Sometimes a tooth abscesses, meaning it becomes infected. A pocket of pus forms on the tip of the root or the side of a decayed tooth. Pain, fever, and swelling of the gums are primary symptoms. Most people describe a throbbing pain that radiates into the jawbone, ear, or neck. Swelling can occur in the gums, face, or cheek, but also lymph nodes in the neck or under the jaw. Sensitivity to hot and cold foods or discomfort when biting down or chewing food are also symptoms. If the abscess ruptures, it leaves behind a foul smell and an unpleasant, salty taste in the mouth.
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