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Abscess Defined

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Updated January 22, 2012

abscess, abscessed tooth, abscess surgery

An Abscessed Tooth

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Definition: An abscess is a collection of pus within the body. An abscess occurs when the body tries to fight an infection within the tissues of the body, sending white blood cells to fight further infection. The blood cells collect around the site of infection, accumulating to form pus.

Abscesses frequently form on the skin, the most commonly known type is a boil. Inside the body, abscesses can be much more serious, causing damage to tissues and organs.

Surgery may be necessary to treat an abscess if antibiotics are ineffective against the infection. An abscess can also be a complication after surgery.

More About Infections After Surgery

Pronunciation: ab-Sess
Also Known As: boil, abscessed tooth, abscesses
Common Misspellings: abcess, absess
Examples:
After having a root canal the patient experienced an abscess, which required a prescription for antibiotics.
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