Dental Abscess Average Cost

From 390 quotes ranging from $500 - 1,500

Average Cost

$900

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What are Dental Abscess?

Three types of dental abscesses can form under the tooth of a cat. The first type is a gingival abscess, which primarily affects gum tissue. The second is a periodontal abscess, which affects the gums directly. The third type of abscess is called a periapical abscess and it affects the pulp of the tooth. The canine teeth are the most common to abscess as they are the easiest to be broken. Veterinary attention should be sought out immediately as abscesses can burst from too much pressure and cause large wounds in the cat's face. Infection can also spread throughout the body and compromise vital organs.

When tooth decay occurs in a cat, bacteria can spread down into the root of the tooth. The bacteria disintegrates the tissue in and around the tooth, forming a cavity. The cavity then fills with dead white blood cells and more bacteria. This foul-smelling fluid is called “pus”. A pus-filled cavity under a tooth is commonly referred to as a dental abscess. The gum tissue surrounding the abscess often becomes red and inflamed. 

Symptoms of Dental Abscess in Cats

If you suspect any symptoms of a pus cavity or abscess forming under your cat’s tooth, go to your vet as soon as possible. Infections within the abscess have the potential to develop into a systemic bacterial infection, which is life-threatening. Symptoms you should watch for include:

  • Round, visible bump in the mouth
  • Drooling
  • Pawing at mouth
  • Nose bleeds
  • Swollen face
  • Draining wound
  • Inability to eat
  • Weight loss
  • Loose tooth
  • Discoloration of tooth
  • Bad breath
  • Decrease in grooming
  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Lethargy

Causes of Dental Abscess in Cats

Any condition or occurrence that erodes or breaks a cat’s tooth can cause a dental abscess to form. Some underlying issues may dispose a cat to dental issues and tooth decay. These issues should be looked for to help prevent further abscess formation. Some main causes for pus cavities under the teeth are:

  • Trauma (often from being hit by a car)
  • Biting on a hard substance
  • FORL (feline odontoclastic resorptive) lesions that slowly absorb adult teeth back into the body
  • Untreated periodontal disease
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Mouth burn (often from chewing electric cables)

Diagnosis of Dental Abscess in Cats

Diagnosis of a dental abscess is often quite simple. The veterinarian will perform a physical examination of the cat, focusing much time on the mouth and face. Visual confirmation of a pus cavity is often all that is needed to diagnose the issue. The vet may need to differentiate a dental abscess from an eye infection or a puncture wound if swelling of the face is the main symptom present. 

An X-ray may be required to identify the source of the bacterial infection and monitor the surrounding teeth for any spreading. Blood tests may be performed including a complete blood count and a biochemical profile to determine overall health and identify possible underlying issues. If the cat has undergone major trauma, other more severe injuries may need to be treated first.

Treatment of Dental Abscess in Cats

Treatment should be administered quickly to relieve the abscess before it bursts. The larger the abscess has become, the more dangerous the infection can be to the cat. 

Drain & Clean 

The first step in treating a cat with a dental abscess is to sedate it (possibly with general anesthesia), and lance the abscess to drain out all of the pus. The cavity will then be thoroughly cleaned. Antibiotics may be injected at this time to curb infection.

Root Canal 

If the tissue surrounding the abscess is still intact, and the abscess itself is small in size, your veterinarian may choose to perform a root canal. This procedure can save the tooth while still removing all dead or infected tissue. Many veterinarians will refer the cat to a dental specialist for this procedure.

Extraction 

Often, the tooth and surrounding areas are too decayed to save. In this case, a full removal of the tooth will be performed. The infection has to be decreased prior to extraction surgery or serious complications may arise. Cold packs can be used post surgery to bring down swelling and reduce pain. 

Antibiotics 

After a dental abscess has been removed, antibiotics will be prescribed for seven to ten days to rid the body of harmful bacteria. 

Recovery of Dental Abscess in Cats

A follow-up exam will be scheduled one to two weeks after your cat has been treated. At this time, your veterinarian will perform a sensitivity test on the affected tooth and check for any signs of infection. You may have to administer pain medication at home while the cat recovers. Sometimes, a diet of soft food is recommended while the mouth is healing. No chew toys should be allowed until after the gum has healed over completely.

It is important to have your cat’s teeth and mouth checked at least twice a year to prevent the formation of tooth decay. Raw meats, small uncooked bones, or hard kibble may help scrape off plaque and keep teeth clean. Maintain your cat’s dental hygiene by brushing its teeth twice weekly with cat-specific toothpaste. If your cat is of a breed susceptible to dental issues (such as Siamese, Burmese, Persian and Somali breeds), take extra care to ensure teeth are kept clean. Check your cat’s mouth for broken teeth, bad breath, or lesions on a regular basis.

