Dentoalveolar Infections

Also known as: dentoalveolar abscess, dental abscess.

What are dentoalveolar infections?

The word dentoalveolar refers to the teeth and the sockets that the teeth rest in.

When bacteria enters a tooth through a hole (caries), crack in the tooth, poor hygiene, thin enamel etc. causing a localized infection in or around the tooth (abscess), or if the infection spreads from the tooth to cause deep infections in the neck, it’s known as a dentoalveolar infection.

It is rare in infants before primary tooth eruption.

What causes dentoalveolar infections?

Many different bacteria can cause an infection of a tooth after a break in the tooth surface occurs, or from poor hygiene, thinner enamel and a better blood flow seen to the Primary teeth of young children. Other risk factors include abnormalities in way the teeth form, abnormalities in the body of the tooth (dentin) and some acquired problems like absorption of part of the crown of a tooth before tooth eruption.

What are the signs/symptoms of dentoalveolar infections?

Localized pain, swelling and redness, a cheek or gum soft mass (or “gum boil”), tooth sensitivity to temperature change, gum bleeding, fever, and with more severe infections, difficulty swallowing, and/or swollen lymph nodes and deep infection in the neck. Breathing difficulties may also occur.

What are dentoalveolar infections care options?

While some dentoalveolar infections can become serious if not treated quickly (particularly if there is difficulty with respiration), most treatments might include antibiotics, management of pain and fluid intake, and depending on the site and extent of infection, surgical drainage and tooth removal.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: June 25, 2021 11:17 AM

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