How to Determine If a Tooth Leaking Is an Infection

Written by courtney keene
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How to Determine If a Tooth Leaking Is an Infection
If your tooth is leaking, consult your dentist as soon as possible. (dentist 07 image by Dragan Bombek from

A leaking tooth is almost always a serious sign of ailing dental health. Even if you are not experiencing pain, you may have an infection and possibly an abscess, defined by WebMD as bacteria spreading through the tissue surrounding the tooth. You can determine the severity of the problem by looking for a few telltale signs.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Determine the colour of the fluid leaking from the tooth by taking a cotton ball and pressing it gently to the troubled area. Remove the cotton ball after applying moderate pressure and examine the colour; if it is brown or yellow, the tooth has likely abscessed and is leaking pus.

  2. 2

    Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Inform them of the leak and ask for antibiotics.

  3. 3

    Take all of your antibiotics as prescribed and monitor the tooth. Call your dentist if the tooth continues to leak, as you may need to undergo a tooth extraction or root canal.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not have dental insurance, try to find a nearby dental training program at a college or university. They will often perform simple procedures for reduced rates.
  • Many pharmacies offer reduced prices for oral antibiotics. Ask your dentist if there is a participating pharmacy nearby.
  • Even if the fluid is clear, you should consult your dentist. Leaving a possible infection untreated can lead to further complications.

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