Dental Abscess Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Tazz
domestic short hair
14 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

swollen

Medication Used

Clindamycin Hydrochloride

My 14 yr old cat Tazz had a swollen cheek when I got home from work Monday morning. I immediately brought him to the vet to have what I think is an abscessed tooth looked at. The next morning they told me he has a fever so they started him on antibiotics (Clinamycin). I was told to pick him up and give him a 10 day round of the antibiotics and then bring him back to have it treated. I'm concerned about the abscess bursting. It's even bigger then it was this morning. They didn't drain the abscess. Is it safe or necessary to wait a whole ten days to address this again?

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
476 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Depending on the degree of infection, it might not be okay to wait 10 days for a recheck. If Tazz's face seems more swollen, it would best to have him rechecked by your veterinarian, as they will be able to assess him and decide if further care is needed. I hope that everything goes well for him.

Thank you!

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Jewel
domestic short hair
16 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Eye Bulging
Swelling

Last week 16 year old cat was grabbing at her mouth like something was stuck in her mouth but then stopped. Now her left side of her face is all swollen even part of her eye and it’s oozing.
She is limping when she walks.
My vet can’t get me in until morning

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
476 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without seeing Jewel, I can't offer any treatments other than having your veterinarian see her as soon as they are able to get her in. She may have an abscessed tooth, or an infection otherwise, or a tumor. Your veterinarian will be able to examine her, determine what might be going on, and offer treatment options for you. If you feel that she is having an emergency, your veterinary clinic should have an after hours location to have her seen, the information is usually on the answering machine when they are closed. I hope that she is okay.

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Onyx
dsh
1 Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

swollen face

Hi I'm almost positive my cat has a tooth abscess he has a lump under his eye and the eye is actually shut my question is I started him on clavamox this morning will that help him and take the swelling down till I can take him to the vet next week?

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1971 Recommendations
I cannot recommend that you give any antibiotics to a patient unless prescribed by a Veterinarian, irresponsible use of antibiotics are creating a global health crisis. If you suspect that Onyx has a dental abscess you should visit your Veterinarian before deciding on a course of treatment and ensure that Onyx can drink and has access to wet food (dry food may be painful). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Ray
Orange tabby
17 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

swollen face
Lethargic

Medication Used

Clavamox antibiotic- oral

Does my cat have to have xrays when removing an abscess? She is 17 yrs old and probably needs several teeth removed. I am trying to be conservative with money. Thank you

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1971 Recommendations
Whilst dental x-rays are not (always) required to diagnose dental abscesses, they are important as an indicator for the extent and size of an abscess and to assess the health of the underlying jaw; also if an x-ray has been taken, it can be compared with another x-ray in the future. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Augie
Manx
12 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Abcess

Hi and a Merry Christmas R Happy Holidays to all. I am confused with my 10 to 15 year old car Augie. I brought him to the vet back on the 9th of December as I thought he may have an abscess as I could palpate a large hard lump under his lower rear jaw. The doctor diagnosed him immediately with cancer. Which was off course sad to hear. Augie was already drooling and the vet said maybe he should be put to sleep now. I refused as he didn’t seem to be in any distress. He was strong and eating furiously. I have another cat who I have had on profylatic antibiotic which I change up continually. I had purchased some doxycycline on that same day. I started giving one cc to Augie daily for about a week but ran out. His ‘cancer” seemed to be progressing extremely fast so wasn’t sure what would be next. However he still was eating very well, up and about and socializing. But drooling heavily. His drooling was horrible today with an infectious odor. I have been trying to keep his face clean an tonight I saw a lot of puss and blood. He let me palpate and rub both inside his mouth and on the bottom of his jaw. One of the lumps went away. I of course like many am terribly broke. But I want to do my cat right. Is there any thing that I can do to clean inside his mouth? How often should I do this? What would be the best antibiotic. It must be a liquid. 15 pound cat. Really bad infection. Is this cancer or is it a horrible infection?

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
476 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I am sorry that is happening Augie. I appreciate that you want to do everything that you can, but I cannot tell without examining him if he has an infection, or cancer, or both - oftentimes, a cancerous tumor can become infected, and more complicated. I cannot recommend an antibiotic, and it would be a good idea to contact the veterinarian that saw him last, and ask if they are able to recommend anything, since they have seen him in the past. I hope that you are able to help him, and to make sure that he isn't suffering.

