Treatment of an abscessed tooth
If you have an abscessed tooth, you have developed a bacterial infection and the infection is creating pus. The bacteria have spread between the root of your tooth and the area just under the gum line. In general, you can find evidence of bacteria near the tooth or just underneath it.
Usually, the source of the infection is located inside the core of your tooth, called the pulp. The pulp starts in the crown of the tooth and extends to the root of the tooth. It contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. When pulp gets infected, it often also becomes swollen.
The pain from an abscessed tooth can be considerable. Your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic in an effort to save the tooth, but if the antibiotic is unsuccessful and the abscess is damaging either the pulp or the bone beneath the root of the tooth, then the dentist has to clear up the infection by removing the pulp. This procedure is called a root canal.