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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6015
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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What is the difference between having an abcess and ulcer

Resolved Question:

What is the difference between having an abcess above the tooth or an ulcer on the gum
Also have a bad taste in mouth along with the part above tooth that bleeds when pressed
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 5 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer, and thank you for putting your trust in me!

Technically speaking, an ulcer is a discontinuity in the surface (epithelial) tissue due to almost any injury or disorder. Ulcers can therefore be a result of a physical injury, an ulcerative mucous membrane disorder (e.g., canker sore, pemphigoid, or lichen planus), or infection. In contrast, a dental abscess is the result of a bacterial infection that is localized, and originating either in the pulp of a tooth or in the gum tissue surrounding a tooth root. Of the two terms, "ulcer" is far more general in nature: an abscess can rupture to the surface of the gum and cause an ulcer, but not all ulcers are abscesses.

Hope this helps...
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So would there be pain experienced with this it does seem as if there is a pus like substance that comes from the broken tooth site
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 5 years ago.
Pain is a variable symptom, and its subjective nature makes it an unreliable diagnostic indicator. The presence of pus would be more suggestive of an abscess, but a formal assessment, including x-rays, would be required to confirm a diagnosis.

Hope this helps....
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks going on holiday next week and dentist not open until after bank holiday weekend when I'm due back anyway was down last week before this 'boil' appeared and they said nothing to worry about would this still be the case
Expert:  replied 5 years ago.
In the absence of the pertinent diagnostic data, I am unable to assess the urgency of your infection. Normally, an acute dental infection would require prompt treatment.

Although I would like to take comfort in your dentist's casual attitude, the conspicuous change in status would suggest that his prior assessment may no longer be reliable. If at all possible, you should attempt to contact your dentist and determine in advance the options open to you in the event that your infection flares significantly over the weekend. In this way, you will be able to plan for any contingencies and respond to them as necessary.

Good luck!
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