1 doctor weighed in:

Do I have an abscess or is it just a gum infection? How to tell the difference between the two?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Robert Ryan
Dentistry

In brief: Similar entities

A typical oral abscess is usually related to a non-vital tooth (the nerve has died).
A gum infection is related to the accumulation of plaque and calculus (tartar). Abscesses usually cause more pain and swelling and may result in a 'bump' on the gum where the abscess is draining. Gum infections usually are less painful, less swollen and there is rarely a 'bump' on the gum.

In brief: Similar entities

A typical oral abscess is usually related to a non-vital tooth (the nerve has died).
A gum infection is related to the accumulation of plaque and calculus (tartar). Abscesses usually cause more pain and swelling and may result in a 'bump' on the gum where the abscess is draining. Gum infections usually are less painful, less swollen and there is rarely a 'bump' on the gum.
Dr. Robert Ryan
Dr. Robert Ryan
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified, Emergency Medicine
24 years in practice
171K people helped
Continue
111,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors