when the abscess opens or is opened.

The doctor can check the following during an X-ray or CT scan the cavity in the tissue. In addition, blood tests will show elevated inflammatory markers.

How does an abscess in the mouth develop?

An abscess in the mouth occurs as a result of inflammation caused by infection with bacteria. Most commonly, it is of the Staphylococcus aureus variety or a form of streptococcus. As a result of the bacterial infection, the tissue is broken down and pus is formed – i.e. the cells, as well as the leukocytes produced by the immune system, are fused into pus. The pus accumulates in a cavity called an abscess, which continues to enlarge over time. There are several triggers for such an infection:

  • Tooth pulpitis (pulpitis)
  • Inflammation of the periodontium (periodontitis)
  • impeded eruption of wisdom teeth
  • surgical injuries during tooth implantation (very rarely)
  • Sometimes the abscess is also a symptom of a poor general condition.

Odontogenic infections as triggers of abscesses

Abscesses often develop at the root of an inflamed tooth. The trigger is usually pulpitis (inflammation of the pulp)This usually occurs when caries destroys the tooth crown to such an extent that pathogens from the oral cavity can penetrate to the soft pulp inside the tooth. Via the inflamed root tip, the pathogens reach the surrounding tissue, where an abscess can develop. Periodontitis, in which the inflamed gums retract and form deep gingival pockets, can also lead to so-called pocket abscesses in the adjacent tissue.

Injuries in the oral cavity as a cause of abscesses

Superficial abscesses can also result from minor injuries to the oral mucosa that allow pathogens to enter the body. These include, in particular:

  • Burns
  • Bite wounds
  • injuries to the mucous membrane caused by sharp edges of dental braces or dentures
  • dental treatment, e.g. injection or surgery
  • Impact or blow against the teeth, e.g. in accidents

abscesses as a symptom of a poor general state of health

In healthy people, the immune system is always active and fights inflammatory pathogens, so that many infections can be successfully contained in the early stages. If the immune system is weakened, the risk of infection increases and so does the risk of developing abscesses. This is especially true for:

  • Patients with disease-related immune deficiency (HIV/AIDS).
  • Patients with drug-induced immunodeficiency (taking immunosuppressants)
  • diabetics with poor blood glucose control
  • pregnant women, as the estrogen surge suppresses the immune system

How should an abscess in the mouth be treated?

Anyone who feels symptoms suggestive of an abscess in the mouth should seek immediate dental treatment. The smaller and more superficial the abscess, the easier the treatment! An untreated abscess can continue to enlarge, form fistulas and drain uncontrollably through the skin or into body cavities, spread dangerous bacteria through the bloodstream throughout the body and, in the worst case, lead to blood poisoning (sepsis).

Removing an abscess in the mouth surgically

An abscess must always be opened surgically to allow the pus to drain away – only then can the inflammation heal. This procedure is called an incision.

  • In the case of a superficial abscesswhich lies just under the oral mucosa, local anesthesia and a small incision with a scalpel are often sufficient. The pus drains into the oral cavity, the wound area is sterilized and usually heals without problems.
  • For larger and deeper abscesses a more extensive operation is required to gain access to the pus blister. If access via the oral cavity is not possible, the incision is made from the outside through the skin. In addition, the doctor often inserts a drainage tube here to ensure the drainage of the pus. This is covered with a bandage and rinsed several times before the wound can be finally treated. Such an operation is often performed in twilight sleep or under general anesthesia.

An abscess often requires additional additional dental treatment to eliminate the cause of the inflammation.:

  • If the abscess is located on an inflamed tooth, an root canal treatment, an apicoectomy or, if the tooth cannot be saved, an extraction must be performed.
  • In case of a pocket abscess due to periodontitis, periodontitis therapy is performed accordingly.

Treating an abscess in the mouth with medication

In the case of an abscess in the mouth Antibiotics are used to prevent the spread of the inflammation. Whether this is necessary in individual cases or whether further medications must be prescribed against the abscess in the mouth (e.g. antibacterial gels, ointments or rinses to disinfect the wound area) is decided by the doctor on the basis of the respective diagnosis. Particularly in the case of larger abscesses, antibiotics are often prescribed specifically after the pus has been examined and the triggering bacterial strain has been precisely determined.

Can I treat an abscess in the mouth myself?

As much as it hurts and presses: please do not under any circumstances try to open an abscess in the mouth yourself, but see a doctor! The dentist has the necessary equipment and can professionally sterilize the wound. If you try to open a superficial abscess yourself, you will not be able to remove all the pus and will often push the bacteria deeper into the tissue. Home remedies for abscesses also provide only temporary relief: acute pain can be relieved by a cold cheek compress; mouth rinses with chamomile and sage tea, tea tree oil or clove oil can help to slow the further spread of the inflammatory pathogens. However, these home remedies cannot cure the abscess, but only help to bridge the time to the dentist’s visit.

How long does it take to heal an abscess in the mouth?

How long healing takes for an abscess in the mouth depends on the individual diagnosis: A superficial abscess is often over after a short procedure and a few days of wound healing; a larger abscess that is deep in the tissue may require longer-term treatment with surgery, wound drainage and a longer healing period.

What can I do if an abscess has risen in the mouth?

An abscess is often under pressure due to increasing pus formation. This often results in the formation of tubular cavities in the tissue, so-called fistulas. fistulas, which drain the pus into the oral cavity.. If an abscess has risen in the mouth, this is felt mainly by:

  • intense taste of pus
  • sudden decrease of pain, because the pressure on the
  • surrounding nerves reduced
  • If necessary, the previously visible swelling subsides.

