How is an abscessed tooth diagnosed?

In addition to examining the tooth and surrounding tissue for signs of infection, your dentist may:

  • Recommend an X-ray. This can help identify sources of dental disease that may have led to the infection. Your dentist can also use X-rays to determine if the infection has spread and may be affecting other areas.
  • Recommend a CT scan. If the infection has spread to other areas within the neck, this will help to identify the extent of the infection.
  • Tap and press on your teeth. A tooth with an abscess is often sensitive to touch or pressure.
  • Thermal tests. These tests will help your dentist determine the health of your pulpal tissues.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/24/2020.

References

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