Oftentimes, we're asked whether or not a patient should pop an abscess, should they feel it when occurs. While you can pop an abscess to help drain some of the infection, one must understand that it does not eliminate the infection completely. When you... when you have an abscess, it is a collection of infection that results from the tooth or the gum. So even though you can drain the abscess on your own, it's still advised that you see a dentist, the reason being is while the source of infection starts right here, it usually originated from somewhere else. So even if you are able to drain the abscess successfully, it's still recommended that you see a dentist so that the dentist can basically assess where the abscess is coming from. For example, if you have an infected tooth that has turned into an abscess, even though you may have popped the abscess and drained some of the swelling, the fact remains that the infection still lies within the tooth. So when you pop an abscess, although you may get immediate resolution with that, you'll still find that if the tooth is left untreated, you will revert back and have another abscess. So the question is: How do we go about removing an abscess or popping an abscess? When you go into this area, you need to poke the abscess with something sharp and definitely sterile and disinfected. The way that's done is you more or less take the sharp end of your instrument and you more or less kind of poke down into the bubble or the blister. Once you've penetrated into the blister, you will rupture the little sac that... of collection of infection. And once you've done that, you'll actually see drainage -- drainage of the abscess -- and it will be a combination of infection and probably a little bit of blood. You'll see anywhere from, like, a reddish-strawish pink color to possibly, like, a yellowish or greenish color. It's very important then when you that the instrument penetrates all the way down, and not just the surface. Typically, the abscess goes all the way down to the bone, so one must make sure that the instrument goes all the way down into the tissue. While that is the way to basically penetrate in and drain the abscess, it is recommended that a dentist or a health professional help treat the abscess to ensure that one, we penetrate into the abscess correctly, and two, we make sure we get necessary drainage to prevent the likelihood of it reoccurring.