Nevertheless, the all-clear cannot be given here: The inflammation and the abscess still exist and should be be treated by a dentist..

What should be done about abscesses in the mouth of children?

Abscesses in the mouth can also occur in children. Often as a result of caries treatment on the milk tooth, but also after falls or a blow to the front teeth. This is also dangerous because an abscess can damage or even destroy the attachment of permanent teeth. If the child complains of toothache and if reddened, swollen and heated gums are visible, a visit to the dentist is absolutely necessary! In case of an abscess on the milk tooth, the affected tooth is often extracted. In the case of repeated occurrence of abscesses, the causes should definitely be clarified in order to be able to initiate sensible countermeasures!

How can I prevent abscesses in the mouth?

Abscesses occur as a result of bacterial infection – in this respect, regular oral hygiene is the best prevention: 2 x 2 minutes of brushing your teeth per day removes dental plaque, which serves as a bacterial breeding ground. This protects against both caries and other inflammatory diseases. Equally important is the checkup at the dentist every six months is just as importantin order to detect and treat caries and inflammations as early as possible. In addition, acute toothache should not be delayed. Even if it subsides after some time, it should be checked whether there is a deeper problem behind it! As an additional prophylactic measure for oral health, the CompletDent dental clinic Budapest recommends a professional teeth cleaning at regular intervals. Sources on the topic A number of infectious, malignant or premalignant diseases can cause lip ulcers and growths: Cheilitis angularis (angular stomatitis) is the most common form. Inflammation, crusting, painful fissures and often maceration develop in the corners of the mouth. Typical causes can be

  • Excessively worn teeth or dentures that do not adequately separate the jaws, causing skin folds to form at the corners of the mouth where saliva accumulates
  • Candida species (or sometimes Staphylococcus aureus)
  • Iron deficiency Iron (Fe) is a building block of hemoglobin, myoglobin, and many enzymes. Heme iron, found mainly in animal foods, is better absorbed than non-heme iron (e… Learn more , Vitamin B complex deficiency (especially riboflavin Riboflavin deficiency Riboflavin deficiency usually occurs with other B vitamin deficiencies. Symptomatic features include a raw throat, lesions of the lips and oral mucosa, glossitis, conjunctivitis, seborrheic… Learn More , Cobalamin Vitamin B12 Deficiency Dietary vitamin B12 deficiency develops with inadequate absorption, but it can also affect vegans who do not use vitamin supplements. The deficiency causes… Learn More )

Treatment for cheilitis angularis may include replacing dentures or restoring proper tooth size with partial dentures, crowns, or implants, which helps reduce wrinkles at the corners of the mouth, and using antifungals (e.g., clotrimazole cream), antibiotics (e.g., mupirocin ointment), or iron or vitamin B supplementation as needed. ]Other causes of cheilitis Are

  • Actinic atrophy: sun damage causing thin, atrophic mucosa with erosions; predisposes to malignancy.

Diagnosis is usually based on history and inspecton. Actinic cheilitis with signs of progression (induration, ulceration, thickening) should be biopsied to rule out carcinoma. Treatment includes petrolatum or other emollients and elimination or treatment of specific causes. For severe nonmalignant actinic cheilitis, vermilionectomy (lip shave) or CO2 laser ablation may be considered. Sun damage to the lips can be minimized by using protective coverings such as a wide-brimmed hat and lip balm with topical sunscreen. NOTICE: This is the issue for medical professionals. LAYPERSONS: VIEW PATIENT EDITION Copyright © 2022 Merck & Co, Inc, Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved. Oral cavity abscess: Purulent breakdown of bone or gum tissue, often occurs as a complication of erupting wisdom teeth, inflamed gingival pockets, root tip suppuration, or other dental disease. In this case, an existing, untreated inflammation is attacked by bacteria and an encapsulated collection of pus is formed.

Leading symptoms

  • Redness and swelling (only in superficial abscesses)
  • Pain and feeling of tension
  • Fever and chills.

When to go to the doctor’s office

Today if an abscess is suspected.

The disease

In an abscess, pus makes its way from the focus of inflammation to the outside and destroys the tissue in between. In the oral cavity, abscesses often occur when inflammation of the dental nerve (pulpitis) spreads to the periodontium and jaw. But abscesses can also develop from other inflammations, such as at problematic wisdom teeth or after dental treatment, if bacteria come into play. An abscess can become life-threatening if (depending on its location) it breaks through into blood vessels supplying the brain.

What the doctor does

The doctor recognizes superficial abscesses immediately. To be sure, he can puncture a swelling and check whether pus is oozing out. Hidden abscesses are detected by blood count, inflammatory signs (increased leukocytes, CRP) or imaging examination procedures (e.g. CT). For treatment, the doctor carefully opens the abscess, drains it and then rinses out the wound. In severe cases, the patient must also take antibiotics. Under no circumstances should you lance abscesses in the neck and head area yourself – further inflammation and complications, including blood poisoning, are possible.


Dr. med. dent. Gisbert Hennessen; Thilo Machotta, Dr. med. Arne Schäffler in: Gesundheit heute, edited by Arne Schäffler, MD. Trias, Stuttgart, 3rd edition (2014). Revised and updated: Sonja Kempinski, MD | last modified on at 16:24

Important note: This article has been written according to scientific standards and reviewed by medical professionals. The information communicated in this article can in no way replace professional advice in your pharmacy. The content cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start therapy. Boil On Lower Lip.

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