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Billybob
Nebelung
9 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

Medication Used

Clinacin x 10 days (last year)
Clavaseptin x 10 days (last year)

Hi there, I adopted a 9y/o domestic longhaired cat last year, and at the time, he was treated with a 14 day course of antibiotics for a respiratory infection as well as a right upper canine tooth abscess (unsure how this was diagnosed).

It's been 1 year, and I took him to the vet yesterday for his annual visit, and they commented that the gums around hi right upper canine is still a bit swollen compared to the other side and that an "infection might still be in his tooth". He's been completely fine otherwise for the last year - eating and grooming lots, no drooling or discharge etc. - do you think he can still have a tooth abscess given this time, or could we wait and see if anything changes? And are oral antibiotics effective in this case, or would you still go with dental extraction? Thanks!

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
476 Recommendations
Thank you for your question. If he has a recurrent infection around that tooth, it is possible that it was dormant and has started to become abscessed again. Oral antibiotics may be effective, but the best way to tell would be to have an x-ray done of that tooth and see if there are signs of damage to the tissues around the tooth. If there are signs of an abscess, dental extraction is one alternative for treatment. There are veterinary dentists who are able to perform root canals in these teeth and save the tooth, but cats don't tend to need those teeth to eat, so many owners opt for extraction. I hope that everything goes well for him!

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Sox
tabby
16 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

swollen face, mucus from nose

My 16 yr old male domestic short hair has been diagnosed with a abscessed tooth and put on antibiotics. He has had a swollen face and mucus coming from his nose. He stopped eating 3 days ago and has stopped cleaning himself. I will not have any money for 2 weeks. Can this wait at all to be extracted?

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
476 Recommendations
Thank you for contacting us about Sox. It doesn't sound like the infection is responding well to the antibiotics, and the tooth may need to come out sooner. I'm not sure how long he has been on the antibiotics, but if he hasn't eaten in 3 days, you need to get that taken care of sooner than 2 weeks, for sure. There are payment options that many vet clinics take, such as Care Credit, that can be very helpful for unexpected expenses like this. It would be a good idea to call your veterinarian and let them know what is going on and discuss options - they wouldn't want him to suffer while that tooth is bothering him.

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Dora
Gray domestic
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Laying in litter box, tooth abscess

Female 6 year old car has a tooth abscess, appointment is .
made for 2 weeks from now (29th), however, she has began laying in her litter box. What could be the problem and what can i do to help her until her surgery?

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1971 Recommendations
You should return to your Veterinarian as lying in the litter tray can be an indication of fever since the litter in the tray can feel cool to lay on; you should have Dora checked to make sure the dental abscess hasn’t spread causing other issues around the body. There isn’t anything I can recommend for you at this time since I am concerned about the possibility of a high fever. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Craig
domestic short hair
almost two
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

he has two gum boils

My cat has two small gum bois, one is a dark color and one is white. He doesnt appear to be in any pain, is actually still acting like himself. I wondered if there is anything I can do for him at home until I have the money to take him to the vet?

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1971 Recommendations

I would recommend you visit your Veterinarian as soon as possible; however, until you are able to visit your Veterinarian, rinsing the boils with salt water after each meal should help. This may be a quite simple case requiring some antibiotics or may require tests and more extensive treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

looking for recommendations on getting my cat to eat or a mush recipe that will help him gain weight as fast as possible. I am fostering a cat from my local shelter that came in as a stray. We are trying to get weight on him so he can have his oral surgery but he is not eating and is skin and bones. He is on antibiotics and pain meds to manage the infection while we get weight on him so he can have his oral surgery. He has an abscess and gingivitis. he is very inquisitive and curious. he doesn't seem disconnected from the world and seems like he's fighter so we want to try everything we can. I'm confident that once he has his surgery he'll have many more years in him. He's not eating much at all. Using pate canned cat food currently. He's a 10yr old neutered male with abscess on his upper rt side.

My cat is twitching and drooling and scratching at his face. He won't eat or drink and the vet said there was nothing in his mouth but yet can't figure out the reason why he is acting like he is having a seizure.

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Bulvi
Himalayan
14 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss
Lethargy

Can an rotten tooth cause and infection that brings on jaundice in a cat? Bulvi has a full CBC being done on him because he has jaundice but I just got a look at his teeth and one is bad. He is losing weight and has difficulty eating.

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1971 Recommendations
There are various causes of jaundice in cats which include infections (bacterial or parasitic), autoimmune disease, liver disease, tumours among other causes; an infected tooth is unlikely to be the cause but it should be extracted to make eating more comfortable. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Just want answers about my cat

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