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A periodontal abscess (also termed lateral abscess, or parietal abscess), is a localized collection of pus (i.e. an abscess) within the tissues of the periodontium. It is a type of dental abscess.

A periodontal abscess occurs alongside a tooth, and is different from the more common periapical abscess, which represents the spread of infection from a dead tooth (i.e. which has undergone pulpal necrosis). To reflect this, sometimes the term “lateral (periodontal) abscess” is used. In contrast to a periapical abscess, periodontal abscesses are usually associated with a vital (living) tooth. Abscesses of the periodontium are acute bacterial infections classified primarily by location.

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